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Current George B. Hartzog, Jr. Award Recipients 2017

The Benton H. Box Award

Dr. Troy Hall and Institute Director Bob Powell

Dr. Troy Hall with Institute Director Bob Powell 

The Award is named in appreciation of Dr. Box's distinguished career as an educator/administrator, especially as Dean of the College of Forest and Recreation Resources at Clemson University, which he led to national and international recognition for academic excellence and for leadership in fostering private innovation in resource management. The Award recognizes the teacher who by precept and example inspires in students the quest for knowledge; or the administrator who fosters a learning environment and encourages curriculum innovation to inculcate an "environmental ethic" as the rule of conduct involving resource management, development and utilization; or the private practitioner whose management over a sustained period demonstrates leadership in preserving, enhancing, renewing and restoring a livable environment.

The Benton H. Box Award was awarded to Dr. Troy Hall for recognition as a teacher who by precept and example inspires in students the quest for knowledge and encourages curriculum innovation to inculcate an “environmental ethic” as the rule of conduct.

Dr. Troy Hall earned her BA in Anthropology from Pomona College in 1985 and her MA in Anthropology from Duke University in 1990. During those years, she worked seasonally for the US Forest Service as a wilderness ranger in the Pacific Northwest, which led her to pursue her PhD degree in Forestry (Human Dimensions emphasis) at Oregon State University (1996). Troy’s first faculty position was in the Forestry Department at Virginia Tech, where she was part of the natural resource recreation program. After that, she joined the faculty of the Resource Recreation and Tourism program at the University of Idaho. During her 14 years at the University of Idaho, Troy moved up through the faculty ranks, eventually being appointed as head of the Department of Conservation Social Sciences. She moved to Oregon State University in 2014 as the head of the Forest Ecosystems and Society Department, where she oversees undergraduate degree programs in Natural Resources and in Tourism, Recreation, and Adventure Leadership, as well as on-campus and on-line graduate programs.

Troy’s research program focuses broadly on topics in environmental psychology. Her early work explored the nature of outdoor recreation experiences and the factors that contribute to positive experiences. This research helped shape policies guiding management of recreation in protected areas. Other studies have sought to understand the influence of attitudes and knowledge on human behavior and support for management policies in natural resource settings. This has included studies of recreational visitors in national parks including Shenandoah, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, and Yosemite, as well as a wide range of other outdoor settings from national forests to wild and scenic rivers. Troy applies theories from social psychology and communication to develop effective messaging related to various natural resource issues. More recently, with funding from the National Science Foundation, Troy has been studying aspects of communication in interdisciplinary teams and effective tools for communicating science to the public.

Troy has published 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reports focused on her research and she has mentored over 70 graduate students.  She has taught a variety of outdoor recreation and human dimensions courses throughout her career, including Recreation Planning, Recreation Management, Wilderness Management, Social Science Research Methods, Communication Theory, and Environmental Interpretation. Presently, she serves as a subject matter lead for the US Forest Service team that developed the national protocol for monitoring wilderness character, and she is a member of the national Wilderness Information Management Steering Group for the US Forest Service. She has been an associate editor for several journals, including the Journal of Leisure Research, Forest Science, and Leisure Sciences, as well as serving six years as Editor-in-Chief for Society & Natural Resources.

The William C. Everhart Award

The Award is named in appreciation of the distinguished career of Bill Everhart as field interpreter, researcher, administrator, author, and creator of the National Park Service's Harpers Ferry Center for creative design and communication, which has received national and international recognition for excellence. The Award recognizes sustained achievements during a career or in a specific episode that illuminate, provide creative insights to, and that foster an appreciation of our natural and cultural heritage.

The Walter T. Cox Award

Dave Hallac with Fran Mainella

Dave Hallac with Fran Mainella

The Award is so named in appreciation of Dr. Cox's distinguished career in education and public service, especially his tenure as President of Clemson University and as the Director of the Santee-Cooper Authority. The Award recognizes sustained achievement in public service on the firing line, where the public interest meets the private interest in public policy formulation and administration; distinguished leadership and support of innovation in conflict resolution of policy initiatives that enhance the quality of life; personal achievements during a career or in a specific episode that provides inspiration and leadership to others in serving the above purposes.

The Walter T. Cox Award was awarded to Dave Hallac for sustained achievement in public service providing leadership in administration of public lands and for policy formation affecting our natural and cultural resources.

