AESS William R. Freudenburg Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award seeks to recognize and advance the spirit of AESS co-founder, the late Professor William R. Freudenburg, whose seminal work in risk perception, social disruption and the causes of environmental degradation helped to shape our contemporary discipline. Through this award, AESS honors members of the profession who have also devoted their lives to strengthening our field by mentoring the next generation of environmental scientists and activists, by fostering disciplinary and human diversity in environmental science and studies, and by engaging in outreach to critical decision makers and the public. Involvement in AESS generally weighs heavily in the decision. People from traditionally marginalized groups are encouraged to apply.

Award Recipients

Dr. James “Jim” Proctor

Professor Environmental Studies, Lewis and Clark College

Dr. Jim Proctor is an American geographer, the editor and author of numerous books and articles and professor of environmental studies at Lewis and Clark College. Proctor has a broad academic background spanning the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. He has a long history of engagement with the ESS community through scholarship in environmental theory, mentorship and formation of a non-profit called Alder Creek Community Forest. More information about Dr. Proctor can be found on his website.

2023 remarks shared here, by permission of the author.

Dr. David Hassenzahl

Dean, College of Natural Sciences, California State University Chico

Dr. David M. Hassenzahl has spent his career in environmental studies and sciences; his teaching and research have used the lens of risk analysis and uncertainty to explore a variety of topics including climate change, energy, and water. He is a founding member of AESS and former President and Secretary of the association. Hassenzahl is currently dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico. 


Dr. Abigail Abrash Walton

Director, Environmental Studies MS and Interdisciplinary MA Programs

Director, Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability master’s concentration, Environmental Studies 

Co-director, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience, Environmental Studies

Dr. Abrash Walton serves as an administrative leader and faculty in Antioch University’s Department of Environmental Studies. Her list of leadership roles include founding Steering Committee member of Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy, advisory board member of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, program directory for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, and presently Director of Environmental Studies and Interdisciplinary Programs and Co-directory of the Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience program. Professor Abrash Walton prioritizes social justice and advocacy in sustainability efforts, which mirrors the priorities and values that are increasingly representing the AESS community. Her commitment to AESS is particularly strong, and she continues to drive collaborative efforts.

Kimberly Smith

Professor of Environmental Studies and Political Science at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota

Dr. Smith is a founding member and Past-President of AESS. She serves as Professor of Environmental Studies and Political Science at Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota, a highly selective, private liberal arts college.  Professor Smith is a long-time and unfailing supporter of AESS.  She has attracted and supported new membership and new scholars in AESS by leading workshops on “How to Get Published” in Environmental Studies and Sciences, chairing the Nominations Committee and working tirelessly to improve AESS.  She is a top scholar in Environmental Studies and Political Science, and through her work has advanced our understanding of, and capacity to effectively address, political science and ethical issues in environmental studies and sciences.  Her six books and dozens of articles are widely recognized and award winning.

Read more about Dr. Smith

Wil Burns

Co-Director and Professor of Research, Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy, American University’s School of International Service

Dr. Wil Burns is a Professor of Research and Founding Co-Director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. He is also a Senior Research Fellow for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Previously, he served as the founding Co-Executive Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, a scholarly initiative of the School of International Service at American University. He also served as the Director of the Energy Policy & Climate program at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. Prior to becoming an academic, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs for the State of Wisconsin and worked in the non-governmental sector for twenty years, including as Executive Director of the Pacific Center for International Studies, a think-tank that focused on implementation of international wildlife treaty regimes, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

He is also the former President of the Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences, and former Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law interest group of the American Society of International Law and Chair of the International Wildlife Law Interest group of the Society. He also served as founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy and Case Studies in the Environment.

He has published over 80 articles and chapters in law, science, and policy journals and books, and has co-edited four books. He holds a Ph.D. in International Environmental Law from the University of Wales-Cardiff School of Law. His current areas of research focus are: climate geoengineering, climate loss and damage and the effectiveness of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.

