The National Audubon Society presented its 2014 Charles H. Callison Award for Professionals to Dr. Stephen Kress. The award was announced on May 16th at the National Audubon Society board meeting in Seattle.
Now in its 20th year, Audubon’s Callison Award recognizes one volunteer and one staff member who have made remarkable contributions to conservation through coalition-building, creative thinking and, perhaps most important, perseverance. What makes this award especially meaningful is that candidates are nominated by their peers.
During the awards ceremony, Dr. Kress was recognized for more than four decades of dedicated work with Audubon, currently serving Vice President for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society. An expert in seabird conservation, Dr. Kress is known for his extraordinary success in pioneering the technique of “social attraction,” in which use of decoys, sound recordings, and mirrors attract seabirds to new habitat. Initially used to repopulate islands off the coast of Maine, a region the birds had not inhabited in over a century, his strategy is now globally accepted and employed as a major tool in protecting and restoring bird populations worldwide.
“Audubon is deeply grateful for Dr. Kress’s tireless efforts to restore and protect the most vulnerable seabird populations,” said, Gary Langham, Audubon’s chief scientist. “He has had a profound impact on seabird populations through his work with Project Puffin and around the world.”
Dr. Kress is also a consummate mentor and educator. He has taught ornithology, seabird ecology, and conservation methods to thousands of wildlife managers, interns, college students, and Audubon members and supporters. He has also published several books on how to create bird-friendly habitats. In addition to directing the Audubon Seabird Restoration Program (Project Puffin), now in its 41st year, he also oversees Audubon’s legendary Hog Island Camp in Maine.
Charles H. Callison served with National Audubon Society from 1960 to 1977. An eminent conservationist, he was instrumental in Audubon’s fight to pass the Wilderness Act of 1964, including the Clean Air and Water Acts, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act. A firm believer in the strength of the grassroots, he expanded the reach of Audubon by chartering and supporting hundreds of new chapters nationwide.