Aleta Karstad and Dr. Fred Schueler, first couple to receive Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize

Land

$10,000 award recognizes over 40 years of outstanding conservation collaboration and accomplishments

Bishop Mills, May 19, 2020 – WWF-Canada and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) are pleased to recognize the outstanding conservation efforts and accomplishments of Aleta Karstad and Dr. Fred Schueler with the Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize.

About the prize

  • The Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize awards $10,000 to individuals who have played a key role in bringing meaningful protections to identifiable land or aquatic ecosystems or led a foundational initiative regarding species or spaces in Canada.
  • This is the fourth year the prize has been awarded. Past recipients include Anne Sherrod of B.C. in 2017, Grand Chief Herb Norwegian of N.W.T. in 2018, and Raymond Plourde of N.S. in 2019.
  • The prize honours the late Glen Davis, a Toronto-based conservation philanthropist, who died tragically in 2007. Glen loved wild country and generously supported those trying to protect it. The award was established by WWF-Canada and CPAWS in 2017 on the 10th anniversary year of his death and is awarded annually.

About the winners

  • Fred is a naturalist and longest-serving Research Associate of the Canadian Museum of Nature. His work has focused on monitoring the abundance and distribution of native and invasive species across Canada. Aleta is an award-winning freelance biological illustrator, natural history artist and author. She is a well-known Canadian painter focused on biodiversity and nature.
  • In 2009, Fred and Aleta directed the Thirty Years Later Expedition project where they revisited previously observed sites to document the conditions of plants and animals and contribute new valuable data to the Canadian Museum of Nature database.
  • Their work has contributed to national protection results such as Cumshewa Head on Haida Gwaii, the rivers crossed by the Energy East Pipeline from Fort McMurray A.B. to Saint John N.B., streams and rivers in northeastern Ontario, and the famed Dumoine River in Quebec. They’ve also helped citizen groups protesting habitat destruction throughout eastern Ontario, discovered or predicted most of the new Species-at-Risk mussel populations in eastern Ontario, and have worked with official bodies on the conservation of the South Nation River, Kemptville Creek, the Limerick Forest, and New Brunswick’s Protected Natural Areas.
  • They’ve published popular natural history books and run the NatureList & OREGlist, e-mail list-serves for natural history and road ecology.

Aleta Karstad and Dr. Fred Schueler, Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize winners, say: 
“We are honoured to be recognized for our diverse fascinations with everything in nature, especially with plants and animals that aren’t commonly recognized as species. We plan to use this generous prize to make our nature observations, data, and artwork more accessible to science, government, and the public. It will help to make our work a prototype for preserving the field notes that many naturalists have been keeping for generations, and for linking art and science towards conservation action.”

Sandra Schwartz, national executive director of CPAWS, says:
“CPAWS is thrilled to recognize a couple for this year’s Glen Davis Prize. Dr. Fred Schueler and Aleta Karstad are a talented biologist-artist duo well-known in eastern Ontario for their longtime and ongoing work and commitment to protecting nature. For over 40 years, they have visited sites across Canada to document and monitor changes taking place in wildlife and native habitats, and to identify new threats to the environment, both critical to nature protection efforts. They have generously donated their field notes and visual records for the purpose of furthering knowledge, education and science. Their enormous contributions have made a difference for nature protection in Canada.”

Monte Hummel, president emeritus of WWF-Canada, says:
“This year’s Glen Davis winners are two real Canadian conservation heroes. Dr. Schueler — an expert on often-neglected wildlife such as reptiles and amphibians, crayfish, mussels and wetland plants — has been crucial to protecting natural sites from coast to coast to coast. Aleta’s beautiful paintings and biological illustrations have inspired conservation efforts and she has generously donated her work to raise funds for nature protection campaigns. This is truly a dynamic duo who have made a quiet but huge difference for nature in Canada.”

About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more information, visit wwf.ca.

About the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society 
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land, ocean and freshwater, and ensuring our parks and protected areas are managed to protect nature. In the past 57 years, we have played a leading role in protecting over half a million square kilometres — an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory. Our vision is to protect at least half of Canada’s public land and water in a framework of reconciliation for the benefit of both wildlife and humans. For more information about CPAWS and the work we do to safeguard Canada’s natural heritage, visit cpaws.org.

For further information
Alexandra del Castello, WWF-Canada associate specialist, communications adelcastello@wwfcanada.org, +1 647 246 6996

Jennifer Scott, CPAWS national communications manager
jscott@cpaws.org, +1 613-569-7226 Ext 234