MNA Award Recognizes Excellence in Conservation Science

Dr. Reznicek with MNA Executive Director Garret Johnson

Dr. Reznicek with MNA Executive Director Garret Johnson

The Edward G. Voss Conservation Science Award recognizes those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the scientific understanding of Michigan’s biological diversity and its conservation. Dr. Edward G. Voss was an internationally renowned scientist, dedicated educator, and committed conservationist who spent his lifetime working to protect Michigan’s natural heritage.

At this year’s Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner, MNA was pleased to recognize both Dr. Ed Voss and Dr. Tony Reznicek for their outstanding contributions:

Edward G. Voss

After a lifetime of contributions to science and conservation, long-time MNA supporter and celebrated botanist Dr. Edward G. Voss passed away earlier this year. One of his crowning achievements was his groundbreaking three-volume Michigan Flora. The first volume was published in 1972, and when the third and last volume was issued in 1996 Dr. Voss expressed his hope that he and his long-time colleague (and fellow MNA member) Dr. Anton Reznicek would complete an updated, compact one-volume version. Poignantly, the revised version he envisioned, the new Field Manual of Michigan Flora, was released three days after Dr. Voss’s death.

Dr. Voss was professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan and curator emeritus of vascular plants at the University Herbarium. His primary area of expertise was the vascular plants of the Great Lakes region, including their taxonomy, identification, distribution, history and current status. He was the founding editor of The Michigan Botanist and an internationally recognized expert in botanical nomenclature. He taught at the University of Michigan Biological Station for 35 summer sessions and in addition to his work with MNA, Dr. Voss was an active member of the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, the Little Traverse Conservancy, and the Wilderness Society.

Anton Reznicek

Dr. Anton (Tony) Reznicek is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan and curator of vascular plants at the University of Michigan Herbarium. Dr. Reznicek is an internationally recognized expert on the genus Carex (commonly known as sedges). In 2006, a species of sedge new to science was discovered in New York’s Hudson Highlands area and named Carex reznicekii (Reznicek’s Sedge) in his honor.

Dr. Reznicek’s numerous contributions to conservation and botanical education make him a respected authority on endangered species and plant ecological issues. After MNA protected the only known population of lakeside daisy existing in Michigan, Dr. Reznicek was instrumental in helping MNA establish a second viable population by studying seeds, providing advice and assisting with germination. He has served on the Michigan technical advisory committee on threatened and endangered species, the board of trustees for the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and in various capacities with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the state Forest Service and the National Forest Service. With Dr. Voss, he co-authored the Field Manual of Michigan Flora, published earlier this year, and helped establish a Michigan Flora website hosted by the University of Michigan Herbarium where researchers, field biologists and conservationists can exchange up-to-date information about the identification and status of Michigan species.

At the Recognition Dinner, Dr. Reznicek delighted the crowd with stories of his late colleague, Dr. Voss, and shared more information about the Michigan Flora website and field manual. We were thrilled that Dr. Reznicek was able to join us as we celebrated his achievements and the achievements of Dr. Voss.

For information about the other individuals who were honored at the Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner on October 26, see MNA’s previous blog post.