AESS Announces 2021 Award Winners

Contact: Carolyn Anthon

canthon@aessonline.org 

Office: (202) 503-4638 

June 10, 2021

For immediate release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) has selected the four recipients of the 2021 AESS Awards to be recognized at a virtual ceremony during the AESS Annual Conference, June 28-July 1, 2021. Since 2010, these awards have recognized faculty, scholars and students in Environmental Studies and Sciences at all career stages who exemplify the highest standards of teaching, scholarship and service to the AESS community.

The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences is a scholarly and professional organization that promotes interdisciplinary research, teaching and service for faculty and students in the more than 1,000 Environmental academic programs nationwide and beyond.  

2021 Award Recipients

Dr. Abigail Abrash Walton has been awarded the William R. Freudenburg Lifetime Achievement Award.  Named for an AESS founder, Dr. William R. Freudenburg, this Award seeks to recognize and advance the spirit of AESS co-founder, the late Professor William R. Freudenburg, who spawned a new generation of environmental professionals and academics who have pursued interdisciplinary research to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. 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. 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.

Dr. Chelsie Romulo and Dr. Cassandra Brooks have been awarded the AESS Early Career Award. This Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and promising future potential for teaching, research, policy, or activism in any field of environmental science and studies.  Through this award, AESS honors individuals who are early in their careers, but have made significant contributions to knowledge, community and diversity in environmental studies and science, and have a career plan and trajectory that promise to continue and bolster such contributions. Dr. Romulo has produced outstanding applied scholarship with massive potential for impact. Her research at the University of Northern Colorado, where she is an assistant professor in Geography, GIS, and Sustainability focuses on conservation and natural resource management using a combination of remote sensing and economic analyses to understand impacts and options for natural resource use. Dr. Cassandra Brooks is driven to understand and contribute to environmental governance. She embraces interdisciplinary studies drawing on marine science, environmental policy, and science communication. Dr. Brooks is an assistant professor in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Professors Romulo and Brooks exemplify the spirit of AESS in terms of scholarly and participatory approaches to ESS.

Our Student Paper Award winner is Ms. Urooj Raja. The AESS Student Paper Award recognizes the potential in graduate student research to create new insights and impact in environmental science and studies, and to engage with environmental policy, practice, and education. Ms. Raja is a PhD Candidate in environmental studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research examines the potential of emerging technology like virtual reality to shrink psychological distance to ‘wicked’ environmental problems. She has garnered awards for her research and her work has been highlighted by media ranging from the New York Times to the Washington Post and used by The United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). We look forward to her continued impact on the world of ESS, as well as participation in the AESS Community.

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