The Great Work Award
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The Great Work

"Our present need is to know just how to move out of this alienation of the human into a more viable mode of presence to the natural world.

Here I propose that the religions are too pious, the corporations too plundering, the government too subservient to provide any adequate remedy. The universities, however, should have the insight and the freedom to provide the guidance needed by the human community.  The universities should also have the critical capacity to influence over the other professions and other activities of society. In a special manner the universities have the contact with the younger generation needed to reorient the human community toward a greater awareness that the human exists, survives, and becomes whole only within the single great community of the planet Earth."

Thomas Berry
The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future

2014 Awardee
Erik Kiviat
Co-Founder and Executive Director

The Environmental Consortium was honored to present The Great Work Award in honor of Thomas Berry to Erik Kiviat for advancing Fr. Thomas Berry's ideal that "The human exists, survives and becomes whole only within the single great community of the planet Earth."

Erik Kiviat accepted The Great Work Award at the eleventh annual Environmental Consortium conference at Russell Sage College, Troy, New York on November 8, 2014.

Press release.

About the 2014 Honoree
Erik Kiviat, PhD, is a lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley and cofounder of Hudsonia, a nonprofit institute for research, education, and technical assistance in the environmental sciences, based at the Bard College Field Station on the Hudson River. A certified wetland scientist, he has more than 40 years’ experience with natural history and environmental issues in the Northeast, and elsewhere in North America. He also has worked extensively with policy-makers, land use planners, and environmental managers.

Formerly professor of environmental studies at Bard College’s Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Kiviat has researched the habitats and populations of rare and common turtle species, and performed landscape-level management of animals with large area requirements. He has conducted studies of biota, communities, and ecosystems in tidal wetlands and other habitats of the Hudson River, and other northeastern estuaries. He spent 14 years examining biodiversity and its management in the urban landscape of the Hackensack Meadowlands, and researched the ecology and management of invasive plants, especially long-present species such as common reed, purple loosestrife, Japanese knotweed, and water chestnut, which have both positive and negative impacts on native biodiversity and environmental services.

Throughout his career, Erik Kiviat has been teaching professionals and students. He also has authored or coauthored 80 publications and 200 technical assistance reports on wetland ecology, rare species, conservation science, invasive plants, Hudson Valley natural history, and human ecology.

Hudsonia’s Biodiversity Resources Center offers training to nonbiologists who make land use decisions, including town planning boards, land trust staff, and conservation commissions. It’s also created detailed habitat maps and biodiversity reports covering over 400 square miles of Hudson Valley towns and watersheds. Hudsonia’s Habitat Connections Initiative has studied rare species, invasive species, forests, wetlands, streams, and the estuary, to develop scientific information for planners, conservationists, and researchers.