Mary Striegel, a scientist with the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), received the prestigious Sheldon and Carolyn Keck award from the American Institute for Conservation on May 17 at the 44th Annual meeting of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) held this year in Montreal, Canada.
Pam Hatchfield, President of the American Institute for Conservation, said of Striegel, “It was clear to the committee that in Striegel’s twenty-seven-year career in conservation science, she has seen her role as a mentor to students at all levels as one of the most important and most rewarding aspects of her work. She has reached out to many people, including young children, pre-program interns, and post-graduate fellows, helping them to understand the field of conservation. She was the driving force behind the creation of the National Park Service NCPTT internship program.”
“I am thrilled to be recognized for my efforts to develop and promote conservation science to others,” said Striegel, upon receiving the award. The first intern at the National Center in 1995 was Kathryn Hallett who is now the preventive conservation manager, Historic Royal Palaces, England. Hallett researched the deposition of air pollution on to stone under the direction of Striegel. Since then, many more interns have passed through Striegel’s laboratory doors at NCPTT. Her goal has always been to have others see the importance of science in conservation and preservation practice.
This award recognizes a sustained record of excellence in the education and training of conservation professionals. The award was named after Sheldon and Caroline Keck, who were instrumental in founding the first master’s level course in art conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in 1960. Candidates should demonstrate a mentoring spirit to all who are interested in conservation, and provide advice and motivation to beginners, trainees, practitioners, or conservation students at all levels.