AESS Announces 2023 Award Winners

Contact: Carolyn Anthon 

Office: (202) 503-4638 

July 21, 2023

For immediate release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) recognized three recipients of the 2023 AESS Awards during the AESS Annual Conference, July 9-12, 2023. 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.  

2023 Award Recipients

Dr. James Proctor 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. Jim Proctor is a Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College, with a broad academic background spanning the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and research interests in environmental theory. For over 30 years, Jim has been an innovative and productive scholar in Environmental Studies, an attentive and creative teacher in the ES classroom, and a generous and supportive mentor to many others in our interdisciplinary space. Jim was one of the founding members of AESS, and has written extensively about the discipline itself as well as many essential ideas in ESS, including social constructivism, environmental education, ideological conflict, and ethics. Most recently, he has developed the Ecotypes survey, an impressive synthesis of a variety of foundational ideas in ESS, and he is also heading the AESS Frameworks Project, a group working to understand and improve how ideological frameworks are understood and deployed in ESS classrooms. He has an incredible ability to bring people together around interesting topics and to create meaningful products from those efforts.

Dr. Lisa Powell has 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. Lisa Powell is Director of the Center for Human and Environmental Sustainability, and Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Agriculture at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Lisa is an interdisciplinary scholar of environments and food systems, whose research, teaching, and program development work weaves together her training in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, as well as her life-long involvement in her family’s farm. In her role as Director of Sweet Briar’s Center for Human and Environmental Sustainability, Lisa collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and surrounding communities on sustainability initiatives. She leads the academic and community-focused aspects of SBC’s agricultural areas, including the greenhouse, apiary, vineyard, garden, and forests. As a researcher, Lisa pursues a range of questions that all ultimately address human-environment relationships, most frequently in the contexts of food systems, policy, land use, and education.

Our Student Paper Award winner is Mr Peizhe Li . 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.

Peizhe Li’s paper is titled “Climate adaptation planning for cultural heritages in coastal tourism destinations: A multi-objective optimization approach.” Peizhe Li is a graduate research and teaching assistant in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. His research interests include human dimension of climate change, adaptation planning for cultural heritages, and tourists’ stress, emotions, and coping. He is passionate about addressing and exploring environmental and social issues of tourism and park management through research, education, and community engagement. We look forward to his continued impact on the world of ESS, as well as participation in the AESS Community.