Mayor's Environmentalist of the Year

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Mayor's 2022 Environmentalist of the Year Award Winners


Palmetto Bay residents  and couple Pam Reid and Jack Fell are the 2022 Mayor's Environmentalist of the Year Award winners!   

As provided by Council Resolution, the winners were selected by a judging committee composed of Mayor Cunningham, Village Clerk Arocha, Garden Club Member Gail Weber, and Tree Advisory Board Member Don Pybas.  Pam and Jack received the largest number of nominations and votes from the judging committee this year.  

Pam Reid and Jack Fell Headshot

Pam Reid and Jack Fell will be recognized with a plaque, dinner for two and a tree planting ceremony.  In addition, their efforts will also be acknowledged with a Tree Planting Ceremony during the National Arbor Day Celebration at Coral Reef Park on April 29, 2022.  

What Our Nominations Say About This Year's Winners

From James & Nicole Woodward:

Before it became fashionable to be called an environmentalist, before Palmetto Bay was a dream not yet achieved, what is now Palmetto Bay was, and is, the home to two of the country's most committed environmentalists.  Jack Fell and his wife, Pam Reid, have lived lives committed to the environment, attempting to make the global world a better place.  This is a joint nomination for both to be named Environmentalist of the Year, as a team.  Jack bought his one bedroom home in 1977, joined 10 years later by Pam.  The now solar powered home sits on a lushly wooded acre with numerous varieties of naturally pollinated fruit trees and native plants.  It is all but invisible from the street.    The house was built around 1904 as a farm shed by the Mitchell (mango) family and later converted to a house.  The large screen porch cools the house without the need for air conditioning.  Their carbon footprint is virtually zero.

ABOUT PAM

Pam has a Ph.D. in Marine Geology and Geophysics and her accomplishments include:

  • Professor of Marine Geosciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, U of M.
  • President, Bahamas Marine EcoCenter, a non-profit organization that promotes awareness and respect for the unique Bahamian land and seascapes.  Creative activities are designed to foster environmental stewardship and promote ocean literacy.  A laboratory in the Bahamas is entirely self-sufficient with solar power, composting toilet and cistern. Focus is on marine science research, education of the young and old and art.  www.bahamas-marine-ecocentre.org
  • 30 years in research and teaching Marine Geosciences at University of Miami with research projects in the Bahamas, western Australia, northern Chile, Yukon Territory (Canada). Much of her research has focused on living stromatolites, microbial reefs with a 3.5 billion year fossil record. Ancient stromatolites generated free oxygen in the atmosphere, which allowed higher organisms, including humans, to develop. Living examples of these early life forms are rare, but can be found in a few remote locations. Studies of modern stromatolites provide insight into primitive ecosystems on Earth and possibly simple life forms on other planets.  Pam has been featured on the PBS NOVA series, Making of North America regarding her work on stromatolites.
  • Teaching non-major undergraduate students at UM- Environmental Oceanography stressing climate change and sea level rise, marine pollution, fisheries, habitat destruction, threatened and endangered species, with a focus on solutions.

Her other interests include:

  • Anything outdoors- boating, swimming, snorkeling, biking, walking.
  • Love of animals in general.
  • Cooking with home grown tropical fruits and veggies.

 ABOUT JACK

Jack has  Ph.D. in Microbiology and a post doctorate in Yeast Biochemistry.  He is Professor Emeritus at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, having taught at UM since 1958.

His research activities include:

  • As a trained marine microbiologist and oceanographer, the focus of Jack's research was on the occurrence and activities of micro-eukaryotes (mainly micro-fungi) in marine habitats. Many of these organisms are important in non-marine settings: agriculture, industry, food and medicine.  Consequently he investigated a variety of interesting problems: marine and non-marine, leading to ~200 publications in scientific journals and books. 
  • Jack's research took part in many interesting parts of the world including Bahamas, Caribbean, Arabian Gulf, the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans. In addition to oceanographic studies, he investigated terrestrial locations ranging from S. Florida beaches to the   Antarctic Dry Valley.

A snapshot of a few of these studies:

  • Mangrove research in S. Florida and the Bahamas to examine the role of microbes in the food web:  the microbial conversion of plant material to edible protein for marine invertebrates and fishes.
  • Investigations of the occurrence and distribution of micro-fungi, relative to environment conditions in vertical profiles from surface waters to the deep sea. 
  • Jack was a pioneer in the development of molecular sequencing methods for the identification of micro-fungi. He subsequently employed these techniques to define species and their relationships. These methods are currently being used in environmental studies and to identify micro-organisms in industry, agriculture, medicine and food products.
  • Many of Jack's studies resulted in the discovery of genera and species of fungi and related eukaryotes that were previously unknown to science.      