Dorceta E. Taylor

James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Professor; Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Professor Taylor’s research interests include urban agriculture, food access, and food insecurity; institutional diversity; analysis of the composition of the environmental workforce; social movement analysis; environmental justice; leisure and natural resource use; poverty; and race, gender, and ethnic relations. Her current research includes an assessment of food access in Michigan and other parts of the country. A recently-published article on food justice in Detroit entitled, “Food Availability and the Food Desert Frame in Detroit: An Overview of the City’s Food Systemstates” (Environmental Practice), exemplify this work.

Other recent research activities include the 2014 national report analyzing racial and gender diversity in the environmental field — see The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations:  Mainstream NGOs, Foundations, and Government Agencies. Her 2009 book, The Environment and the People in American Cities (Duke University Press), is an award-winning urban environmental history book. She published an edited volume in 2010 entitled, Environment and Social Justice:  An International Perspective (Emerald Press).  She published oxic Communities:  Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility (NYU Press) in 2014. Her newest book, Power, Privilege, and Environmental Protection: Social Inequality and the Rise of the American Conservation Movement (Duke University Press) is currently in press; it is slated for publication in 2015.

Patricia M. DeMarco, Ph.D.

Forest Hills Borough Council, 2016-2020
Visiting Researcher & Writer, Carnegie Mellon University
Senior Scholar, Chatham University

For six decades, Dr. Patricia “Patty” DeMarco has been a tireless champion for the environment. Her most recent work, soon to be released by University of Pittsburgh Press, Pathways to a Sustainable Future, draws on examples from Pittsburgh’s “second renaissance” to provide inspirational examples for a sustainable future.

Dr. DeMarco earned her PhD in Genetics in 1971, at a time that women were actively discouraged from that field. She has published in each decade since the 1960s, focusing on energy and environment through the 1970s to 1990s, and since then increasingly focusing on reimagining Rachel Carson’s call to ensure clean air, water, and soils as the foundation of a sustainable economy. Dr. DeMarco has been a professor (teaching environmental ethics and politics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Chatham University, University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University), filmmaker (her film “The Power of One Voice-A 50 Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson” was shown at AESS 2015), organizer (hosting wide-reaching conferences on green chemistry and the Marcellus Shale), radio host (her current show “Just Transitions- Labor, Environment and Health” is broadcast on The Union Edge Radio in 32 cities), politician (currently serving as a Forest Hills Borough Council Member), commissioner (Regulatory Commission of Alaska), and center director (Rachel Carson Homestead Association and Chatham University’s Rachel Carson Institute).

Dr. DeMarco has spent half a decade dedicated to truly meaningful interdisciplinarity. Originally trained as a PhD geneticist, she became a thought leader on energy science and policy, championed “Silent Spring,” a symphonic piece that premiered at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and helped to get a major Pittsburgh bridge named after Rachel Carson. Dr. DeMarco is a tireless advocate, rigorous researcher, valued mentor and inspirational speaker. AESS is honored to recognize her achievements!

Read Patty DeMarco’s acceptance speech, given in Tucson at AESS 2017.


Chair of the Environmental Studies Department
Professor of Environmental Studies, Philosophy
Founding Director of Environmental Studies and Animal Studies
Affiliated Professor of Bioethics
Affiliated Professor Law
New York University

Dale Jamieson is Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy, Affiliated Professor of Law, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, and Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at New York University. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College, London, and Adjunct Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Formerly he was Henry R. Luce Professor in Human Dimensions of Global Change at Carleton College, and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he was the only faculty member to have won both the Dean’s award for research in the social sciences and the Chancellor’s award for research in the humanities. He has held visiting appointments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Cornell, Princeton, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State University, and Monash University in Australia, and is a former member of the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

