Award Details

Information about the Keesee Conservation Award & The Environmental Writing Award.


The Thomas W. Keesee, Jr. Conservation Award is presented annually by Audubon New York to honor the individual or individuals who have shown remarkable leadership and commitment, particularly in New York State, to Audubon’s mission.

The Award is named after Thomas W. Keesee, Jr. a long-time member of the National Audubon Society’s Board of Directors who served as its Chairman from 1979 to 1983. He was a proponent of Audubon’s grassroots legacy, having served as Vice President of Bedford Audubon, and a strong advocate for Audubon’s efforts to decentralize. As Chairman of National Audubon, he fostered ground-breaking initiatives in field work, such as the Save the Condor Program in California and the Puffin Project in Maine.

Aside from his role with Audubon and other volunteer work, where he often utilized his professional background as a lawyer and financial consultant, Mr. Keesee also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy’s Butler Memorial Sanctuary. He was also instrumental in establishing the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreation Area in his native North Carolina, the Island Beach State Park in New Jersey, and the Agnes and Eugene Meyer Nature Preserve in Bedford, New York.


Created in 2015, the Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing recognizes writers who use the power of the pen to influence positive change in the world of environmental conservation in support of Audubon’s mission.

This award recognizes the individual and their body of work and will be presented at the annual Keesee Luncheon in support of Audubon New York’s mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.