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.
Leadership Award 2008
Barbara Brummer is the New Jersey State Director of the Nature Conservancy. From her New Jersey childhood, when she spent countless hours seeking out the flora and fauna of New Jersey’s Meadowlands near her home, Barbara Brummer’s fascination with and desire to learn as much as possible about nature and wildlife have been a constant in her life. Despite the demands of home, family and a very successful career, she carved out the time to devote to learning about (nine years of night school in pursuit of her Ph.D.), teaching about (many semesters teaching field biology at Montclair State and New York University) and sharing her passion for wildlife and nature.
Barbara’s great ability to bring her science background to bear on instilling enthusiasm for, and knowledge about, New Jersey’s wildlife to students, friends, colleagues, government officials and the general public has bolstered the protection of wildlife in New Jersey. Her service on the New Jersey Audubon Society board and her role as state director of The Nature Conservancy are areas where she has made especially significant contributions.
Through her roles as state director of The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey, chair of the New Jersey Endangered and Non-game Species Advisory Committee, and volunteer leader with New Jersey Audubon Society, Montclair State University and Pocono Environmental Education Center, she has played and continues to play a key role in promoting interest in and protecting essential habitat for New Jersey’s wildlife.
Diane Nickerson is the Director of Mercer County Wildlife Center. As such, she is a highly regarded wildlife rehabilitation professional. She cares very deeply about New Jersey’s wildlife populations and for our natural environment.
In 1988, Diane left a career in the insurance industry to enter the world of wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education. She served over two years as a volunteer wildlife technician at the Aark Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Newtown, PA, after which she became that organization’s first paid Director of Education. In 1994, she become the director of the Mercer County Wildlife Center (MCWC) in Titusville, Mercer County, NJ. She is responsible for every aspect of this nonprofit organization including Board development, staff development and training, volunteer and intern development and training, budget, purchasing, the annual newsletter, supervision of all patient care and management, education programs, and fund raising. Over the past 13 years at the MCWC, she has greatly expanded their wildlife rehabilitation facilities and their educational outreach programs. The MCWC now handles approximately 2000 patients, 12,000 incoming telephone calls and 200 community outreach education programs each year. It is open 365 days a year and Diane oversees one full-time employee, one part-time employee, four seasonal employees, and more than seventy trained and dedicated volunteers and interns who all gain valuable experience and knowledge in wildlife care from Diane.
In the past twenty years Diane has given hundreds of educational programs to local schools and other groups in the eastern PA and central NJ area. Since the Mercer County Wildlife Center is located on the grounds of a county correctional facility (i.e. prison), she has also spent time working with low risk inmates – helping them acquire useful job and social skills.
Outside of her immediate duties, Diane also currently serves as the vice-president of the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators (NJAWR) as well as serving on their legislative affairs, conference, and apprentice committees. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA), is a former vice-president of that organization, is the chair of the Education and Human Resources Committees and serves as a member of the Conference, Nominating, Planning, and Publications Committees.