The Honorable John C. Pritzlaff Conservation Award

The Honorable John C. Pritzlaff Conservation Award is given annually by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden to recognize achievements in conservation both in California and around the world. Established in 2007, the award honors John Pritzlaff’s life-long commitment to conservation and serves to inspire others to understand the importance of conservation, take action, and help the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden reach its plant conservation leadership goals.

image of the Honorable John C. PritzlaffJohn C. Pritzlaff was a Botanic Garden Trustee from 1991 – 2003. He was a life-long servant and champion of the people and the environment. His political, personal, and volunteer activities speak clearly to his love of the environment and his desire to ensure that our greatest treasure – our natural environment – remains healthy for future generations. John recognized that botanic gardens are powerful agents for conservation. Individually and collectively, botanic gardens address a range of activities needed to help ensure the survival of threatened plant species.


Richard Louv headshotRichard Louv 

No one is a bigger champion of getting kids back in nature than Richard Louv. It isn’t only that he literally wrote the book on it – Last Child in the Woods - he also put his theories into practice.  Richard co-founded the Children & Nature Network, launching an international movement to connect children, families, and entire communities to nature. He knows that there is a lot riding on this effort, since children who spend time in nature are, as he says, healthier, happier, and smarter. And it certainly helps that he is wonderfully articulate. Mr. Louv is a journalist and author of ten books, many of them about re-connecting humans to health and happiness via nature. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Orion, and Outside, to name a few. But he doesn’t just write about connecting people with nature, he takes his message to the streets and the airwaves, appearing frequently on national radio and television programs, and speaking internationally on “nature deficit disorder,” a term that he coined to describe the consequences of our current disconnect. If you are an environmental educator, you’ve been touched by Richard Louv’s work. We at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden are thrilled to present the 2020 John C. Pritzlaff Conservation Award to Richard Louv. 


image of Dr. Gretchen DailyDr. Gretchen Daily
Professor in the Department of Biology, School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, and Founder and Faculty Director of the Natural Capital Project

Dr. Gretchen Daily is a champion of the “ecosystem services” concept (the benefits supplied to human societies by natural ecosystems), and has worked tirelessly to integrate this concept into the decision-making processes of countries, companies, communities, and organizations across the globe. As Founder and Faculty Director of the Natural Capital Project, Dr. Daily and her team work with world leaders on diverse projects such as lands management planning in China, transportation decision-making in Latin America, and habitat restoration in Africa. This work builds from Gretchen's research as an ecologist, including her work to characterize the drivers of biodiversity loss, to understand ecological dynamics in agricultural and pastoral landscapes, and to examine trade-offs between conservation objectives. Further, her collaborative research on such topics as water-related services, control of environmentally transmitted diseases, and the physical and mental benefits of nature experiences are informing the models used to guide environmentally sustainable decision-making. Dr. Daily is the Bing Professor of Environmental Science and Director of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, and has been the recipient of many other awards, including the Blue Planet Prize in 2017. Her work has been cited nearly 23,000 times.


image of Dr. Susan MazerDr. Susan Mazer
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Susan Mazer is a champion for plants. Through her research, outreach, and mentorship, she is furthering our understanding of plant evolution and adaptation to change, training others in the research skills needed to investigate these mysteries, and inspiring the next generation of plant protectors. Dr. Mazer co-founded the California Phenology Project and Project Baseline, large collaborative projects of national significance that will enable us to understand what climate change has in store for the seasonal cycles of wild plants and for plant diversity. Through these projects and others, she has engaged legions of citizen scientists who help answer these questions, and then help to spread the word. Dr. Mazer is an energetic speaker and highly dedicated mentor who has inspired many UCSB students to love plants through her classes in Plant Biology and Biodiversity, Plant Evolutionary Ecology, Population Genetics, and Plant Reproductive Ecology and Evolution; over 200 undergraduates have contributed to her field, greenhouse, and lab-based research; and she has taught and trained students in Thailand, Peru, China, and Costa Rica. She has applied her research to further the conservation of some of the rarest plant species in the region and to inform the design of habitat restoration efforts. The author and co-author of at least 117 papers and book chapters, her work has been cited over 6,000 times. She received the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award and served as NSF’s Program Director for the Ecological Biology Program for two years. Susan received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Yale University and both a master’s degree and PhD in Botany from U.C. Davis; she is the current President of the California Botanical Society.


