At the 91st Annual General Meeting of Nature Vancouver, held on 23 April 2009, President, Cynthia Crampton presented the Annual Nature Vancouver Awards to following members for their volunteer work.
The Kaye and Charles Ney Award
(Citation by Martin K. McNicholl)
Adrian Grant-Duff’s request three days before Nature Vancouver’s Annual General Meeting to “tell me all you can about Jude Grass’s contribution to the VNHS” was easy to satisfy, as her contributions are so many that gathering a bunch of thoughts “off the top of my head” provided more detail than could be included in an award presentation. Now here is a somewhat expanded version.
Jude’s contributions have ranged from the most mundane, ongoing tasks necessary for the smooth operation of a society, such as feeding its members, to high executive positions with responsibility for the governance of the society, co-ordination of data collection, training of leaders through informal field trips and formal workshops through publication of both short-term information and longer-term data.
Jude joined the VNHS in 1974. From 1977 to 1985, she was a member of the Board of Directors, serving as President from 1978 to1981. In 2000, she rejoined the Board where she has remained to the present, acting as the Board’s liaison with the Birding Section, and co-ordinating speakers for meetings of both general and birding sections. She has been Chair of both the Birding Section Committee and the Vancouver Bird Records Committee. She has also served previously as Chair of the Bird and Mammal Section (1983), Secretary (2000-2005), a member of the Conservation Committee (1993), a member of an Endangered Species/Habitat Poster Committee (1985-1986), liaison with the field trips coordinator (2003-2004), and one of VNHS’s representatives on the board of Nature B.C. (1982-1993). From 1975 to 1980, she coordinated monthly raptor counts in the Vancouver area, as well as a Bald Eagle survey in the Lower Mainland in the 1980s. The raptor count was resumed in 1998. At the prompting of John Toochin, she was the founding editor of the Birding Section’s newsletter, the Wandering Tattler, editing it for 13 years from 1977 to 1991 and from 2005 to the present. She also regularly contributes articles and chapters to the society’s two newsletters, journal and special publications, sometimes co-authored with her husband Al, and organizes workshops and training sessions on first aid, leading field trips, photography and raptor identification and survey techniques. She leads or co-leads field trips and transports Al to lead more.
Although her contributions listed in the previous paragraph might suggest an all-consuming dedication to Nature Vancouver alone, Jude also promotes its objectives in work with like-minded organizations. On the provincial scale, she has represented Nature Vancouver on the board of Nature BC (the Federation of B.C. Naturalists). She is currently the Federation’s Lower Mainland Regional Coordinator and has served terms as the Federation’s Corresponding Secretary, Education Chair, Education and Recreation Committee Chair, Lower Fraser Valley Canada Goose Committee delegate (1978), Lower Mainland Regional Vice-President, President (1984-1987 and 1991-1993) and Past President (1987-1989 and 1993). She was Editor of BC Naturalist from 1985 to 1997. She has also served on the board of the Federation’s long-term savings agency, the FBCN Foundation, including terms as its President and its Secretary. Her current and past terms of service in various VNHS and FBCN positions have also overlapped with terms in various positions on two other FBCN clubs, the Burke Mountain Naturalists (President for four years and currently their representative on the board of the Federation) and Langley Field Naturalists (current President). She represents the Langley Field Naturalists on the board of the Campbell Valley Park Association and has served on the board of Nature Canada (the Canadian Nature Federation). In addition to Jude’s direct contributions to the work of Nature Vancouver and the national and provincial federations, she has further contributed to the goals of these organizations by helping to build and maintain connections among them, and between them and other organizations with overlapping interests and objectives. Her professional work, first in B.C. Parks, then from 1984 until her recent retirement in the Parks Planning and Research Department of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, helped maintain and promote good communication between naturalists and the government agencies that should be serving them. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies since its inception in 2004, and as its Secretary since 2005. She joined the Board of the B.C. Field Ornithologists in 2006. She has also contributed to the work of Birds on the Bay, the B.C. Waterfowl Society and the B.C. Wild Bird Trust and is involved with the B.C. Breeding Bird Atlas project of Bird Studies Canada. In addition to these many naturalist organizations, she is active in the scouting movement, serving as Deputy Regional Commissioner of Scouts Canada.
Jude’s contributions to conservation, natural history study and nature education in B.C.’s Lower Mainland are also not restricted to club efforts. In 1976, she succeeded Neil Dawe under her maiden name, Jude Fuller, as compiler and organizer of the highly successful Ladner Christmas Bird Count. She and Al, her husband, organized and compiled that count again in 1978, and Jude has compiled or co-compiled it every year since. They also wrote the chapter on the Vancouver area in Canada’s first nation-wide bird-finding guide. Al is an outstanding example of an old-fashioned general naturalist, skilled in identifying and observing a wide array of plants and animals and he was instrumental in teaching Jude and their late son, Danny, to identify many of the beings that delight us naturalists. These skills, combined with Jude’s organizational abilities, have made them an eminently effective team, working on behalf of conservation and nature education in B.C. as a whole, and especially in the Lower Mainland. Jude’s skills and contributions are not restricted to conserving and enjoying nature. She also contributes substantially to the comfort, well-being and sociability of naturalists by preparing or helping to prepare post-count dinners for the three largest Lower Mainland Christmas bird counts, and meals for annual general meetings and other events of such groups as Birds on the Bay and the Wild Bird Trust of B.C.
