Wenk received the Walter T. Cox Award for sustained achievement in public service, providing leadership in administration of public lands and for forming policies that affect natural and cultural resources. This award is named for the former Clemson University president and director of the Santee-Cooper Authority. Wenk also served four years as Deputy Director of Operations for the National Park Service in Washington D.C. and for nine months was the Acting Director of the National Park Service during the transition of the Obama Administration. Before coming to Washington, he served as the Director of the Denver Service Center and prior to that was Superintendent of Mount Rushmore.
Others honored at Tuesday’s luncheon include:
-- Julian Agyeman, Professor and Chair of the Urban and Environmental Policy Planning Department at Tufts University, received the William C. Everhart Award for sustained achievements in interpretation that have illuminated, created insights to, and fostered an appreciation of our cultural and historic heritage. Agyeman is an environmental social scientist who explores the complex and embedded relations between humans and the environment.
-- Reed Noss, Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Central Florida and President of the Florida Institute for Conservation Science, received the Benton H. Box Award for recognition as a teacher, who by precept and example, inspires in students the quest for knowledge and encourages curriculum innovation to inculcate an “environmental ethic” as the rule of conduct. Noss is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on many boards and advisory panels.
-- David Vela, Southeast Regional Director of the National Park Service, received the Robert G. Stanton Award for sustained and innovative achievement in promoting racial and ethnic diversity in the management of North America’s natural, historic and cultural heritage. He worked his way through the ranks starting as the iconic National Park Service park ranger and serving as Superintendent of numerous parks. Director Jonathan B. Jarvis recently named Vela as the new Associate Director for Workforce Management for the National Park Service, a post he will assume in the near future.