image of Dr. Daniel SimberloffDr. Daniel Simberloff
Nancy Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Tennessee

Dr. Simberloff's work on islands started in the 1960s when, as part of his PhD research at Harvard he and E.O. Wilson removed the insect and spider fauna of six small mangrove islands in Florida to study their re-colonization. His diverse research projects have included insects, plants, fungi, birds, and mammals. His publications number ca. 500 and center on ecology, biogeography, evolution, and conservation biology, with titles such as “Today Tiritiri Matangi, tomorrow the world! Are we aiming too low in invasives control?” He has tackled complex topics such as invasion theory, policy, novel ecosystems, and single- vs. multi-species management. In 2006 he was named Eminent Ecologist by the Ecological Society of America, in 2012 he won the Margalef Prize for research in ecology, and in 2015 he won the Wallace Prize of the International Biogeography Society for lifetime contributions in the fields of island biogeography and island ecology. Dr. Simberloff will be speaking about the global significance of restoration accomplishments on the Channel Islands and elsewhere, and what we might aim for going forward.


image of Dr. Peter WhiteDr. Peter White
former Director of the North Carolina Botanical Garden and Professor at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Dr. White is a plant ecologist with over 100 publications on an impressive array of topics, from Ecology and Biogeography (including diversity patterns, scale, disturbance, and patch dynamics) to Rare plants, Restoration, and the Philosophy of Conservation. From 1986 to 2014, Peter White directed the University of North Carolina’s Botanical Garden through a period of exciting changes and growth. In this role, he and the staff have sought to redefine the scope of botanical gardens to focus on conservation, sustainability, and gardens as the healing interface with and gateway to nature. He emphasizes that this conservation mission is “not just an ‘add on’ to what the garden does, but can be firmly nestled within a mission that addresses environmental and sustainability issues— this work is connected to the central role that botanical gardens can and should play.”


image of Dr. Claire KremenDr. Claire Kremen
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at U.C. Berkeley

Claire is a conservation biologist that seeks "mechanisms for slowing or preventing the loss of biodiversity…one of the greatest environmental challenges facing humanity in the 21st century." She has tackled this issue both by protecting biodiverse areas in preserves, and by identifying and conserving the species that are most beneficial to humans.


image of Bruce Pavlik, Ph.D., 2013 Pritzlaff Conservation Award HonoreeDr. Bruce Pavlik
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Dr. Pavlik is Head of Restoration Ecology at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Since receiving his Ph.D. in Botany in 1982, he has been a long-time instructor at institutions both academic and government, from Mills College to the National Park Service Training Program, as well as vice president of the California Native Plant Society and series editor of the California Natural History Guide Series.


image of Dr. Daniel BotkinDr. Daniel Botkin
President, Center for the Study of the Environment
UCSB Emeritus Professor & Author

The Moon in the Nautilus Shell by Daniel Botkin


image of A Manual of California Vegetation book coverDr. John Sawyer
Todd Keeler-Wolf
Julie Evens
Authors of A Manual of California Vegetation


image of Peter Wyse Jackson, Salud Carbajal, J.R. HallerDr. Peter Wyse Jackson
Director, National Botanical Gardens of Ireland
President, Missouri Botanical Garden

Dr. J. Robert Haller
UCSB Professor of Botany (Retired)
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Botanist


image of Jon and Lillian Lovelace at SBBGJon and Lillian Lovelace
Chairman Emeritus, Capital Research Management Company

Dr. Brian J. Huntley
Senior Policy Advisor, South African Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism


Steven McCormick
President, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Richard B. Rogers
President, California Fish & Game Commission
Chairman, State of California Wildlife Conservation Board
Vice Chair, SBBG Board of Trustees


image of Peter Raven wearing his Pritzlaff Conservation medal in 2007Dr. Peter Raven
President, Missouri Botanical Garden