Alumni Environmental Achievement Award
The Goodwin-Niering Center’s Alumni Environmental Achievement Award recognizes and celebrates Connecticut College graduates who have gone on to make significant contributions in a wide variety fields. These men and women exemplify the many ways that a passion for the environment, combined with a great education can benefit society. From scientific research to film making, land conservation to business practices, and interpreting the natural world through maps to writing biographies of leading environmental activists, these individuals have earned a place on the short list of our outstanding graduates.
2014 - Maggie Jones ’85 Jones received a degree in botany and ecology at the College, and earned a degree in landscape architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. As the executive director of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center (DPNC), a position she’s held since 1992, Jones’s work exemplifies the many ways that a passion for the environment, combined with an outstanding liberal arts education, can greatly benefit society.
Jones was presented with the Goodwin Niering Center for the Environment Alumni Environmental Achievement Award in recognition of her more than 20 years of leadership in community environmental education and land conservation.
2008 - Tedd Saunders ’83 is co-owner and executive vice president of the Saunders Hotel Group. He is also President of Eco-logical Solutions, a consulting firm that provides innovative and cost-effective environmental solutions for the hotel industry. A third-generation hotelier, Tedd’s family company operates the Lennox Hotel in Boston, Comfort Inn & Suites at Boston Airport and other hotels. He has used his family’s properties to demonstrate common sense actions that reduce environmental impacts and save hotels significant amounts of money. He is author of a book about his environmental approach called The Bottom Line of Green is Black.
Tedd Saunders was presented with the Goodwin-Niering Center's Alumni Environmental Achievement award in recognition of his leadership in promoting environmental sustainability in the hotel and hospitality industry.
2006 - Allen Carroll ’73 lived for five years after graduation in a small cabin on Dick and Esther Goodwin’s property in East Haddam, now the Nature Conservancy’s Burnham Brook Preserve. There, Allen served as part-time preserve manager and honed his artistic skills in illustration, design and cartography. After working as a freelance illustrator, he joined the National Geographic Society in 1983. In 1988, Allen served as art director of the Society’s Historical Atlas of the United States, a richly illustrated history of America in maps, pictures and text produced for the Society’s centennial. He went on to become Art Director at the Society and eventually became Chief Cartographer and executive vice president of National Geographic Maps. In 2011, Allen moved to the electronic mapping corporation Esri, where he is the ArcGIS Online Content Program Manager.
Allen Carroll was presented with the Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies Alumni Environmental Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions to the art of cartography in the service of environmental conservation.
2003 - Alexander R. Brash ’81 After graduation Alex went on to earn an M.F.S. at Yale University and worked at the Museum and Natural History, the World Wildlife Fund and Yale’s Tropical Resources Institute before joining the New York City Parks Department in in 1987. He rose to the position of Chief of the Natural Resources Group, City of New York. As Chief, Alexander was responsible for land acquisition, remediation and restoration priorities, managing a staff of 30 scientists, engineers, and technicians responsible for designing, over-seeing and monitoring nearly $92M of projects. These included designing and developing restoration projects for wetlands and forestland. Alexander currently serves as Regional Director, Greater New York City Area, for the National Parks Conservation Association.
Alexander Brash was presented with the Goodwin-Niering Center Alumni Environmental Acheivement Award in recognition of his contributions to urban environmental management, education and restoration.
2002 - David Foster ’77 earned his PhD in Ecology from the University of Minnesota. He joined the Biology Department faculty at Harvard University in 1983 and became Director of the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA in 1990. Harvard Forest is a 3,000-acre ecological research and educational institution and is one of 18 sites in the US Long Term Ecological Research Program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Considered one of the country’s leading plant ecologists, David is the author of many scientific papers and books. In 2005, he became the guiding force behind the “Wildlands and Woodlands” initiative, arguing that about half of the land area of Massachusetts should be protected forest land.
David Foster was presented with the Goodwin-Niering Center Alumni Environmental Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions to the understanding of plant ecology and landscape history.
2000 - Judith Irvine ’68 is a documentary filmmaker whose work includes Alaska: Land in Balance; Nagasaki Journey; Secrets of the Bay, Dark Circle and The Wild Parrots of San Francisco. Wild Parrots is one of the 25 top-grossing theatrical documentaries of all time with over $3 million in box-office receipts. It won the Genesis Award for "Outstanding Documentary Film" in 2005. Through the course of her career, Judith’s view of nature evolved from thinking of it as pristine and separate from people, through documenting people’s impact on nature, to people as part of nature.
Judith Irving was presented with the Goodwin-Niering Center Alumni Environmental Achievement Award in recognition of her contributions to environmental education through film, photography and writing.
1999 - Linda Lear ’65 earned her PhD in History from George Washington University. She has served as a Senior Smithsonian Research Associate, a Beinecke Fellow, Research Professor of Environmental History at George Washington University and Senior Research Scholar in History at the University of Maryland. In 1997, Linda produced the definitive biography of the early environmental activist Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. After receiving the Center’s award, she published Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature which was the basis for the movie, Mrs. Potter, starring Renee Zellweger.
Linda Lear was presented with the first Goodwin-Niering Center Alumni Environmental Achievement in recognition of her contributions to the field of environmental history.
The Mathieson Award was named to honor Helen Mathieson ’52 and her husband Andrew, who gave the very generous naming gift to the Goodwin-Niering Center. The award is presented each year to one or more seniors in the Goodwin-Niering Center Certificate Program who have demonstrated outstanding performance in the four-semester seminar and clear continuity between their internship and senior integrative project, and have regularly provided volunteer service to the Center.
2019 Sydney S. Krisanda and Ricardo Jose Olea
2018 Josh Lee
2017 Marissa Gildea
2016 Natalie Calhoun and Emma Rotner
2015 Conor B. Quilty
2014 Jessie Mehrhoff
2013 Rhea Corson-Higgs and Katherine Lynch
2012 Bryson Cowan
2011 Flora Drury and Sarah Berkley
2010 Charles Van Rees
2009 Jamey Smith
2008 Christina Comfort and Katherine Serafin
2007 Christine Holly Monahan and Jennifer Inmaculada Vasquez
2006 Ceileigh Skeene Syme