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Institute for Parks

2023 George B. Hartzog, Jr. Awards Recipients

About The Hartzog Awards

Every year, the Clemson University Institute for Parks recognizes up to six exemplary leaders for their work to address environmental issues and concerns in parks and protected areas.

See below to learn more about the 2023 George B. Hartzog, Jr. Environmental Awards recipients. 

2023 Award Winners

Benton H. Box Award - Amanda Stronza, Ph.D.


Dr. Amanda Stronza, is an anthropologist, photographer, conservationist and professor in ecology and conservation biology at Texas A&M University. Her passion is in understanding how humans relate to other animals with 30 years of research and conservation in 12 countries in the Amazon, southern Africa and southeast Asia.

Her work combines anthropology, conservation biology and animal studies with years of living in rural and traditional communities and learning from people who understand nature and culture as deeply entwined and who see wild animals as ancestors and kin. Stronza is known for her stories and photographs of animals. People often say she has a way capturing what they feel about animals, even if they don’t know how to express it.

She has used this talent to raise more than $9 million for wildlife conservation, animal rescue and research. Since 1996, her ethnographic work in the Amazon has focused on ecotourism and wildlife conservation with Indigenous communities in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. In 2006, she co-founded the Applied Biodiversity Science Program, a multidisciplinary graduate program funded by the National Science Foundation, for students and faculty who work in biodiversity conservation.

In 2013, with a grant from The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, she co-founded and directed Ecoexist, a non-profit organization devoted to supporting human-elephant coexistence in Botswana. Her current research is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, examining human-lion interactions in the Kalahari. She is launching new research on human-macaque interactions in Nepal and India with the aim of developing a generalizable theory of coexistence.

Dwight A. Holder Award - Ian E. Munanura, Ph.D.

ianmunanura-headshotDr. Ian E. Munanura, is a transformative force in the realm of conservation, uniting academia with real-world impact. In 2000, Munanura embarked on his academic journey, earning a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Rwanda. In 2004, he achieved a master’s degree in conservation and tourism from the prestigious Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom.

The pinnacle of his academic journey came in 2013 when Munanura graduated with a doctorate in parks, recreation and tourism management from Clemson University. At Oregon State University, he holds a tenured position as an associate professor in the College of Forestry’s Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. His teaching intertwines ecotourism, community sustainability and wildlife conservation.

In the United States, his research explores the intricate relationship between forest-based recreation and racial equity. While in Africa, he studies solutions to human-wildlife conflict through sustainable nature-based tourism practices. Beyond the classroom, he nurtures the next generation of global conservation leaders by mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students.

His passion for advancing ecotourism is underscored by his role as a co-editor of a seminal book on ecotourism in sub-Saharan Africa and his contributions as an author to five book chapters, all dedicated to the vital subject of ecotourism as a mechanism for human-wildlife conflict mitigation and sustainability.

Serving as coordinator for the International Union for Nature Conservation’s Forest Landscape Restoration Program in the East and Southern Africa region, he led the launch of a groundbreaking multinational forest restoration needs assessment program, demonstrating visionary leadership. Munanura’s legacy is further solidified by his role as a country director for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Rwanda.

Walter T. Cox Award - Charles F. Sams III


Charles F. Sams III, was ceremonially sworn in as the 19th director of the National Park Service on December 16, 2021, by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Sams is Cayuse and Walla Walla and is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Northeast Oregon where he grew up. He also has blood ties to the Cocopah Tribe and Yankton Sioux of Fort Peck.

Sams most recently served as Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s appointee to the Pacific Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NW Council) where he held a position as a council member from March to December of 2021. Prior to joining the NW Council, he served as executive director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

For 30 years, Sams has worked in tribal and state government, and in the non-profit natural resource and conservation management field, with an emphasis on the responsibility of strong stewardship for land preservation for this and future generations. Sams is a veteran of the U.S. Navy where he served as an intelligence specialist.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Concordia University and a Master of Legal Studies in Indigenous peoples law from the University of Oklahoma School of Law.

William C. Everhart Award - Kathryn Stevenson, Ph.D.


Kathryn Stevenson, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the parks, recreation and tourism management department at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.  She researches the benefits of time outdoors and how youth offer unique perspectives for environmental challenges.

Her most recent projects include building capacity of evaluation both in North Carolina and nationally and understanding how youth-led conversations around the environment may help overcome political polarization among adults. Her work has been featured in several national news outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post and National Public Radio. Stevenson is an active environmental education practitioner in communities in North Carolina and beyond.

She oversees an undergraduate environmental education minor at N.C. State, serves on the N.C. Environmental Education Certification Advisory Board, and is active in both the Environmental Educators of North Carolina and the North American Association of Environmental Education. She enjoys partnering with organizations to support program evaluation, including work with the N.C. Science Museums, Muddy Sneakers, the N.C. Arboretum and the National Recreation Foundation.

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