He is the author of Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle to Stop Climate Change Failed–and What It Means For Our Future (Oxford, 2014), Ethics and the Environment: An Introduction (Cambridge, 2008), and Morality’s Progress: Essays on Humans, Other Animals, and the Rest of Nature (Oxford, 2002). He is also the editor or co-editor of nine books, most recently Reflecting on Nature: Readings in Environmental Philosophy, 2nd Edition (Oxford, 2012) with Lori Gruen and Chris Schlottmann, and has published more than one hundred articles and book chapters. His most recent book is Love in the Anthropocene (OR, 2015), a collection of short stories and essays written with the novelist, Bonnie Nadzam. He is on the editorial boards of several journals including Environmental Humanities, Environmental Ethics; Science, Technology, and Human Values; Science and Engineering Ethics; Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science; The Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics; and the Journal of Applied Philosophy. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Office of Global Programs in the National Atmospheric and Aeronautics Administration.

View Dale’s acceptance speech, which was delivered at the Smithsonian National Zoo.


Editor-in-Chief, Journal for Environmental Studies and Sciences
Director Emeritus, Bob Graham Center for Public Service
Professor of Political Science, University of Florida
Excerpts from the acceptance speech:

“In the classroom we’re both teachers and gamblers.  All environmental education is a gamble the future. We’re betting that what we say in the classroom is important, maybe essential, to creating a quality of future civic life that is environmentally benign and resilient. And we’re gambling that someone is listening. I know that many future civic activists, environmental policy professionals and political leaders are sitting in my classroom. They’re present in your classrooms, labs, and field work, as well.”

“I believe that an understanding of the political foundation of environmental policymaking is essential for any education that aspires to create environmental literacy. I like to remind my students that we know the scientific or technical solution to practically every environmental problem they can name. A huge challenge remains to find a successful political strategy to translate that knowledge into effective solutions.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the classroom discussing the Odd Couple of Environmentalism–Science and Environmental Politics.  I introduce my students to the Odd Couple because I believe that environmental literacy includes understanding how science informs environmental policymaking and discriminating between the use and abuse of science in sound environmental public policy.”
“Why spend so much time with the Odd Couple? Like it or not, the Odd Couple must travel together toward whatever benign environmental future we seek. Evolving environmental policymaking is now driven by increasingly vigorous, organized scientific advocacy organizations and supported by a rapidly enlarging base of sophisticated scientific information on a global scale. Environmental science is now an essential vocabulary in any intelligent discourse of environmental policy.”

“I want my students’ environmental literacy to include:

  • Knowledge of  the essential science undergirding important environmental issues;
  • Awareness of the value, and the limits, of science in making environmental policy;
  • Understanding that  scientific controversy is sometimes inseparable, and even necessary, in environmental policymaking, not evidence of flawed science;
  • Recognition that translating superior environmental science and technology into effective environmental management requires civic activism, political skill, and governmental agency;
  • Loss of political innocence by understanding how politics inevitably influences how science is translated into environmental policymaking.”

“Let’s discourage another outbreak of derphood among our political activists and leaders. “Derps” are characters in the TV series South Park, part of the current civic discussion about climate change, who keep saying the same things no matter how much evidence accumulates that it’s completely wrong.   Let’s find a way not only to ‘speak truth to power’ but to ‘speak science to power.’”


Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Adjunct Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Policy Sciences
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Acceptance Speech Available Here

Susan Clark has had a profound impact on the field of environmental studies and sciences through teaching, applied conservation, and scholarship – each of which she has conducted with great aplomb. She has selflessly dedicated her career to integrating knowledge from many fields of science and policy toward environmental problem solving. Her efforts have inspired and influenced the careers of several generations of environmental professionals, had substantial direct impact on the conservation of several high-profile species and ecosystems (including the eastern barred bandicoot and koala in Australia, the black-footed ferret and several species of large carnivores in the American West, and the entirety of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), and resulted in the promotion of knowledge and experience through her many books and hundreds of articles.

Her greatest influence has been on generations of graduate students and professionals during her nearly 40 years as a teacher and mentor, and especially during more than two decades spent at Yale University, where she remains a leader among a world-class interdisciplinary faculty. Dr. Clark has won many awards in recognition of her pedagogy and mentoring, including multiple teaching and advising awards at Yale, a Mentoring Award from the Society for the Policy Sciences, and an Outstanding Contribution Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for her dedication to conservation education. In further recognition of her value to Yale she was appointed in 2005 as the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Chair and Professor (Adjunct) of Wildlife Ecology and Policy.

