The John T. Curtis Award for Career Excellence in Ecological Restoration goes to Jeb Barzen


On October 9, more than 100 people came to the Arboretum to honor this year’s Leopold Restoration Award recipient.

Linda Bochert, FOA Board President emeritus, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. She acknowledged the participation of our program’s financial supporters, the contributions of the Leopold Judges’ Team, and the assistance of the many hard working volunteers.

This year, the judges chose Jeb Barzen, Director of Field Ecology at the International Crane Foundation, as the winner of the John T. Curtis Award for Excellence in Ecological Restoration.

Barzen has been active in restoration for more than 20 years in Wisconsin and overseas (mostly working in Vietnam and China), and is a leader in involving and teaching other scientists, students, community members and landowners.

Many of the people at the event had worked with Barzen over the years and praised his ability to collaborate and connect with people of all backgrounds and experiences. Buddy Huffaker, Executive Director of the Aldo Leopold Foundation and a member of the Leopold Awards Judges Team, told the audience that Barzen has inspired him to continue to look at the long term view while undertaking ecological restoration projects.

Barzen also gave the evening’s keynote presentation, “Restoring Ecosystems for Cranes, People and Other Inhabitants Worldwide.”

During his talk, Barzen shared his experiences working in Wisconsin on creating a label for eco-farmed potatoes with farmers concerned with the environmental health of their properties, and collaborating with the local people and scientists restoring wetlands in Southeast Asia. He also thanked his colleagues and family for all their support throughout his career.

A silent auction was also part of the event, with several lucky winners going home with items donated by local businesses, artists and individuals.

We look forward to celebrating next year’s Leopold Restoration Award winners at the Arboretum Visitor Center on October 8, 2009. We hope you will join us for this important event!

Learn more about the Leopold Restoration Awards.

Located between Lake Wingra and the West Beltline Highway at 1207 Seminole Highway, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum features the restored prairies, forests and wetlands of pre-settlement Wisconsin. This 1,260-acre arboretum also houses flowering trees, shrubs and a world-famous lilac collection. Educational tours for groups and the general public, science and nature-based classes for all ages and abilities, and a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for groups, families and individuals are available.