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Tenth Annual Women & Wildlife Awards Reception & Silent Auction

Sold Out Event Honored Three Women at Duke Farms


Image of The Honorable Christine Todd Whitman with past and present Women & Wildlife Award winners, representing a decade of strong female leaders in wildlife conservation. From left to right: Dr. Erica Miller, Edith Wallace, Linda Tesauro, Kathy Clark, Amy S. Greene, the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, Pat Hamilton, MacKenzie Hall, Tanya Oznowich, and Diane Nickerson.The Honorable Christine Todd Whitman with past and present Women & Wildlife Award winners, representing a decade of strong female leaders in wildlife conservation. From left to right: Dr. Erica Miller, Edith Wallace, Linda Tesauro, Kathy Clark, Amy S. Greene, the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, Pat Hamilton, MacKenzie Hall, Tanya Oznowich, and Diane Nickerson. Darren Altman

This year's very special event featured keynote speaker Governor Christine Todd Whitman. We honored outstanding women for their contributions to wildlife conservation at a wonderful cocktail party and silent auction on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The 2015 honorees are:
  • Inspiration: MacKenzie Hall
  • Leadership: Pat Hamilton
  • Education: Tanya Oznowich

The event also celebrated CWF’s past decade of honoring women for their success in protecting, managing, restoring, and raising awareness for the Garden State’s endangered and imperiled wildlife species. These honorees helped to make New Jersey a leader in bringing key species back from the brink of extinction – species such as the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and osprey.


Meet the Honorees

MacKenzie Hall, Inspiration

Image of MacKenzie Hall, 2015 Inspiration Award WinnerZoom+ MacKenzie Hall, 2015 Inspiration Award Winner

A powerful force behind the conservation of wildlife in New Jersey, MacKenzie Hall began working as a wildlife biologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation in 2004 and was been involved with projects spanning bat colonies, migrating amphibians, and grassland birds. What is most remarkable about Ms. Hall, however, is her ability to motivate the public to participate in these projects, inspiring non-scientists of all ages to become passionate conservationists.

Ms. Hall has supported and participated in bat research projects throughout the state. With many bat colonies suffering the effects of White-nose syndrome, she went above and beyond her duties to better understand this devastating disease and develop ways to combat it. Ms. Hall took part in colony monitoring, mist-netting, and banding, working through many nights in order to benefit these enormously important species. In 2012, she launched a “Bats in Buildings” program offering New Jersey homeowners bat-friendly “eviction” resources, as well as free bat houses for displaced colonies. Her dedication to the cause proved contagious. Many homeowners and pest control specialists, initially unsympathetic towards bats, have altered their practices to better accommodate the imperiled species.

In addition to her involvement in bat conservation, Ms. Hall is a passionate advocate for New Jersey’s amphibians and reptiles. She worked to address amphibian mortality on state roads, teaming up with working groups to help species of frogs and salamanders safely cross roads during their spring breeding season. She successfully coordinated amphibian surveys throughout the state, a task requiring road closures, the cooperation of multiple municipalities, the recruitment and training of volunteers, and the willingness to work outdoors overnight on cold, rainy nights!

Ms. Hall is well known for her diplomacy in her interactions with private landowners. In her work to implement conservation programs such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, her keen understanding of the process and positive attitude turned many farmers and landowners alike into dedicated environmental stewards. In turn, these new stewards helped protect at-risk grassland birds in New Jersey’s dwindling farmlands.

Ms. Hall earned her bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from Paul Smith’s College in 2002. She now works as an assistant zoologist for the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Endangered and Nongame Species Program.


Pat Hamilton, Leadership

Image of Pat Hamilton, 2015 Leadership Award WinnerZoom+ Pat Hamilton, 2015 Leadership Award Winner

Pat Hamilton has worked for the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries since 1980, most recently as the Principal Fisheries Biologist. Ms. Hamilton has become a leader in managing and conserving coldwater fisheries throughout the state. She is considered to be the champion for Eastern brook trout, the state’s only native salmonid, and a species once extirpated from over 50% of its historical habitat due to human impacts.

Ms. Hamilton graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine in 1977 and earned her master’s from East Stroudsburg University in 2007. For her Master’s Thesis “Wild Brook Trout Genetics,” she examined the genetic diversity of Eastern brook trout populations in streams throughout the Raritan and Passaic watersheds. In the first study of its kind for the state, Ms. Hamilton determined that the trout present today are part of a lineage dating back to when the last glacier receded from New Jersey - some 16K-18K years ago! Since this landmark study, she has worked to restore and protect not only this ancient fish, but also the pristine habitat on which it depends.

Ms. Hamilton is the principal writer and developer of the Coldwater Fisheries Plan in New Jersey, has contributed to the development of stocking allocation methodology for stocked trout in the state. Ms. Hamilton has also engaged local fishermen to participate in the conservation of native brook trout with the Angler Logbook Program.

