2011 Alpine Steward Award Winner: Ken Kimball

Dr. Ken KimballThe Waterman Fund held its Annual Dinner on Saturday, April 16th, at Libby’s Bistro in Gorham, NH. Twenty-seven people attended the event, which featured the presentation of the Guy Waterman Alpine Steward Award to Dr. Ken Kimball, a slideshow on the Monadnock Ecological Research and Education project, and a chance to catch up on Waterman Fund news.

Dr. Ken Kimball, Research Director for the Appalachian Mountain Club, received this year’s Guy Waterman Alpine Steward Award. This award is given each year to a person or organization that has demonstrated a long-term commitment to protecting the physical and spiritual qualities of the northeast’s mountain wilderness.

Dr. Kimball has worked in mountain ecology and conservation for over thirty years, and was nominated by Andrew Norkin, AMC Director of Trails and Recreation Management and Scott Monroe, who helped create the AMC’s Alpine Stewardship Volunteer Program. Dr. Kimball, who received his B.S. in Ecology from Cornell University, his M.S. in Zoology from University of Massachusetts, and his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of New Hampshire, has published and spoken extensively on a variety of environmental issues, including in-stream flow policy and hydroelectric dam relicensing, windpower siting policy, Northeast mountain ecology and response to climate change, and endangered alpine plant recovery.

Dr. Kimball worked in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service to propagate the formerly endangered Robbins’ cinquefoil (Potentilla Robbinsiana) at high elevation restoration sites in New Hampshire. Due to the partnership’s efforts, the plant, placed on the list of endangered and threatened species in 1980 and found only at two locations in the alpine zone on Mount Washington and Franconia Ridge, was removed from the list in 2002.

Dr. Kimball’s work also includes a multi-year study of the effects of climate change on high elevation and alpine ecosystems. The Waterman Fund recently began supporting AMC’s Mountain Watch Program, a citizen-scientist monitoring program where volunteers collect data on when alpine flowers bloom and how long they flower.

The Waterman Fund recognized Dr. Kimball and his tremendous contributions to alpine stewardship with this year’s Guy Waterman Alpine Steward award and a framed photograph of Mt. Madison’s Star Lake, taken by Brian Post of Brian Post Photography in Jackson, NH. The same evening, Dr. Peter Palmiotto, Director of Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England, shared slides and stories about the Monadnock Ecological Research and Education Project (MERE). This collaborative research project has received two years of funding from the Waterman Fund to promote informed use and foster appreciation of New Hampshire’s heavily-trafficked Mt. Monadnock through ecological research, monitoring, and educational outreach.

Ken Kimball and Laura Waterman pose with a photograph of Star Lake by Brian Post Photography.

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