Coastal Waterbird Expert to Receive Hemenway + Hall Wildlife Conservation Award
Michael P. O'Connor
This new award recognizes an individual for success in the preservation, enhancement, and restoration of a New England species and/or their habitat, as well as an enthusiasm for sharing information about their efforts and a commitment to inspiring future generations of conservation professionals.
The awardee is Carolyn Mostello, a coastal waterbird specialist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Mass Wildlife) who has devoted her career to restoring populations of federally endangered roseate terns and other island nesting species in Buzzards Bay.
Mostello holds an M.S. in Zoology (specialization in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology) from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
The new award is named for Mass Audubon’s founders, Boston cousins Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall, who in 1896 began a campaign to stop the commercial killing of egrets and other birds whose feathers were used to adorn fashionable hats of the era.
The intrepid efforts of Hemenway and Hall not only resulted in the birth of the Massachusetts Audubon Society (the wellspring of the national Audubon movement), but inspired a nationwide initiative that prompted federal legislation ending the large-scale hunting and helped protect multiple bird species.
Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton, who will make the award presentation at the Birders Meeting, noted that Mostello’s important efforts on behalf of coastal waterbirds align with the legacy of the organization’s founding mothers.
“Carolyn personifies excellence in wildlife conservation every day as she demonstrates her commitment to the biodiversity of the Bay State,” Clayton said. “She has not only shown success in protecting endangered and threatened bird species, but has served as an inspirational role model for others to take up this crucial work. Thus she is a perfect choice to be the first honoree of the Hemenway + Hall Wildlife Conservation Award.”
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.