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Each year NatureServe recognizes significant achievements in biodiversity conservation. We currently present three awards: the Robert E. Jenkins Lifetime Achievements Award, in honor of the architect of the NatureServe Network, the NatureServe Conservation Award, which honors one individual, and the Network Awards, which celebrates the accomplishments of the independent organizations that comprise the NatureServe Network.

The Robert E. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award

Robert E. Jenkins, architect of the NatureServe Network. Photo by Jack Lynn.

As the architect of the NatureServe Network and one of the most effective champions for the protection of biological diversity, Bob Jenkins left behind an extraordinary conservation legacy. In addition to being a passionate and inspiring leader in the biodiversity community, Bob was a pioneer in advocating the use of data to inform evidence-based biodiversity conservation and developing science-based methodology to prioritize conservation actions.

NatureServe honors Bob’s extraordinary conservation legacy with the Robert E. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award, presented for the first time ever at Biodiversity Without Boundaries 2021. In addition to this award, NatureServe has also established the Robert E. Jenkins Legacy Fund to ensure that his vital work is continued. Donations to honor Bob can be made here.

2024 Recipients

Bruce Bennett, Coordinator (retired 2023), Yukon Conservation Data Centre and Randi Mulder, Acting Coordinator and Data Manager, Yukon and Nunavut Conservation Data Centres, for exceptional enthusiasm and accomplishment in a career devoted to using biodiversity data to inform conservation action.

2022 Recipient

Chris Pague started his relationship with the Network by serving as a zoologist with the newly formed Virginia Natural Heritage Program, and then successfully re-starting the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. He retired as the Lead Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Nature Conservancy of Colorado in 2021. Key areas of focus for Chris’s work include grasslands bird conservation, landscape conservation, sustainable/conservation grazing, bison restoration planning, development of new conservation tools, and endangered species recovery planning. Finally, he serves on the Colorado Program’s leadership team, developing strategies for future conservation success.

2021 Recipient

Rob Solomon was hired by Bob Jenkins in 1986 as the Manager of Spatial Information Systems, responsible for implementing technologies for spatial data management within the Conservancy and the Natural Heritage Network. Over his 33 year career, one of the longest tenures in NatureServe’s history, Rob supported the development of multiple generations of software tools for natural heritage programs from BCD to Biotics 5. His dedication to the Network was a model for all those who work to advance Bob’s vision for protecting biodiversity.

The NatureServe Network Awards

Each year, the NatureServe Network recognizes outstanding achievements by its members during our international Biodiversity Without Boundaries conference. The awards provide an opportunity for the network to celebrate its commitment to science-based conservation through intra- and extra-network collaboration, personal integrity, respect for others, and the production of high-quality data, tools and knowledge.

2024 Winners

2022 Winners

  • James Brumm, NatureServe Board of Directors

2021 Winners


Alumni Award

2017 Winner
  • Andrew Harcombe,  British Columbia Conservation Data Centre
2016 Winner
  • Jorge Brenner, The Nature Conservancy
2015 Winners
  • Dennis Albert, Oregon State University
  • Chris Pague, The Nature Conservancy
2014 Winner
  • Shane Ford, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Lifetime Achievement Award

2017 Winner
  • Gary R. Knight, Florida Natural Areas Inventory
2016 Winner