This award is presented annually to an advocate who embodies Oregon alum Kerry Rydberg’s courage, self-reliance, commitment, talent, and dedication to representing citizens at the grassroots level in environmental matters.

2018: Rebecca Smith
2017: Joe Lovett, Julia Olson, & Lauren Regan
2016: Pat Parentreau
2014: Roger Flynn
2013 Recipients: Eric Glitzenstein and Kathy Meyer
2012: Charlie Tebbutt
2011: Sharon Duggan
2010: Jack Tuholske
2009: Karl Anuta
2008: Bill Carpenter
2007: Raquel Gutierrez Najera
2006: Doug Quirke
2005: Fernando Dougnac
2004: Marianne Dugan
2003: Matt Kenna & Geoff Hickcox
2002: Jen Gleason
2001: Karin Sheldon
2000: Svitlana Kravchenko
1999: Dan Stotter & Dave Bahr
1998: M.C. Mehta
1997: Patrick McGinley
1996: Neil Kagan & Betty Reed
1995: Meena Raman
1994: Ralph Bradley
1993: Ipat Luna
1992: Carol Van Strum & Paul Merrell
1991: Grove Burnett
1990: Charles Levin

Kerry Rydberg Award 2016 Recipient –
Pat Parenteau


For more than three decades Patrick Parenteau has represented environmental organizations and individual citizens with little money and power but a deep commitment to protecting the natural world and its inhabitants. His creative advocacy has given substance to statutory and regulatory provisions that would have otherwise been empty of meaning. His powerful voice has spoken for those unable to speak for themselves.

Pat is Professor of Law and Senior Counsel to the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School, where he works with students litigating natural resources and environmental cases. His expertise includes endangered species and biological diversity, water quality and wetlands, environmental policy and litigation, and climate change. He also teaches Climate Change and the Law, Extinction and Climate Change, and Water Quality and Environmental Litigation.

Pat’s career includes nearly a decade at the National Wildlife Federation where he held a number of positions, including vice president for conservation. He was regional counsel for EPA Region I, in Boston and served as commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.  From 1989 to 1993 he was of counsel to the firm of Perkins Coie in Portland, Oregon. During that time he was special counsel to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the spotted owl exemption proceedings under the Endangered Species Act.