The Thomas Keesee, Jr. Conservation Award & the Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing

An overview of the Keesee Award and the Writing Award given annually at Audubon New York's Keesee Luncheon.


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 longtime 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. 

Click here for information on this year's honorees

Previous Keesee Honorees include:

2019 - Gregory Long
2018 - Laura O'Donohue
2017 - Sheila Brady and Susan & Coleman Burke
            with Special Recognition of Patricia H. Keesee
2016 - Christopher (Kim) Elliman
2015 - Honeywell
2014 - Alexander E. Zagoreos
2013 - Allison Whipple Rockefeller
2012 - Virginia Stowe and Margot Ernst
2011- Carol Browner and Toyota
2010 - John Flicker
2009 - Audubon New York's Founding Chairman Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff
2008 - George E. Pataki and Peter Berle*
2007 - New York State and City Parks Commissioners Carol Ash and Adrian Benepe
2006 - Wendy Paulson
2004 - Marian S. Heiskell
2003 - Samuel F. Pryor
2002 - John Bierwirth
2001 - Donal C. O'Brien

*In Memoriam


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 is 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.

Previous Writing Award Honorees Include:

2019 - David Quammen
2018 - John McPhee
2017 - Terry Tempest Williams
2016 - Dr. Edward O. Wilson
2015 - Scott Weidensaul