March 20, 2014. On Tuesday evening, before Dr. Soulé’s lecture at the Westminster College/Round River Conservation Studies Common Lands Lecture Series, Michael was presented Round River’s Paul Shepard Conservation Award for his conservation achievements. With Flo Shepard in the audience, Michael accepted an engraved Ruana knife in his honor. Below are several comments from others honoring Michael.
Michael Soulé is up there on the A Team for wildness, wildlife and wilderness. Look around and you only find a hand full of his equals. What could be more fitting than Michael getting the Paul Shepard award. — Doug Tompkins
Michael possesses a far-sighted vision and an unrivaled ability to translate that vision into leadership. Michael created the field of conservation biology when he organized a symposium under that title in 1978. The symposium brought together scientists who hadn’t appreciated that they shared common intellectual ground. This was the awakening. Then, six years later, Michael organized a second symposium at the University of Michigan. I remember it well. He called a group of us together and by the meeting’s end, the Society for Conservation Biology had come into being. — John Terborgh
No wonder they call you the father of conservation biology. You truly are. As a long time Nature Conservancy employee, I want to thank you, in particular, for your landmark essay “The Faith-based, Trickle-down Model of Conservation 4.0” questioning the so-called “new conservation”. It was just what was needed, and I hope your questioning continues. — Dave Livermore
Michael, by your love of the Earth and love of life, you encouraged generations to work and dream bravely and selflessly for the Wild. You have been … and remain … an inspiration, showing us all that, with respect to the Wild, a scientific life and a passionate life are not at odds with each other. In fact, you have shown us that both must be manifest to meet our true responsibilities as humans. Thank you always for your vision, wisdom, and righteous determination.
With deepest gratitude, Steve Trombulak
Nobody has contributed more to conservation biology and the conservation ethic! — Thomas Lovejoy
Michael Soulé integrates the science of conservation biology with the soul of creation. He and Paul Shepherd are blood brothers in intellect and spirit. Michael’s leadership is that of a warrior with wings, not to be confused with an angel but a human being rising to meet what threatens us with integrity, conviction, and in the end, compassion.
I love you, Michael. — My Deepest bows, Terry Tempest Williams
Michael’s ideas of science at the service of wild things are an inspiration to people all over the world, they transcend language and culture and serve as a beacon when we get tangled up in the nitty-gritty details of professional conservation work. They will ultimately play a visionary role in connecting our landscapes and our communities. — JC
Michael’s commitment to the protection of Nature, coming from a place vastly deeper than most conservationists, fuels his passion for understanding and communicating about Life on Earth, in all its intricacies and mysteries. His leadership has inspired and motivated thousands to follow his example in an endless struggle to save the Wild. It is with great joy and gratitude that I join others in honoring his accomplishments and devotion. — Barbara Dugelby, Ph.D.