She has also worked for nearly four decades on the frontlines of conservation in the Rocky Mountains and around the world. In the U.S., Dr. Clark was director of the Yellowstone Institute, the educational arm of Yellowstone National Park, and was also the founder and first president the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, a thriving organization designed to provide interdisciplinary advice to the agencies and organizations responsible for conservation in the Yellowstone region. She has been a member of three IUCN Species Survival Commissions (for mustelids, reintroductions, and monotremes, respectively) and the Polar Bear Conservation Committee of Alberta, Canada, and has served on the U.S. Black-footed Ferret Recovery Team. For her tireless work in endangered species science and policy, she has received a Presidential Award from the Chicago Zoological Foundation and a special recognition by the Minister for Conservation and Land Management of Victoria, Australia. She has served on numerous boards of directors and scientific advisory committees, including the AESS governing board.

In her scholarship Dr. Clark has produced countless cases and advanced the development of conservation problem solving theory in nearly 300 papers and monographs and several influential books. Her most notable contribution to environmental and conservation theory is her book The Policy Process, a 2002 primer on conservation policy used widely in graduate and undergraduate courses in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. Her several recent books have helped to promote greater understanding of the complexity of conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the region with which she is most closely associated.


Founder of Agroecology Program, UC Santa Cruz

As the 2013 Freudenburg Award recipient, Stephen Gliessman is internationally recognized leader in the field of agroecology. At his current post with UC Santa Cruz’s Environmental Studies Department, his  research is carried out within the framework of ecological interactions in agroecosystems and the conversion of conventional food systems to sustainability, from the field to the table. Projects are in progress on the application of agroecological concepts to food system educational and extension programs around the world. His research stresses the inter-disciplinary interaction between culture and environment as reflected in our food systems. His most current work is connected to the non-profit Community Agroecology Network that partners with rural communities in Central America and Mexico to develop sustainable farming practices, enable food security and sovereignty, and create opportunities for young people within their communities so they become the leaders in local sustainability movements.


Department of Sociology
Oklahoma State University

Click here to download Dr. Dunlap’s Award Presentation

Riley E. Dunlap received his Ph.D. (1973) from the University of Oregon, where he was supported by a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from Resources for the Future, Inc.  He joined the faculty of Washington State University in 1972 and rose to full Professor.  In 1997 Dunlap was appointed Boeing Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sociology at WSU, a position he held until 2002 when he resigned to become Donner Professor at Åbo Akademi University in Turku/Åbo, Finland.  He joined the Oklahoma State University faculty in January of 2006, and was appointed Regents Professor of Sociology in July of 2007 and the Laurence L. and Georgia Ina Dresser Professor in July of 2011.

For over three decades Dunlap has studied the nature and sources of “environmental concern,” trends in public opinion toward environmental issues, and the linkage between public opinion and environmental policy-making.  As a result of this work Dunlap was appointed Gallup Fellow in Environment at the George H. Gallup International Institute, where he served as Project Director for a 24-nation environmental opinion survey in 1992.  In 1999 he was appointed Gallup Scholar for Environment with the Gallup Organization, serving as advisor for the Gallup Poll’s environmental surveys.

Dunlap’s early research examined the link between traditional American beliefs and values (e.g., individualism, laissez faire, and progress) and environmental attitudes and behavior.  He was the first researcher to examine empirically the relationship between acceptance of the basic beliefs and values constituting our society’s “Dominant Social Paradigm” (or “DSP”) and concern for environmental quality.  He also developed a measure of the core elements of the “environmental paradigm” or “worldview” that has begun to challenge the DSP in most industrialized nations.  The “New Environmental Paradigm Scale” (revised at the New Ecological Paradigm Scale in 2000) has become the most widely used measure of environmental concern, employed in hundreds of studies in numerous nations around the world.

