2019 Annual Awards Dinner & Climate Panel

Please join us on February 24th for our annual celebration of the individuals who lead conservation in the Capital Region. This year, the Annual Awards Dinner will include a Climate Panel and discussion about land conservation and climate change. 

MHLC Annual Awards Dinner
Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 2:30 pm
River Stone Manor, 
1437 Amsterdam Rd, Schenectady, NY 12302
Driving Directions Below

2:30 PM: Cocktails and buffet
3:30 PM: Program and awards
4 PM: Climate Panel and dessert

*We are offering three ticket levels in 2019!
Regular Ticket: $60 per person, Climate Defender Ticket: $75 per person, Young Member Ticket: $35 per person

Online ticket sales have closed. Please purchase your ticket at the door!

2019 Climate Panel:

Jessica Ottney Mahar, Policy Director for The Nature Conservancy

Jessica Ottney Mahar is the Policy Director for The Nature Conservancy. In this capacity, Jessica has led efforts in support of the enactment of laws and regulations to protect and restore natural resources and secure billions in public funding for environmental conservation. Jessica also oversees the Conservancy’s involvement in partnerships in New York that support national policy priorities. She has more than fifteen years of environmental and conservation policy and advocacy experience.


Mary Ellen Mallia, Director of Environmental Sustainability at University of Albany

As Director of Environmental Sustainability, Mary Ellen Mallia supports UAlbany’s sustainability efforts, including its “UAlbany Green Scene” initiative, environmental education, and policies. She works to advance strategic planning initiatives related to campus environmental issues and also works with various academic departments and student groups to develop, implement, and coordinate environmental initiatives such as UAlbany’s recycling and energy conservation programs. Mallia holds a doctorate in ecological economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Curt Stager, Draper-Lussi Endowed Chair in Lake Ecology & Paleoecology at Paul Smith’s College

Curt Stager is an ecologist, paleoclimatologist, and science journalist with a Ph.D. in biology and geology from Duke University (1985). He has published over three dozen peer-reviewed articles in major journals including Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and has written in periodicals such as National Geographic, New York Times, Fast Company, and Adirondack Life. Since 1990, he has also co-hosted Natural Selections, a weekly science program on North Country Public Radio that is syndicated internationally, and offers presentations on his research to audiences ranging, as one colleague put it, “from middle-schoolers to formal scholars.” In 2013, he was named the New York State Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation.

Sarah Walsh, Conservation Director for the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy

Sarah is Conservation Director for MHLC, responsible for oversight of land stewardship and assisting with property acquisitions. Sarah brings nearly ten years’ experience in habitat restoration initiatives for bird habitat, riparian and wetland areas as well as experience in protection of conservation lands, non-profit program development, and trail planning. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Science from SUNY ESF and her Master’s degree in Science Education from the University of Albany in 2012. 


The Climate Panel will be answering questions from the audience, in addition to questions submitted via e-mail or social media. You can ask a question, to be answered at the event on February 24, by clicking below:

Send a Question to our Climate Panel


MHLC Award Recipients:

Jessica Ottney Mahar will be awarded the Saving Special Places Award for significant contribution to land conservation in the Capital Region. Learn more about Jessica by clicking here.

The Art on the Rail Trail (ART) Committee will be awarded the Dan Driscoll Leadership Award for giving outstanding time and energy to advance the mission of MHLC. Learn more about the ART Committee by clicking here.

Ava DeSantis will be awarded the Young Leader Award for giving outstanding time and energy to advance the mission of MHLC. Learn more about Ava by clicking here and scrolling to page three.


Online ticket sales have closed. Please purchase your ticket at the door!

Directions to River Stone Manor from Albany:

River Stone Manor
1437 Amsterdam Rd, Schenectady, NY 12302

Take I-90 West (towards Buffalo) to Exit 26
Take Exit 26 toward NY-5/Scotia
Drive 1.3 miles and merge onto NY-890 West
Drive 0.8 miles
At the light, turn right onto NY-5 East/Amsterdam Road
Drive 1.2 miles and River Stone Manor will be on your right



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