Jude’s efforts on behalf of VNHS and other groups have been recognized previously. She and Al shared VNHS’s Beamish Award for Environmental Education in 1996. The provincial Federation awarded her an Outstanding Service Award in 1998 and its prestigious Elton Anderson Award in 1989, in recognition of “outstanding service to the FBCN in the field of conservation”. In 2000, she and Al were both made Honourary Life Members of the Langley Field Naturalists and given City of Burnaby Environmental Education Awards. In 2003, she and Al were both awarded Queen’s Jubilee Medals. I applaud Nature Vancouver for adding the Kay and Charles Ney Award for Exemplary Service to this list of much-deserved awards to such a deserving recipient!
The Frank Sanford Award for Community Service
Not Awarded this year
The Davidson Award for Conservation
Nature Vancouver is proud to present the Davidson Award to Rob Butler, a member of our society since 1968, and of our Board of Directors for a term. Employed by Environment Canada, he is that rare combination, a professional scientist who is also a strong supporter of Nature Vancouver. As a biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service, he has done extensive research on Great Blue Herons and Western Sandpipers. Rob has authored two books: The Great Blue Heron (UBC Press 1997) and The Jade Coast (Key Porter Books 2003), the latter, a book about the ecology of the North Pacific Ocean. He is founder and President of the Pacific WildLife Foundation, and has long been involved with the Imagine BC Series at the SFU Centre for Dialogue where he speaks for the protection of nature.
Rob is a founding director of the Young Naturalists’ Club of B.C. and a member of its Board. The motto of the YNC is “Young naturalists observe and conserve”. Rob was a young naturalist when he first joined Nature Vancouver, and he has observed and conserved nature all his life.
In his work as a conservationist, Rob persuaded the provincial government to designate the Fraser River Delta a 'Hemisphere Reserve' under the Western Hemisphere Reserve Network (WHSRN). His research in Panama contributed to a WHSRN 'Hemisphere Reserve' designation for the Bay of Panama. He also was instrumental in establishing the Canadian 'Important Bird Areas' program in which he was a member of the technical committee that reviewed all IBA nominations in Canada. His bird research also was used in the nomination to designate Wildlife Management Areas in Boundary Bay, Sturgeon Banks and Tofino Mudflats.
He has written opinion pieces in The Vancouver Sun where he also has a regular blog. Rob now coordinates the BC Breeding Bird Atlas for Bird Studies Canada. He is also a Fellow of the American Ornithologists Union, Fellow International of the Explorers Club and Outstanding Alumnus of Simon Fraser University where he is an adjunct professor of Biological Sciences.
The Kay Beamish Award for Nature Education
Not Awarded this year
An active member of the Camp Committee, Elly has done an excellent job as camp Registrar, capably handling over 100 applicants for each of the last two Camps held. This is a difficult position: there are rules, there are deadlines, monies to be collected, and requests and pressures from individuals wanting Camp 1 or Camp 2. Elly takes charge. Elly sorts it all out. Thank you very much Elly, and please continue your good work.
David is a member of the Camp Committee. He joined the Society because of the opportunity to become involved in the Summer Camp program. He has been a Camp administrator and Manager, effective, efficient and a problem solver. A useful member of Nature Vancouver, David has served a term on the Board, produced some excellent ideas, and efficiently handled the outreach program for new members. At present, he is a member of the Finance Committee.
Martin has been a member of the Birding Section Committee from1997 to 2001 and since 2003. He has edited Minutes and contributed to NV publications and books. He is an authority on birds, their identification and behaviour, and keeps the Birding Section up-to-date with reports on bird name changes. He is on the Vancouver and B.C. committees that adjudicate rare bird sightings. His research on bird topics, and species write-ups for ornithology books and journals, as well as his biographical sketches of ornithologists and other naturalists, give weight to his pronouncements on all matters ornithological. His trivia questions for the annual Vancouver Christmas Bird Count quiz are an annual challenge for us. His field work, in particular these days, the collecting of data on birds at the Vancouver Airport, contributes not only to the better management of birds and their habitat, but also to a better appreciation and enthusiasm for the task on the part of the airport employees, and a greater understanding on our part of the problems involved in reconciling bird life with the safety needs of an international airport.
Juliet volunteered to do the Conservation Committee Meeting Minutes, an exacting task, always done promptly. Furthermore, Juliet volunteered to be the Committee Contact person, and has used her excellent communication skills to reach the group. Her contribution to research and letter–writing to decision makers has taken a load off other long–term Committee members. Thanks, Juliet, for your time and effort.
Rosemary has been associated with Nature Vancouver for about 42 years. Her main contribution has been on the education of the members and the public. Rosemary has promoted the idea of using guest speakers for public education on nature at the Events held by the Vancouver Public Library. She continues her work of outreach to the public as one of the organizers for Salmonberry Days, a festival of field trips and talks held each May since 1997 by the Dunbar Residents Association. In the past, Rosemary assisted Bill Merilees in running popular bus field trips around the province and beyond for Nature Vancouver and BC Nature. Photography of nature is one of her joys. She has contributed most of the photographs used for the many talks on botany by Terry Taylor. Most notable of these was the highly acclaimed Cypress Provincial Park presentation, in November 2007. She has also contributed excellent photographs and articles to Discovery, the Vancouver Naturalist and our other publications.
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