Rabb Conservation Award at Brookfield Zoo

Honoring a Leader

The Conservation Leadwership Awards were created in 2005 by the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Zoological Society to honor the lifelong legacy of animal welfare and the worldwide conservation leadership of George Rabb, Ph.D., president emeritus of the Society (above, left). Recipients have included:

2013 recepients were:

  • The Corwith Hamill Lifetime Achievement Conservation Award went to the Getz family for their lifelong commitment to conservation and sustainability, which spans four generations. The Getz family legacy dates back to 1927, seven years before Brookfield Zoo opened to the public, when the family patriarch, George Fulmer Getz, Sr., served as an early governing member and trustee. In 1933, Getz Sr. donated all 270 animals from his private zoo in Holland, Mich., to occupy Brookfield Zoo’s revolutionary new moat-and-grotto exhibits. Since then, four generations have served on the CZS board of trustees and the Getz Foundation has been a major benefactor to the Society.

  • Walgreen Co. was awarded the Edith Rockefeller McCormick Corporate Conservation Award on behalf of the company for its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. The company is developing a net-zero store in Evanston, Ill., which will use renewable energy from solar, wind, and geothermal sources, along with efficient refrigerators, LED lights and green building materials. Walgreen plans to extend many of these clean energy technologies to its 8,000 stores.

  • Randall Wells, Ph.D., senior conservation scientist for CZS and director of the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (based at Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory) was the recipient of the George B. Rabb Conservation Medal. Wells, who has dedicated his life to studying dolphins, has led the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population...read more.

2012 Conservation Leadership Award recipients were Barry MacLean and CZS Trustee Mary Ann MacLean
(Corwith Hamill Lifetime Achievement Conservation Award); Michael Howard, Executive Director of Eden Place (George B. Rabb Conservation Medal); and E. Scott Santi, President and CEO of Illinois Tool Works, Inc. (Edith Rockefeller McCormick Corporate Conservation Award).

2011 recipients Dennis and Connie Keller, Dr. Kate Evans, and Exelon Corporation were chosen for their significant impact on conservation efforts locally and around the globe...read more»
2010 recipients Robert Buchanan and Polar Bears International (PBI) are dedicated to the worldwide conservation of polar bears and their habitat through research and education. PBI also provides scientific resources and information on polar bears and their habitat to all interested parties. Under Buchanan’s leadership, PBI has grown into an organization with an international scope, supporting projects throughout the circumpolar North and reaching audiences as far away as Japan and Australia with its conservation message. Funding provided by PBI helped support research that led to the listing of polar bears as a threatened species by the U.S. government.
2009 recipient Richard Louv, national bestselling author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, and Web of Life: Weaving the Values That Sustain Us, is co-founder and chairman of the Children & Nature Network. He has used his articles, books, and speeches to inspire a rapidly growing, national movement of parents, schools, caregivers, and communities to provide opportunities for children to play outdoors where their natural curiosity fosters a learning and appreciation of nature.
2008 recipient Dr. Chris Servheen, a mammalogist and wildlife biologist at The University of Montana and the grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Dr. Servheen’s major research has been instrumental in grizzly bear conservation.

2007 recipient Dr. Curtis Freese, managing director of the Northern Great Plains (NGP) program of the World Wildlife Fund. Dr. Freese has worked to restore and conserve the biodiversity of the North American Great Plains of the United States and Canada.

2006 recipient Dr. Carl Safina, cofounder of The Blue Ocean Institute. Dr. Safina received the award for his life’s work and commitment to protecting the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. 

2005 recipient Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, director of the Science and Exploration Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society. A preeminent wildlife scientist, Dr. Rabinowitz is known particularly for his conservation and protection of big cats native to Asia and South America.