Congratulations to the 2020 SWCS Award Winners!

View the 2020 award winners
View the 2020 awards press release

Hugh Hammond Bennett Award

The Society’s most prestigious award, recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources. 

  • Dr. Jean L. Steiner, Kansas

Fellow Award 

In recognition of SWCS members who have performed exceptional service in advocating the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources. Fellowship is an honor bestowed upon the best in the conservation profession. This year’s Fellow awardees include

  • Chris Gross, Maryland
  • David Lobb, Manitoba, Canada
  • Deanna Osmond, North Carolina

Conservation Innovation Award

In recognition of an outstanding activity, product, or service by a group, business, firm, corporation, or organization that promotes natural resource conservation.

  • Rice Irrigation Water Management Field Day Team, Arkansas
  • Science-Based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips, Iowa State University and Partners Research Group, Iowa

Harold and Kay Scholl Excellence in Conservation Award
In recognition of individuals who work on the ground to provide direct and personal delivery or conservation planning and technical assistance.

  • Neil Shaffer, Iowa

Conservation Professional of the Year Award
In recognition of outstanding accomplishments in practicing and advancing the science and art of natural resource conservation.

  • Jay Fuhrer, North Dakota

75th Anniversary Conservation Professional of the Year Honorable Mention

In recognition of outstanding accomplishments in practicing and advancing the science and art of natural resource conservation. Additional awards are given in 2020 in honor of the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s 75th Anniversary.

  • Cari Williams, Oklahoma
  • Herb Winters, Oregon
  • James Culver, Nebraska
  • Krista Kirkham, Illinois
  • Norm Helzer, Nebraska

Society Service Award
In recognition of Society members for service to their chapter or to the Society.

  • Hugh Brown, Washington
  • Sharon Hartzold, Illinois

Chair’s Leadership Award

In recognition of exemplary assistance in helping to carry out the goals and objectives of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

  • Clare Lindahl, Soil and Water Conservation Society CEO, Iowa
  • Jeff Strock, Minnesota
  • Juan Herrera, Argentina
  • Keystone Chapter, Pennsylvania

Conservation Research Award
In recognition of Society members or teams of members whose research has led to exceptional improvements in soil conservation, water conservation, and/or related natural resources research.

  • J. Arbuckle, Iowa
  • John Gilley, Nebraska
  • Mark Tomer, Iowa

Best Research Paper for Impact and Quality Award
In recognition of the impact and quality of the following research paper:

Arbuckle, J.G., and G. Roesch-McNally. 2015. Cover crop adoption in Iowa: The role of perceived practice characteristics. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 70(6):418-429, doi:10.2489/jswc.70.6.418.

  • J. Arbuckle, Iowa
  • Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, Iowa

Best Research Paper for Impact and Quality Honorable Mention
In recognition of the impact and quality of the following research paper:

Lal, R. 2015. Soil carbon sequestration and aggregation by cover cropping. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 70(6):329-339, doi:10.2489/jswc.70.6.329.

  • Rattan Lal, Ohio

Editor's Choice Award Winner
In recognition of the following article of excellence appearing in the “A” Section of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation in the previous year:

Sharpley, A., M.J. Helmers, P. Kleinman, K. King, A. Leytem, and N. Nelson. 2019. Managing crop nutrients to achieve water quality goals. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 74(5):91A-101A, doi:10.2489/jswc.74.5.91A.

  • Andrew Sharpley, Arkansas
  • Matthew Helmers, Iowa
  • Peter Kleinman, Pennsylvania
  • Kevin King, Ohio
  • April Leytem, Idaho
  • Nathan Nelson, Kansas

Editor's Choice Honorable Mention
In recognition of the following article of excellence appearing in the “A” Section of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation in the previous year:

Fleming, P.M., D.J. Merritts, and R.C. Walter 2019. Legacy sediment erosion hot spots: A cost-effective approach for targeting water quality improvements. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 74(4):67A-73A, doi:10.2489/jswc.74.4.67A.

  • Patrick Fleming, Pennsylvania
  • Dorothy J. Merritts, Pennsylvania
  • Robert C. Walter, Pennsylvania

Associate Editor Excellence Award
In recognition of associate editors for their contributions to the success and development of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.

  • Daniel Moriasi, Oklahoma
  • Gretchen Sassenrath, Kansas
  • Zeyuan Qiu, New Jersey

Chapter Achievement Award
In recognition of chapters for significant achievements through a single activity conducted during the year.

  • California Nevada Chapter
  • Hoosier Chapter
  • Iowa Chapter
  • Land of Lincoln Chapter
  • Montana Chapter

Outstanding Chapter Award
In recognition for the chapter’s success in carrying out its overall program during the past year.

  • Arizona Chapter
  • California Nevada Chapter
  • Hoosier Chapter
  • Iowa Chapter
  • Michigan Chapter
  • National Capital Chapter
  • Nebraska Chapter
  • North Dakota Chapter
  • Southern New England Chapter

WiN Conservationist of the Year Award
In recognition of an outstanding woman/farmer/producer/conservationist.

  • Sara Creech, Indiana

WiN Award of Excellence Recipient
In recognition of an individual woman who, over a period of time, has contributed substantially and creatively to our Natural Resources Conservation profession.

  • Karen Brinkman, Missouri

SWCS Outgoing Board Members
For their dedication as an SWCS Board Member.

  • Bruce Knight, At-Large Director
  • Wendi Goldsmith, Northeast Regional Director
  • Don Wysocki, Northwest Regional Director