Category: Honors

Tony Meunier Awarded Eastern Section 2017 Digman Award

Tony Meunier Awarded Eastern Section 2017 Digman Award

Recognizing amazing Earth science educators with 2016 NAGT-Eastern Section Awards

2017 NAGT Eastern Section award winners by Steve Lindberg University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


The Digman Award was established to recognize a non-teacher that brings Geoscience experiences and instruction to the general public. This year the Digman Award was presented to an individual who’s efforts over the past 6 decades qualify him to not only be recognized for his contributions, but perhaps as a lifelong achievement award for continuous support for science education. Tony’s first participation in NAGT meetings began in the late 1960’s as a Geology and Geography student while at SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Geneseo, N.Y. In the 1970’s, while a graduate student at SUNY Brockport, he studied under the tutelage of some legendary NAGT members including Dick Liebe, Bob Cassie, Ira Geer, Bob Adams, John Hubbard and Victor Schmidt. While at Brockport, Tony began a real association with NAGT on a regular basis.

In May 1972 Tony began his professional career with the USGS, first as a Cartographer and then as a Physical Scientist retiring in 2010 to become a USGS Emeritus Senior Scientist. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s while with the USGS Earth Science Application Office he ran a very successful Educational Outreach program coined Quantum Leap. Quantum Leap developed programs in coordination with the larger than life NAGT legend James O’Connor to stress Earth Science Education in elementary, middle and high school curriculum. A traveling exhibit was designed and funded through Tony’s program that also included the wide distribution of free educational pamphlets at NAGT

From Lindberg, Stephen, 2017, Recognizing amazing Earth science educators with 2016 NAGT-Eastern Section Awards in National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Eastern Section Bulletin, edited by Callan Bentley: Norther Virginia Community College, Annandale, VA, v.67, #2 Summer 2017, p.16. Summer 2017 NAGT-ES Bulletin CB.pdf

Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Monterey Motorsports Reunion

The Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a week long celebration held annually in Monterey, California. It is the largest gathering of historic road-racing vehicles in North America and regarded as one of the largest and most prestigious motorsports events in the world. Races are a central part with over 500 national and international drivers competing this year at the Laguna Seca racetrack. Awards are given for outstanding vehicles and for each of the 15 race groups, but the overall recognition for excelling (“the Overall Winner” according to the engraving) is the Spirit of Monterey Award won by Dr. Lee Talbot, “accomplished racer and scholar in the field of environmental science from McLean, VA.”

The event’s press release follows below:

Talbot, Others Receive Special Honors at Successful Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

60th anniversary of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca celebrated during spectacular weekend

Dr. Lee Talbot, Ph.D
Dr. Lee Talbot, Ph.D, winner of the 2017 Spirit of Monterey Award presented by Mounia Mechbal, Rolex Watch USA (photo courtesy: © ROLEX/Stephan Cooper)

MONTEREY, Calif., August 22, 2017 — Automotive and motorsports enthusiasts from around the globe flocked to the scenic Monterey Peninsula to see some of the most historically prominent automobiles in the world gathered for Monterey Classic Car Week. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is the only event during the week where vintage race cars do what they were originally designed to do – race!

Monterey Classic Car Week officially kicked off on Friday, August 11, when 27 vintage race cars drove from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to Alvarado Street in Downtown Monterey for a full and festive celebration. That weekend’s Monterey Pre-Reunion attracted over 300 participants over two days, and the extravaganza that is the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion lived up to its sterling reputation as the largest gathering of historic road-racing vehicles in North America with over 500 such classic racing machines on August 17-20

The final day of racing that decided Rolex Race winners in the seven B run groups concluded with a special ceremony that crowned several award winners including one participant who earned The Spirit of Monterey Award with a specially-engraved Rolex stainless steel 18k Gold Daytona Cosmograph and a portrait of the race-winning Ferrari from the 1957 event by artist Bill Patterson. The award, given to the driver or entrant who excels in the spirit of the weekend, was fittingly given to a driver that had participated in the first event at the iconic track in 1957 during a Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion that celebrates the 60th anniversary of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Dr. Lee Talbot, Ph.D, was bestowed with the honor. Competing in his 1967 Ginetta G4 sports car at age 87 with the same spry enthusiasm he had for motorsports six decades earlier, the accomplished racer and scholar in the field of environmental science from McLean, Va., demonstrated the passion, prestige, and history that was tangible throughout the paddock and marketplace throughout an outstanding event.

“What a wonderful weekend of spirited racing,” said Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s Gill Campbell. “Congratulations to Dr. Talbot and all of the race and award winners. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all the participants who brought their fabulous cars, the Formula Junior groups, the Governing Committee, HMSA, SCCA, SCRAMP, the entire staff of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, our hard-working volunteers, our incredible fans, and the support from these companies: Rolex, Mazda, Michelin, WeatherTech, Mothers Polish, and Bonhams. We appreciate all the efforts that go into making this such a special event, and we are already planning for next year.”

