CLEMSON, S.C. — Reed Noss, provost’s Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Central Florida and president of the Florida Institute for Conservation Science, was among three individuals recognized at the annual George B. Hartzog Jr. luncheon held at Clemson University Oct. 30.

The annual program recognizes exemplary leadership in addressing environmental issues and concerns in honor of the seventh director of the National Park Service.

Noss received the Benton H. Box Award 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. The award is named for the former dean of Clemson’s College of Forest and Recreation Resources.

Noss has been a major contributor to his field, producing more than 300 publications on the application of science to species-level and ecosystem-level conservation planning, restoration and management.

Noss gave the annual George B. Hartzog Jr.  lecture at Clemson’s Strom Thurmond Institute. He spoke on “Trying to Think Big in Conservation.”

Others honored at the luncheon include:

  • David Vela, who received the Robert G. Stanton Award for sustained and innovative achievement in promoting racial and ethnic diversity in the management of North America’s natural, historic and cultural heritage. Vela has been Southeast regional director of the National Park Service for four years. He worked his way through the ranks starting as the iconic National Park Service park ranger and serving as superintendent of numerous parks. Director Jonathan B. Jarvis recently named Vela the new associate director for Workforce Management for the park service.
  • Dan Wenk received the Walter T. Cox Award for sustained achievement in public service, providing leadership in administration of public lands and for forming policies that affect natural and cultural resources. Wenk is the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, managing more than 2.2 million acres of park land and 800 staff. Previously, he served four years as deputy director of operations for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., and nine months as acting director of the National Park Service during the transition of the Obama Administration.

The annual George B. Hartzog, Jr. awards program recognizes exemplary leadership in addressing environmental issues and concerns in honor of the seventh director of the National Park Service.

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