Lastly, Jack is the only known resident of Palmetto Bay to have a mountain named after him.  Mount Fell (73°26′S 62°16′W) is a mountain 8 nautical miles (15 km) west of Mount Hemmingsen in the northern part of the Werner Mountains in Palmer Land, Antarctica. It was mapped by the United States Geological Survey from ground surveys and U.S. Navy air photos, 1961–67, and was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names for Jack W. Fell, a biologist on the Eastwind in the cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula in the 1965–66 season.[1]

From Councilwoman Marsha Matson:

As a team, Pam Reid and Jack Fell live each day as environmentally aware activists.   Both have for many years researched and taught university students about oceans and the creatures in them.  Their century-old, pine wood home is open to the breezes, surrounded by lush tropical greenery. My yard is blessed with native plants they shared with me.  Jack has served as a valuable long-time member of the village’s Tree Advisory Board.   One of my fondest memories of them was their hosting of a candlelit get-together soon after Hurricane Andrew.  We celebrated surviving the hurricane with Pam’s homemade treats, guava wine, and with a feeling of thankfulness to be alive and together after that terrible storm.  They are environmental to the core and absolutely deserve to be recognized by the village for their contributions to the village and to the world.

From Tree Advisory Board Member and 2020 Mayor's Environmentalist Award Winner Henry Clifford:

I would like to nominate Jack Fell and Pam Reid as co-designees.   

I have known Jack and Pam for almost 20 years. They have been living their environmentalism for a lot longer than that. Their home, their lives, their work record fairly shouts " I care about my only home, the Earth". I do not believe we have a match for them, in or anywhere near Palmetto Bay. I twisted Jack's arm to sit on the Tree Advisory Board, as some of our agenda items (and all of our concerns) need an environmentalist's judgement. He has served well and thoughtfully. Not a single past nominee or awardee can match the "environmentalist" bonafides of this pair. They truly have, consistently, lived the 100-year-old charge: "Think Globally, Act Locally".

From Julie LaVoie:

Jack Fell and Pam Reid are both committed environmentalists residing in Palmetto Bay. They share a home on an acre that, between the extensive landscaping and screened porch, cools their home without air conditioning.   Pam is a professor of Marine Geosciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami.  She has spent 30 years in research and teaching, with research projects in many different countries. Her work has been featured on the PBS series Nova.  She also teaches undergraduate students Environmental Oceanography, focusing on issues such as climate change and sea level rise.    Jack is Professor Emeritus at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and has been teaching at UM since 1958.  He is a marine microbiologist and oceanographer, and has also done research in numerous countries, and his extensive research has been published in scientific journals. 

This is just an overview of their many accomplishments and their commitment to research and education as it relates to our environment. 

Nominate the 2022 Mayor's Environmentalist of the Year!

Nominations are currently accepted now through Friday, March 25, 2022 for the 2022 Mayor's Environmentalist of the Year Award.  The annual award goes to an individual, group, or business that has made an outstanding contribution to environmental activity and leadership in Palmetto Bay.    The recognition is part of the Village's annual program in celebration of Earth Day, which includes a series of events scheduled during the month of April.  Click here to read about more upcoming events in celebration of Earth Day. 

The 2022 Mayor's Environmentalist of the Year Award winner receives a plaque, dinner for two and a tree planting ceremony.  In addition, the winner is recognized with a Tree Planting Ceremony during the National Arbor Day Celebration at Coral Reef Park on April 29, 2022.  

About the Award

The Mayor's Environmentalist of the Year is an annual program which recognizes folks who make significant contributions to the environment.  This could be an individual, a group or a business in Palmetto Bay.

Eligibility Requirements

An individual, group or business that has made an outstanding contribution to environmental activity and leadership in the Village of Palmetto Bay. The contribution may demonstrate achievement through volunteerism, leadership and/or other services considered extraordinary in nature. To be considered for the award, all recipients must complete and submit the nomination form by the deadline date explaining how the contributions have made a significance to the community. The submittal of environmental activity photographs is optional.  

Recipient Recognitions

Winner receives:

  1. a plaque
  2. dinner for two
  3. a tree-planting ceremony
  4. Publicly announced during the Village's Earth Day event and recognized with a Tree Planting Ceremony on National Arbor Day on April 29th.

Winners from Prior Years

2021 Environmentalist of the Year Leo Llinas

2021 Leopoldo LLinas
Palmer Trinity School

Henry Clifford

2020 Henry Clifford
Community Advocate for Trees & Plants

Jennifer-Tisthammer-Headshot

Chris-Bumpus-Headshot

2019 Jennifer Tisthammer, Vanessa Trujillo and Chris Bumpus
The Deering Estate

Eric Tullberg

2018 Eric Tullberg
Community Advocate for Environmental & Bikeway Issues