Blanchard to receive EC Sweeney Medal

Blanchard to receive EC Sweeney Medal

The Explorers Club will present one of its highest honors, the Edward C. Sweeney Medal, to Bruce Blanchard, MN ’78, at the Explorers Club Annual Dinner, on March 21, 2015 at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City

Bruce Blanchard, photo by Don Gerson

Michael Manyak, MED 92, one of those who nominated Blanchard for the award, said: I am very happy for Bruce who really does deserve this honor.

“The reason we championed this for him was that he was a great example of someone who had done so much for a chapter (in this case, the largest outside NY HQ) and that those folks should also be in consideration for recognition.  We are very pleased that Bruce will be the first with that important background.  He has also contributed and represented us at a national level so it is not completely regional.”

Blanchard was elected to the ECWG Board of Directors in 1995 and was elected Treasurer in 1997, a position that he has been reelected to every year for the last 18 years.

After learning of the award Blanchard sent an email to the ECWG officers and Board members to  “…thank all of you (and your predecessors) for your support over the years. Without that support, my job as Treasurer wouldn’t have been possible. All of you contributed to my receiving this award.  Most recently, individual support from Mike Manyak, Jay Kaplan, Lee Talbot, and especially Alex Wallace was instrumental in this regard. Your obedient servant ! Bruce.”

The Medal is awarded annually to a Club member in recognition of distinguished service, scientific work and exploration. The nominee must have exhibited by word and action a profound interest in the welfare and principles of The Explorers Club.

Luncheon honored pioneer hurricane scientist Bob Simpson

Luncheon honored pioneer hurricane scientist Bob Simpson

The Explorers Club Washington Group honored the legendary hurricane scientist and forecaster Bob Simpson, FE’79, who celebrated his 101th birthday last November, with a luncheon at the Cosmos Club on Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bob Simpson at the Dec. 7, 2013 ECWG annual dinner. Photo by Darlene Shields

Bob Ryan who was chief meteorologist for 30 years at NBC4 and then for three years at WJLA (ABC7),  described the highlights of Simpson’s career with the help of a few others who worked with Bob and his wife, Joanne, also a leading atmospheric scientist, who died in 2010.

Those taking part included Neil Frank, who succeeded Bob Simpson as director of the National Hurricane Center in 1973 and retired in 1987, Max Mayfield who was HNC director from 2000 to 2007, Richard Anthes, who was president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research from 1988 to 2012 and who worked closely with both Bob and Joanne Simpson, and David Atlas, a weather radar pioneer.

In addition to the talks, Barbara Schoeberl, a NASA co-worker with Joanne Simpson and long-time friend of the Simpson family, displayed posters illustrating several aspects of the lives of Bob and Joanne Simpson and also a video slide show of the Simpsons’ lives and careers that attendees viewed before and after the program.


Bob Simpson with (from left) Neil Frank, Jack Williams, Max Mayfield, David Atlas. Photo by Darlene Shields

In the mid-1950s after Congress decided the U.S. desperately needed to learn more about hurricanes, the Weather Bureau selected Bob to organize and run the National Hurricane Research Project, which
 continues today as NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division.

The core of this project was research flights into hurricanes, which Bob had been urging, and which continue today.


Joanne Malkus, who was
 conducting pioneering tropical weather research, was asked to work with the program. Bob said in 2009 that this “scientific association and collaboration with Joanne… melded into a personal relationship culminating in our marriage in January 1965 and the beginning of a long, happy, and fruitful life together.”

Bob Simpson was director of the National Hurricane Center in 1969 when Hurricane Camille hit Mississippi. His use of a then-new storm surge forecasting model to issue unusually urgent warnings is credited with saving hundreds of lives. It also helped lead him and Herbert Saffir, a wind damage expert, to develop the Saffir- Simpson Hurricane Damage Scale with its well- known one though five categories.Washington Post story on Bob Simpson Luncheon
EC honors Marty Talbot with Lowell Thomas Award

EC honors Marty Talbot with Lowell Thomas Award

ECWG member Martha Hayne “Marty” Talbot, FN ’04 was among those The Explorers Club honored at the annual Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner at the Willard Hotel in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Marty Talbot

She was recognized as a pioneering conservationist for her 56-year dedication to ecological research in more than 60 countries on four continents.

Others  honored at the dinner were:

Neurophysiologist S. Allen Counter, FN ’89…for his research leading to the discovery of African-descended people living in the rainforest of Suriname and the Andean mountains, and for his work to ensure proper recognition of African-American Matthew Henson’s contributions to Arctic exploration.

Kara tribal member Lale Labuko and world-renowned photographer John Rowe. for their establishment of Omo Child, a foundation that rescues and cares for children located in the Omo River Valley region of Southwest Ethiopia.

Marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala for his work to protect the last pristine marine ecosystems worldwide and to develop new business models for marine conservation.

Visionary businessman, media mogul, and conservationist Ted Turner for his contributions to creating an optimal future for us all, through philanthropic initiatives to produce a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world.