His current research focuses primarily on climate change, including analyses of public opinion toward climate change, the growing political polarization over climate science and policy, and the sources and nature of climate change denial. Dunlap serves as Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Sociology and Global Climate Change (2010-2012), charged with developing and synthesizing sociological analyses of the social, cultural, political and economic dimensions of climate change.

Dunlap has been very active in the development of “environmental sociology,” serving as Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Environmental Sociology, the Rural Sociological Society’s Natural Resources Research Group and the Society for the Study of Social Problems’ Environmental Problems Division.   Most recently he served as President (1994-98) of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Environment and Society (RC 24).

With William Catton, Dunlap co-authored a series of articles that defined and codified the field of environmental sociology, and earned them a “Distinguished Contribution Award” from the ASA Section and an “Award of Merit” from the RSS Research Group.  Their contributions were acknowledged in an article, “The Emergence of Environmental Sociology:  Contributions of Riley E. Dunlap and William R. Catton, Jr.,” in a special issue of Sociological Inquiry (November, 1989) devoted to profiles of “individuals whose contributions … prompted the exploration of new frontiers of sociological study.”  More recently Catton’s and Dunlap’s work was the subject of a five-article symposium for the “Citation Classics and Foundational Works” section of Organization and Environment (December, 2008), a leading environmental social science journal.

Dunlap’s work has been published in sociology journals such as the Annual Review of Sociology, American Sociological Review, and Rural Sociology; in social science journals such as Public Opinion Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, and the Policy Studies Journal; and in multidisciplinary environmental journals such as Environment and Behavior, Environment, and Environmental Politics.  He is senior editor of American Environmentalism (Taylor and Francis, 1992), Public Reactions to Nuclear Waste (Duke University Press, 1993), the Handbook of Environmental Sociology (Greenwood, 2002) and Sociological Theory and the Environment (Rowman-Littlefield, 2002) and co-author of Viewing the World Ecologically (Westview, 1992).

In 2000 Dunlap was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and that year he also received the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award from WSU’s College of Liberal Arts.  In 2002 he was awarded the Excellence in Research Award from the Rural Sociological Society in recognition of his contributions to the field of environmental sociology, and in 2010 was elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division on Population and Environmental Psychology.


Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar
Yale University

The Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) is pleased to bestow on Dr. Tucker the inaugural William Freudenburg Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes Dr. Tucker’s significant contributions to the field of environmental studies and sciences.  Her long career of cross-disciplinary research, teaching and outreach has helped diverse audiences gain a greater understanding of the natural world and human ideas and activities in relation to it.  Through her work, we have come to a deeper understanding of how social, physical, and ideological factors in environmental problems are intricately linked. The award will be presented Saturday, June 25, 2011 during the AESS conference banquet dinner in Burlington, Vermont.

Dr. Tucker’s Biography:

Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. She teaches in the joint MA program in religion and ecology and directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology with her husband, John Grim.

Her concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to organize with John Grim a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard (1995-1998) . Together they are series editors for the ten volumes from the conferences, including Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), and Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000).

After the conference series she and Grim founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology at a culminating conference at the United Nations in 1998. To help shape this new interdisciplinary field they edited Worldviews and Ecology(Orbis, 1994) and a Daedalus volume titled Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (2001). Tucker also wrote Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court Press, 2003). Tucker and Grim studied world religions with Thomas Berry in graduate school and worked closely with him for some 30 years. Tucker edited several of Berry’s books: The Great Work (Random House, 1999), Evening Thoughts (Sierra Club Books and University of California Press, 2006), The Sacred Universe (Columbia University Press, 2009), and with Grim, The Christian Future and the Fate of the Earth (Orbis, 2009).

Tucker has been involved with the Earth Charter since its inception. She served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and is a member of the Earth Charter International Council.

She also serves on the Advisory Boards of Orion Magazine, the Garrison Institute, and Climate Central.