Director’s Award 2013 to Prof. William R. Burch, Jr.

Bill Burch is one of the people without whom the Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER would not exist.  Bill has been a pioneer in community and social forestry.  He also was a leader in establishing the research tradition of recreation behavior and ecotourism in wild, preserved, and urban places.  His work has enriched knowledge and communities not only in Baltimore, but in Asia, South America, and Europe.
Bill introduced me and my biological colleagues to Baltimore and the exciting work he and colleagues had been doing there since 1989.  His decade of experience in Baltimore was established the social network on which BES was founded.  He was instrumental in making connections with the Parks & People Foundation, which continues to provide much of our leverage and glue linking us to communities, agencies, and other important Non-Governmental Organizations in Baltimore. 
Bill has continued to be a source of social-ecological insights,

a wise guide to the literature at this intellectual interface, a stimulus to critical thinking, a model of inspired yet realistic strategy for community engagement, and a model citizen.  Additional details of Bill’s career and contributions can be found on the website of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences:

For all these reasons, the BES Project Management Committee unanimously and enthusiastically voted to award Bill our 2013 Director’s Award at our Annual Meeting at Cylburn Arboretum on 22 October this year.  The award includes a framed print of one of A. Aubrey Bodine’s classic black and white photographs of Baltimore along with our commemorative plaque.

Many thanks, Bill, for your myriad contributions to BES, and best wishes!