Currently, Ms. Hamilton is one of three fisheries biologists in New Jersey endeavoring to strengthen the state regulations to further conserve native brook trout streams. She continues to support and promote stream restoration projects led by federal, state, and non-profit agencies throughout the state. Thanks to her efforts, more than 200 northern New Jersey streams have been designated as Trout Production Streams, which afford the streams higher levels of state protection. Before she retires, Ms. Hamilton aims to create a reintroduction program for trout in streams where the species was extirpated.


Tanya Oznowich, Education

Image of Tanya Oznowich, 2015 Education Award WinnerZoom+ Tanya Oznowich, 2015 Education Award Winner

Schools across New Jersey are incorporating environmental education into their curriculum, a new movement inspired by a growing awareness of environmental issues and our shared role in understanding and resolving them. To a large degree, this growing prominence is thanks to Tanya Oznowich, Environmental Education Supervisor of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, who has championed environmental education for over three decades.

Ms. Oznowich earned her Bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation/Interpretive Sciences from Slippery Rock University in 1981 and her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Delaware Valley College in 2004. She has been engaging the public in natural resources since 1979, when she began working as a seasonal naturalist at Cleveland Metroparks at Chagrin Falls Reservation in Ohio. She went on to become an educator at the Ranger Rick Wildlife Camp in North Carolina, the Program Coordinator and Educator at the Pocono Environmental Education Center in Pennsylvania, and the Director of Education at the Weis Ecology Center in Ringwood, New Jersey. Since beginning her tenure with the NJDEP in 1988, she has dedicated herself to integrating environmental science into New Jersey’s classrooms, from kindergarten to college.

A founding member of the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education, Ms. Oznowich also contributed to the development of the New Jersey Commission of Environmental Education. In addition, she served as the Environmental Education Liaison for the New Jersey Science Education Leadership Association. She has been a professional member of the North American Environmental Education Association since 1989.

In addition to her role as a program developer, Ms. Oznowich is also a workshop facilitator, public speaker, environmental educator, and a grant writer. For her accomplishments in bringing environmental education to so many classrooms and communities, she has been honored by numerous state and non-profit agencies, including the New Jersey Education Association, New Jersey Audubon Society, and the New Jersey Chapter of the Society for Women in Environmental Professions.


For more information, contact:

Liz Silvernail, Director of Development

2014 Honorees

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey held our Ninth Annual Women & Wildlife Awards Reception to honor the contributions that four women – Cathy Hughes Malok, Brooke Maslo, Jeanne McArthur-Heuser, and Meghan Wren - have made to wildlife in New Jersey. We were excited to recognize the leadership and inspiration they provide for those working to protect wildlife in New Jersey.

2013 Honorees

At our Women & Wildlife Awards Reception on December 4, 2013, Tracy Leaver, Linda J. Mead, Jo Ann Frier-Murza, Pat Sutton, and Edith Wallace were awarded for their work, the advances they have made for women in their professions and the contributions they have made to New Jersey’s wildlife. The special celebration also commemorated the 40th Anniversary of New Jersey’s Endangered Species and Conservation Act. Awards were made for Leadership, Inspiration, and Education, as well as two new awards for Legacy and Service.

2012 Honorees

At our Women & Wildlife Awards Reception on April 15, 2012, Jackie Kashmer, Laurie Pettigrew, and Dale Rosselet were be awarded for their work, the advances they have made for women in their professions and the contributions they have made to New Jersey’s wildlife. Awards are made for Leadership and Inspiration, and Education (new in 2012).

2011 Honorees

At our Women & Wildlife Awards Reception on March 27, 2011, Dr. Erica Miller and Linda Tesauro will be awarded for their work, the advances they have made for women in their professions and the contributions they have made to New Jersey’s wildlife. Awards are made for Leadership and Inspiration.

2010 Honorees

In 2010, Annette Scherer, Marie Springer, and Dr. Carol Slocum were awarded for their work, the advances they have made for women in their professions and the contributions they have made to New Jersey’s wildlife. Awards are made for Leadership and Inspiration.

2009 Honorees

In 2009, Dr. Amanda Dey and Jane Morton Galetto were awarded for their work, the advances they have made for women in their professions and the contributions they have made to New Jersey’s wildlife. Awards are made for Leadership and Inspiration.

2008 Honorees

In 2008, Barbara Brummer and Diane Nickerson were awarded for their work, the advances they have made for women in their professions and the contributions they have made to New Jersey’s wildlife. Awards are made for Leadership and Inspiration.

2007 Honorees

In 2007, Kathy Clark and Amy S. Greene were presented with a Women & Wildlife Award for their work, the advances they have made for women in their professions and the contributions they have made to New Jersey’s wildlife. Awards are made for Leadership and Inspiration.

2006 Honorees

In 2006, Hannah Bonsey Suthers and Professor Joanna Burger were awarded for their work, the advances they have made for women in their professions and the contributions they have made to New Jersey’s wildlife. Awards are made for Leadership and Inspiration. Both received the first ever Women & Wildlife Award.

Silent Auction

Image of Women and wildlife 2015 auction

Check out our online auction to bid on artwork, wildlife themed excursions, and get-a-ways that are sure to please!