Sigourney Weaver, Maya Lin, and Women of the Gulf to be Honored by Audubon

May 20, 2011

The National Audubon Society Announces 2011 Rachel Carson Award Winners May 23; NBC’s Anne Thompson to Emcee

NEW YORK, May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Audubon Society will honor Sigourney Weaver and Maya Lin with the Rachel Carson Award at the organization’s eighth annual Women in Conservation Luncheon at The Plaza in New York on May 23. The prestigious award, launched in 2004, recognizes visionary women whose dedication, talent and energy have advanced the environmental movement locally and globally.

Maya Lin, Artist, Architect & Environmentalist

Maya Lin has maintained a careful balance between art and architecture throughout her career, creating a remarkable body of work that includes large-scale site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works and memorials. A committed environmentalist, Lin’s work draws inspiration from the landscape, interpreting the world through a twenty-first century technological lens. Her work asks the viewer to reconsider nature & the environment at a time when it is crucial to do so. She is now working on her last memorial: What is Missing? A monument manifested as a webpage, video works and multi-sited installations that raise awareness of the current global extinction crisis.

Sigourney Weaver, Actress and Environmental Activist

Acclaimed actress Sigourney Weaver is well-known, both on and off the screen, for her dedication to the conservation movement. A vocal advocate for the protection of mountain gorillas, Sigourney won an Academy Award nomination and was awarded a Golden Globe for her role as primatologist Dian Fossey in “Gorillas in the Mist.” In addition, she serves as Honorary Chairperson of the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Sigourney has also been a friend of the oceans, speaking out against deep-sea trawling before the 2006 United Nations General Assembly and narrating NRDC’s “Acid Test,” an in-depth look at ocean acidification. Sigourney served as narrator for Discovery Channel’s “Planet Earth” and played biologist Dr. Grace Augustine in James Cameron’s poignant blockbuster, “Avatar.”

Special Recognition: In addition, a special recognition will acknowledge “Women of the Gulf” who were at the forefront of the last summer’s oil disaster rescue response, and instrumental to long-term recovery of the region. Honorees include Melanie Driscoll, Audubon’s director of bird conservation for the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi Flyway.

“We strive to recognize outstanding women leaders in today’s conservation world, to support and provide environmental opportunities for girls and young women, and to educate women on important issues related to the environment,” said Allison Rockefeller, the Founding Chair of the Rachel Carson Award Council.

Anne Thompson, Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent for NBC News, will return as emcee of the event. Thompson recently covered the Mississippi River floods in Louisiana and last year enthralled the packed ballroom with her insights on the Gulf oil spill. She received the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award and was part of the “Nightly News” team to win the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award and the Emmy Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

Since its inception, Audubon’s Rachel Carson Award has raised over $1,000,000 to support Audubon’s important campaign to protect the Long Island Sound, and Audubon’s Women in Conservation Program which educates and engages women in conservation and environmental issues.

Previous honorees include Bette Midler, founder of the New York Restoration Project; Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and founder of Deep Search International; Majora Carter, Founder and Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx, and Laurie David, producer of “An Inconvenient Truth.” The award was inspired by Rachel Carson, whose landmark book Silent Spring opened the world’s eyes to damage inflicted by the indiscriminate use of pesticides such as DDT. Carson’s impassioned advocacy for environmental regulation helped lay the groundwork for establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Speakers at the event will include David Yarnold, Audubon’s President & CEO since September 2010. Last month Yarnold led the Women In Conservation’s Council in a tour of the Gulf on the anniversary of the BP Blowout, where they learned about Audubon’s Louisiana Coastal Initiative.

The luncheon is catered by Great Performances using organic, locally grown vegetables, herbs and fruits. Liz Neumark, owner of Great Performances Catering, is one of 30 women to serve on the Audubon Women in Conservation Council, along with Dr. Peg Olsen, Audubon’s Chief Conservation Officer; Audubon Board Members Margot Ernst and Virginia Stowe; and NRDC President Frances Beinecke, a previous winner of the Rachel Carson Award. See the full list of Council Members here.

The luncheon will take place in the ballroom of The Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street in New York City. Reception is at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch at noon. Tickets range from $200-$2,500 for an individual ticket and $5,000-$50,000 for a table of 10. For more information, please call 212-979-3039. The event usually sells out.


Now in its second century, the National Audubon Society is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation. www.audubon.org


“To recognize outstanding women leaders in today’s conservation movement; to support environmental opportunities for girls and young women; and to educate women on important issues related to conservation and the environment.” www.womeninconservation.org

Press contacts:
Amy Tran, LaForce+Stevens
646 374 0872

Delta Willis, National Audubon Society
212 979 3197

SOURCE National Audubon Society

Source: newswire

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