Dave Hallac has extensive experience with complex and controversial recreational access and resource protection challenges on public lands, collaborative science planning, trans-boundary migratory species conservation and management, and ecosystem restoration.

After growing up in northern New Jersey, Dave Hallac earned a B.S. in biology and M.S. in wildlife and fisheries biology from the University of Vermont.

Dave worked in south Florida for over a decade for the Fish and Wildlife Service and as the Chief Biologist for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks where he was responsible for the monitoring and management of the parks’ biological resources. He also focused on planning and implementation of many ecosystem restoration projects including the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and bridging of the Tamiami Trail to improve hydrology in park wetlands and estuaries. He led the completion of a collaborative 5-year research plan and program with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to evaluate the conservation efficacy of the Dry Tortugas Research Natural Area Marine Reserve and helped to implement programs and communications related to invasive species management. His work on seagrass conservation and recreation in Florida Bay resulted in the implementation of new zoning in Florida Bay that balances resource conservation and recreational access. In 2010 he was awarded the Department of Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award for collaboration and partnership related to Burmese pythons and giant constrictor management.

From 2011 to 2014, Dave served at Yellowstone National Park as the Chief of the Yellowstone Center for Resources where he led the park’s natural and cultural resources, scientific research, Native American tribal relations, and planning and compliance programs. Through building partnerships with stakeholder groups and the States of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, and implementation of a strong science program, he helped to advance major park conservation initiatives related to bison management, native fish restoration, and large carnivore management across jurisdictional boundaries. He also helped to build relationships and develop partnerships with the park’s 26 traditionally-associated Native American tribes. Dave contributed to the plan that resolved a longstanding challenge to manage winter recreation and worked closely with UNESCO to report on the park’s status as a World Heritage Site.

Currently, Dave has the pleasure of serving as the Superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial in eastern North Carolina. In this role, he leads a large team and works to partner with local communities to further the enjoyment and preservation of park resources. As a result of a legislative directive, from 2015 through summer 2017, he collaborated with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to lead the park staff through a significant effort to successfully modify the Seashore’s off road vehicle management plan. His planning efforts involved intensive outreach to local communities, stakeholder groups, and other park users for which he recently won the 2016 Southeast Region Superintendent of the Year Significant Accomplishment Award.

Dave has published numerous peer reviewed publications on topics including wildlife and fisheries conservation, science and management of subtropical marine systems, ecosystem restoration and science planning, and recreation management in protected areas. He has co- chaired the planning of several scientific conferences and led or participated in multiple scientific review efforts on topics including shorebird and turtle management and ecology, brucellosis in bison, geothermal dynamics and development in Yellowstone, and avian ecology in the Everglades. He recently co-edited a book on the conservation of Yellowstone bison and he has been interviewed and featured in many national publications on topics related to conservation and management of natural areas.

He enjoys boating, camping, fishing, surfing, and traveling with his wife and four children. 

The Dwight A. Holder Award

Dr. Matthew Brownlee, Dr. Jeffrey Skibins, and Institute Director Bob Powell

Dr. Matthew Brownlee, Dr. Jeffrey Skibins, and Institute Director Bob Powell

The Award is named in honor of Mr. Holder's illustrious career as an entrepreneur and public servant. As Chairman of the South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism Commission he led South Carolina's parks into a new era of service to the people of South Carolina and the nation. The Award recognizes outstanding work by doctoral candidates in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; a member of the Department faculty for original research, scholarly writing, and innovative and inspired teaching; the faculty adviser and graduate student as a team, for initiatives that foster understanding of and provide new insights into the promotion, management, wise use and enjoyment of South Carolina's natural and cultural heritage in perpetuity; and distinguished academic leadership by a member of the Department faculty. (Mr. Holder passed away in Spring 2006).

The Dwight A. Holder Award was awarded to Dr. Jeffrey Skibins, for outstanding work and sustained achievement that foster understanding, wise use, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.

Dr. Jeffrey Skibins is an Assistant Professor of Park Management and Conservation at Kansas State University. His research addresses how parks, protected areas, zoos, and aquariums can increase public participation in wildlife conservation. The main focus of his work is to understand how people’s emotional connection to wildlife influences their pro-conservation behaviors. Currently, he oversees projects in Africa, Australia, Europe, South America, Asia, and several U.S. National Parks. He has completed projects addressing conservation of grizzly bears, the African ‘Big 5’, koalas, Tasmanian devils, and Leadbeater’s possums. Recently, Dr. Skibins has been appointed to the IUCN Commission on Education and Conservation. He has authored more than 40 publications, delivered more than 50 international presentations, and has given several keynote addresses.

