Amber Pairis and W. Rhett Lamb Win 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards

The Department of Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England (AUNE) presented two Environmental Excellence awards on May 17, at the department’s year-end ceremony.

 • The 2013 Community Member Environmental Excellence Award went to W. Rhett Lamb, planning director for the City of Keene. Read Rhett Lamb’s thank you letter.

• The 2013 Alumni Environmental Excellence Award went to Amber Pairis, PhD ’05, climate change advisor for the California Department of Fish and Game’s emerging climate change program.

The awards are presented each year to an alumnus and to an individual in the community who have contributed significantly to sustainability and environmental protection through their work or personal actions.

About Amber Pairis
Amber Pairis, PhD '05, winner of the 2013 Alumni Environmental Excellence Award As the climate change advisor for the emerging climate change program, Amber coordinates the California Department of Fish and Game’s (CDFG) activities on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Her work focuses on developing a climate change strategy for fish and wildlife within the CDFG’s management and policy branches and integrating a thought process that actively addresses climate change into all natural resources activities.

Amber manages the internal climate change task force, works closely with stakeholders and technical specialists to develop and disseminate climate change information, participates as the CDFG’s representative on several of the California Resource Agency’s climate action team subgroups, and regularly convenes a working stakeholder group to determine the views and priorities of partners.
Before coming to California, Amber worked for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Washington, D.C., where she was the science and research liaison coordinating research and policy between the state fish and game departments and federal natural resource agencies on energy and climate change issues. She completed her PhD in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on Conservation Biology at AUNE.

About W. Rhett Lamb
The 2013 Community Member Environmental Excellence Award will go to W. Rhett Lamb, planning director for the City of KeeneRhett Lamb has been the planning director for the City of Keene, New Hampshire, since 1996. His planning tasks include developing comprehensive plans, drafting zoning ordinances and subdivision/site plan regulations, and reviewing development proposals.  He is involved in the implementation of management systems and computer mapping to support planning functions and municipal decision making.

Rhett has a master’s degree from Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, where he specialized in land use and water resource protection.  He served on the New Hampshire Governor’s Climate Change Policy Task Force and has been working on the City of Keene’s Climate Initiative since 1998. ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability-USA recently gave a Sustainability Leadership Award to Keene for its integration of climate adaptation and climate mitigation into the city’s Community Vision and Comprehensive Plan.

Rhett is on the board of directors of the Hannah Grimes Center and the Monadnock Conservancy. He is co-chair of the New England Municipal Sustainability Network. He helps coach the Keene High School alpine ski team and is long-time member of the New Hampshire Alpine Ski Racing Association.