Last month, the Indianapolis Zoo announced the 39 Nominees for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize. It received a great deal of attention (here’s the story that ran in the Indianapolis Star, for example: 2014 Nominees — Star ). The Nominees span the globe and represent a broad range of species including chimpanzees, snow leopards, sea turtles, giant pandas, bats, swans and many more. As you know, these men and women are real heroes: they’re people who have had memorable adventures and brilliant victories that have quite literally changed the world.
But how do we determine who wins the $250,000 cash award and the prestigious Lilly Medal?
Actually, “we” don’t.
Right from the start, we decided that an internationally-regarded award needed an internationally-regarded group of decision-makers. Every two years, we recruit some of the most well-known and distinguished conservationists in the world. They comprise two groups, the Nominating Committee and the Jury. The Nominating Committee reviews all accepted nominations and selects six Finalists. The Jury reviews those six Finalists and chooses the Winner. It is not an easy task, and it requires not only some very specialized knowledge, but also a great deal of wisdom and a considerable amount of hard work as they research and review each candidate.
We are honored to share with you the names of the individuals who are serving on the Nominating Committee and Jury for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize:
• Dr. Onnie Byers, Chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission Conservation Breeding Specialist Group;
• Dr. Malcolm Hunter, Distinguished Professor, University of Maine; Author, Fundamentals of Conservation Biology;
• Dr. Jorg Junhold, President, World Association of Zoos & Aquariums;
• Peter Knights, Executive Director, WildAid;
• Cyril Kormos, J.D., Vice President for Policy, The WILD Foundation;
• Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and Environment;
• Nancy V. Elder, Community Leader (Indianapolis Zoo Board Representative);
• Nancy B. Hunt, Community Leader (Community Representative);
• Robert Shumaker, Ph.D., Vice President of Conservation and Life Sciences, Indianapolis Zoo (Staff Representative).
• Dr. Corey Bradshaw, Director, Ecological Modeling, The Environment Institute, University of Adelaide;
• Steve Burns, Chair, AZA Field Conservation Committee;
• Dr. Stephen Hubbell, Distinguished Professor, UCLA; Sr. Scientist, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute;
• Dr. Norman Myers, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science, Duke University; Visiting Fellow, Green College, Oxford University;
• Dr. Christoph Schwitzer, Head of Research, Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation;
• David Yarnold, President & CEO, National Audubon Society;
• Myrta J. Pulliam, Director of Special Projects, Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis Zoo Board Representative);
• Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc. (Community Representative);
• Paul B. Grayson, Deputy Director and Senior Vice President of Science and Conservation, Indianapolis Zoo.
It is hard to believe, but we are just 12 months away from awarding the 2014 Indianapolis Prize! I’ll keep you informed of the major milestones, and you can also read about the Prize on its website, this blog and follow the Indianapolis Prize on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In the meantime, please mark your calendars for the Indianapolis Prize Gala on Sept. 27, 2014, at the JW Marriott!
Michael I. Crowther
President & CEO
Lilly Medal © 2013, Indianapolis Zoological Society. Indianapolis Prize Gala photo by Banayote Photography.