The Watershed Institute celebrated its 2023 Annual Meeting at the Watershed Center, the organization’s LEED-Platinum headquarters on its 950-acre nature reserve. The meeting featured the election and reelection of trustees and celebrated the achievements of two exceptional environmental leaders: Daniel J. Van Abs, Rutgers professor and Tina Overman, STEM facilitator at Bear Tavern Elementary School in Hopewell Township.
The Edmund W. Stiles Award for Environmental Leadership was presented to Daniel J. Van Abs, professor of professional practice for water, society, and the environment in the Department of Human Ecology. The annual award recognizes a community leader who demonstrates outstanding leadership, dedication, and passion in advancing the cause of environmental protection and stewardship. The award is presented in honor of the late Edmund W. (Ted) Stiles, professor of ecology at Rutgers University.
“Dan is the state of New Jersey’s undisputed leader in the field of watershed planning and management and as accomplished a professional as you will ever find, said Jim Waltman, executive director of the Watershed Institute. “His students have benefitted tremendously from Dan’s real-world experience in solving environmental challenges and his service to nonprofit watershed organizations has been exemplary.”
“I’m very honored to receive this award, especially as Ted Stiles was a friend and colleague from when we both served on the Watershed board in the 1990s and were involved in advocating for watershed protection and preservation,” said Van Abs.
Van Abs has spent his career addressing the challenges of water resources management, including water supply, water quality, watershed protection, water infrastructure, and regional environmental planning and management. He served as a Trustee to The Watershed Institute from 1992-1998 and from 2014-2020 and has been a member of the organization’s Advisory Board since 2020. As a professor at Rutgers, he mixes teaching, research, and public service responsibilities. He is a member of the College of Fellows, American Institute of Certified Planners.
The Watershed Institute
For more than seven decades, The Watershed Institute has been working to protect and restore clean water, healthy watersheds and the natural environment in central New Jersey through conservation, advocacy, science and education.