Environmental Excellence Awards

Every year, we present five ATCEM Environmental Excellence Awards to recognize the hard work performed for preserving our environment for future generations. In 2020, we added two Special Category Awards! See below for brief descriptions on our ATCEM and Special Category Awards. 
Award winners will be invited to receive their award during ATCEM’s Luncheon Ceremony on Wednesday, March 22.

ATCEM Awards
  • Rising Star Award: Awarded to an individual who is just getting started in the tribal environmental field, but shows great promise to be an up-and-coming environmental leader in their community.
  • Environmental Leader Award: Awarded to an established tribal environmental professional who demonstrates outstanding motivation and leadership with environmental projects in their community.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Awarded to an individual who has made long-lasting environmental contributions that improve environmental health in their community over the course of many years. This individual is a true inspiration and deserving of the highest honor.
  • Helping Hands Award: Awarded to an individual, team, or organization that has provided exceptional services to support environmental projects in tribal communities.
  • Community/Group Award: Awarded to a group or a team that has demonstrated outstanding environmental leadership in their community and has worked together to improve their local environment.

Special Category Awards
These awards are presented by ANTHC-affiliated organizations/groups who wish to recognize contributions to specific environmental topics at ATCEM. Special Category Awards will be presented separately from the ATCEM Awards, by the organization sponsoring the award.
  • SWAT Rockstar Individual (Presented by the Solid Waste Alaska Taskforce): For an individual who has been instrumental in their community’s waste management progress. This can be a bookkeeper, an elder, a city manager, IGAP staff, a volunteer, a landfill worker, a youth leader, etc. Is the community at a much better waste situation today because of this person? Then they are a Rockstar and eligible to receive this award.
  • SWAT Rockstar Community/Group (Presented by the Solid Waste Alaska Taskforce): For a community, organization, or group of people that has had great success with managing waste or recycling. They have demonstrated outstanding leadership in local waste management and they are a model that others will want to follow.

2021 Award Winners

  • Helping Hands – Mahri Lowinger
  • Community/Group – ECO
  • Rising Star – Jessica Weaver
  • Environmental Leader – Jennifer Hanlon
  • Lifetime Achievement – Moses Tcheripanoff
  • SWAT Rockstar Community/Group – Chalkyitsik Environmental Dream Team
  • SWAT Rockstar Individual – Reilly Kosinski


2020 Award Winners

  • Community/Group – Native Village of Kongiganak
  • Rising Star – Jeff Luther, Native Village of Noatak
  • Environmental Leader – Anahma Shannon, Kawerak, Inc.
  • Helping Hands – Lynn Zender, Zender Environmental Health and Research Group
  • Lifetime Achievement – Mary Goolie, U.S. EPA
  • SWAT Rockstar Individual – Augusta Edmond, Alakanuk Environmental Program
  • SWAT Rockstar Community/Group – Recycling Our Area Resources (ROAR) in Copper Valley
  • SWAT Rockstar Community/Group – Native Village of Kongiganak


2019 Award Winners

  • Community/Group – Village of Bill Moore’s Slough & the Village of Kotlik
  • Rising Star – Matthew Murray, Native Village of Elim
  • Rising Star – Rayna Paul, Native Village of Kipnuk
  • Environmental Leader – Cynthia Beatus, Native Village of Hughes
  • Helping Hands – Mary Mullan, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • Lifetime Achievement – Willard “Bill” Hand, Native Village of Kluti-Kaah


2018 Award Winners

  • Community/Group – Ginger Bear, Belkofski Tribe & Melanie Newton, Agdaagux Tribe of King Cove
  • Rising Star – Susie Martin, Mentasta Village
  • Environmental Leader – Benjamin Stevens, Stevens Village
  • Helping Hands – Trisha Bower, ADEC Solid Waste Program
  • Lifetime Achievement – Wilson Justin, Cheesh’na Tribal Council


2017 Award Winners

  • Community/Group – Chalkyitsik Village
  • New Environmental Professional – Luis Echnique, Louden Tribe
  • Dr. James Berner Award for Children’s Health – Dr. Rosalyn Singleton
  • Walter Porter Lifetime Achievement – Ted Jacobson, RurAL CAP


2016 Award Winners

  • Community/Group – Ya Ne Dah Ah Tribal School, Chickaloon Village
  • New Environmental Professional – Brian Wright, Environmental Coordinator, Huslia Tribal Council
  • Outstanding Individual – Opik Ahkinga, Environmental Coordinator, Native Village of Diomede
  • Walter Porter Lifetime Achievement –  Tina Tinker, Environmental Coordinator, Aleknagik Traditional Council


2015 Award Winners

  • Community – Prince of Wales Tribal Environmental Coalition
  • New Environmental Professional – Johnathan Henzie, Environmental Coordinator, Allakaket
  • Individual Award- Stephen Price, ADEC Solid Waste Division
  • Walter Porter Lifetime Achievement – Michael Brubaker, ANTHC


2014 Award Winners

  • Community – Native Village of Galena
  • Team – Seldovia Village Tribe – Environmental Program
  • New Environmental Professional – Jerilyn Kelly, Environmental Coordinator, Kwinhagak IRA
  • Individual Award – Jeanine Heakin, Environmental Coordinator, Native Village of Eek
  • Walter Porter Lifetime Achievement – Cynthia Paniyak, Environmental Coordinator, Chevak Native Village