THE BLOG
05/05/2016 06:25 pm ET Updated May 06, 2017

The National Audubon Society's 2016 Rachel Carson Award Honorees tackle Climate Change By Air, Land & Sea

The National Audubon Society's 13th Annual Rachel Carson Award, the preeminent award for American women in Conservation will be given on May 17th at the Plaza in New York City. This year, three of the nation's most prominent champions in the fight against climate change will accept this prestigious award recognizing the leadership of American women in the environment.

Dominique Browning, Co-Founder and Senior Director, Moms Clean Air Force

How can only 3% of the 800,000 toxins found in our air be tracked and regulated by our government? Dominique Browning wanted to know and in asking that question publicly and with tenacity, Dominique turned a small community of concerned citizens and mothers into Moms Clean Air Force, an army of more than 700,000 members which demands answers from lawmakers and businesses regarding climate change and the toxins in our air.

Co-piloted with the Environmental Defense Fund, Moms Clean Air Force provides a vehicle by which mothers and parents from across the nation are demanding reform of the nation's outdated Toxic Substances Control Act (1976) while strengthening the historic Clean Air Act (1963).

Employing hundreds of thousands of names on petitions, a "Stroller March" on Washington, town hall meetings, visits with Representatives and Senators, Governors and County Officials, Moms Clean Air Force exercises the strength of its political voice to persuade those in power about health risks caused by environmental degradation, specifically toxins found in air, and to the larger issue of climate change.

Dominique is an author of several books, her latest "Every Breath We Take" is written for young children about the air we breathe.

Rebecca Moore, Director, Google Earth, Earth Engine, Google Earth Outreach

Just as the sailors of ancient Arabia drew some of the earliest maps of seas and land, today Google Earth mapping has ignited society's full imagination, making the world a smaller, more familiar place while at the same time celebrating the grandness of the planet, the known and the remotely observable.

Rebecca Moore is Director of Google Earth, Earth Engine and Earth Outreach. She initiated and leads the development of Google Earth Engine, an effort that enables scientists to conduct global-scale monitoring and measurement of Earth's changing environment by providing them with access to an unprecedented amount of satellite imagery. Rebecca also founded and leads Google Earth Outreach which assists non-profits, educators and indigenous communities to employ Google's mapping tools to tell their stories through visually depicting deforestation, illegal mining practices, glacial melt, and air pollution for the rest of the world to see.

This "global community watch program" demands truth-telling, monitors progress or destruction- visualizes value. This information becomes often indisputable in its ability to convince, confirm, and alarm. For the first time, communities everywhere can explain - down to the square foot - the enormity of their situation to lawyers, businesses, lawmakers and the media.

Google Outreach has organized "the world's information" and sent it out to battle.

Kathryn Sullivan, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide wake up each day to wonder "What's the weather?" and there is no person on earth better suited to answer such a question than Dr. Kathryn Sullivan. As one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, Dr. Sullivan is the Administrator of NOAA, a world-class federal agency responsible for weather analysis and forecasting as well as research on the Earth, oceans and climate.

Dr. Sullivan's road to NOAA has been an extraordinary one, where she has made adventure and exploration of the unseen worlds of ocean and space. She has explored the deepest ocean floor as an oceanographer with the US Naval Reserve and has soared 140 miles above the earth with NASA's 1990 Space Shuttle "Discovery", where she became the first American woman to walk in space.

But as NOAA's Administrator, it is possible that she has taken on the most profound professional challenge of her distinguished career by tackling the greatest challenge of our age: climate change and the resiliency of ecosystems, communities, and economies in the face of it.

Today, Kathryn and the work of her agency have never been so valuable. She has led NOAA during some of the most crucial debates with government on climate change. She has allowed her team's science to speak for itself and has not let the facts be obscured by the noise of opposition. Like Audubon's award namesake, Rachel Carson, a scientist who endured much scrutiny and opposition, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan has continually stood up to defend the truth while others wished to question and condemn it.