Jeffrey received his B.A. in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University and M.S. in Conservation Biology from Illinois State University. His master’s research was awarded the Fisher Outstanding Thesis award and Best Oral Presentation of the Graduate Research Symposium. Upon completing his M.S., Dr. Skibins returned to his native Chicago where he began working in natural resource management and interpretation. Over the next fifteen years, Jeffrey served as an interpretive naturalist for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, education and natural areas manager at The Morton Arboretum, instructor in the Chicago Wilderness Naturalist Certificate program, and adjunct faculty at North Park University. He also launched his own consulting agency serving regional and federal agencies and NGOs.

In 2012, Jeffrey completed his Ph.D. at Clemson University in the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department. His research focused on ecotourism and wildlife conservation. While at Clemson, Jeffrey served as President Pro-Tempore of the Graduate Student Senate, and was elected to the Alpha Epsilon Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi, and Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor and Leadership societies. He was also awarded the Clemson University, and PRTM Graduate Student Awards of Excellence. Jeffrey, his wife Lucy, three children, and two large furry dogs live in Manhattan, Kansas.

The Fran P. Mainella Award

Fran Mainella, Sarah Milligan-Toffler, and Stephanie P. Garst

Fran Mainella, Sarah Milligan-Toffler, and Stephanie P. Garst 

The Award is named in appreciation of the dynamic career of Fran Mainella as the first woman Director of the National Park Service. As Director, she focused some of her many efforts on creating systems of connected parks and developing innovative partnerships to expand services. Director Mainella was previously the Director of the Florida State Park Service and the Executive Director of the Florida Recreation and Park Association. The Award recognized sustained and innovative achievement by a woman in the management of North America's natural, historic or cultural heritage.

The Fran P. Mainella Award was presented to Sarah Milligan-Toffler for sustained and innovative achievement by a woman in the management of North America’s natural, historic or cultural heritage.

Sarah Milligan-Toffler’s 30-year career has been focused on ensuring that women, vulnerable children, people with disabilities, veterans, and other underserved populations have access to the healing power of nature in their everyday lives. 

From 1990 - 2013, Sarah served as the Associate Executive Director of Wilderness Inquiry, a national leader in providing wilderness trips and environmental education activities for more than 30,000 underserved children and families annually. Since 2013, Sarah has served as the Executive Director of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN). In that role, she is leading efforts to grow the global movement to increase equitable access to nature so that children and natural places can thrive. She has helped to grow the evidence base for nature through C&NN’s Research Library, which now holds more than 600 scientific articles on nature’s role in children’s healthy development and wellbeing. In collaboration with St. Paul, MN Mayor Christopher Coleman, she established a partnership between the National League of Cities and C&NN to create “Cities Promoting Access to Nature,” to engage mayors and municipal leaders across the United States in reimagining cities as places of nature connection for more children where they live.

In 2016, Sarah was invited to speak at the White House Roundtable on Diversity, Youth, and the Outdoors and the White House Roundtable on the Health Benefits of the Outdoors. She is a co-author of the Wingspread Declaration on Health and Nature (2014). She was a recipient of the Minnesota Council on Nonprofits Nonprofit Excellence Award (2010) and the Minnesota Environmental Fund Leadership Award (1998). She has provided keynote addresses and presentations for many organizations including the Blue Sky Funders Forum, the North American Association of Environmental Education, Camp Fire, the National League of Cities Annual Congress of Cities, amongst others.

Sarah is an avid runner and enjoys the many miles of wooded trails along the lakes and rivers in Minneapolis, MN, where she lives with her husband Jeff. They have one adult son who is completing his studies at the University of Wisconsin.  

The Robert G. Stanton Award

The Award is named in appreciation of the remarkable career of Robert Stanton as the first African-American Director of the National Park Service. Among the many accomplishments of Director Stanton was expansion of the interpretation of diverse cultural meanings inherent in National Parks and increased participation by racial and ethnic minorities as both visitors and employees. The Award recognizes sustained and innovative achievement in promoting racial or ethnic diversity in the management of North America’s natural, historic and cultural heritage