On May 18, Dr. Beth Stevens, Senior Vice President of Environmental Affairs for The Walt Disney Company, will be one of four women recognized by the National Audubon Society in a ceremony in New York City as one of the leading women in the field of American conservation.
Dr. Stevens will be awarded the Rachel Carson Award named for Rachel Carson, whose landmark book Silent Spring opened the world’s eyes to the damage inflicted by the indiscriminate use of pesticides such as DDT. Before Congress, Rachel Carson’s testimony called for an environmental regulatory department which came to life several years later with the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Since its inception, the award has raised over $1,000,000 in support of Audubon’s important campaign to protect the Long Island Sound and Audubon’s Women in Conservation Program which includes a website to help educate women on important environmental issues and the ongoing efforts that address them and an internship program for girls and young women hoping to gain exposure to the environmental non-profit world.
Dr. Stevens earned her bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Duke University and her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined the Disney Parks and Resort division to help open Disney’s Animal Kingdom as Conservation and Science Director and then General Manager for Disney’s Animal Programs. She was soon promoted to Vice President of the park as well as Disney’s Animal Programs. She has also served as President and Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) as well as serving on the boards of the Save the Tiger Fund and the International Rhino Foundation.
Other recipients of the award in 2010 are: actress and activist Isabella Rossellini; superintendent of Yellowstone National Park Suzanne Lewis; and Fernanda Kellogg, president of the Tiffany & Co. Foundation.