2023 NAISMA Annual Awards

The North American Invasive Species Management Association Annual Awards seeks to recognize individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to improve invasive species management in North America. Awards nominees do not need to be a current NAISMA member or partner organization.

Awards will be presented during the NAISMA Annual Conference in Lincoln Nebraska.

Advocacy Award

This award recognizes outstanding leadership and advocacy in the policy/program realm at state, tribal, and/or federal levels. Special attention given to advocacy for congressional bills, support, outreach, and/or policies that advance invasive species prevention and management..

Past recipients include:

  • Governor Jay Inslee, State of Washington (2022)
  • Senator John Barrasso United States Senate (WY) (2022)


Cooperator Award

This award recognizes a partner organization or individual for having outstanding dedication to help coordinate one of NAISMA’s programs or organize the conference.

Past recipients include:

  • Florida Invasive Species Council (2022)
  • Tricia Bethke, Morton Arboretum (2021)

  • Montana Invasive Species Council (2021)
  • Forest Eidbo (2020)


Biocontrol Award

The NAISMA Biocontrol award goes to a group or individual who, through a specific act or group of acts, showed outstanding contributions in support of biocontrol development, outreach, or implementation for invasive species management. Biological control of invasive species is the use of live natural enemies (e.g. insects, pathogens, nematodes, mites) of pests to reduce pest population levels below that which would occur in the absence of their natural enemies.

Past recipients include:

  • Sharline Sing USFS by Joseph Milan – BLM, chair of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) (2022)
  • Carol Randall, USDA Forest Service (2021)


Integrated Pest Management Award

The NAISMA Integrated Pest Management Award recognizes efforts demonstrating innovation or novel approaches around a holistic and long-term sustainable integration of habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, biological control and / or chemical control of invasive species. The efforts must have resulted in high environmental, economic, social or public policy impact.

Past recipients include:

  • Agrowest Consulting (2022)
  • Wade Oehmichen, BASF (2021)

Rita Beard Visionary Leadership Award

This award recognizes an early-career individual who has shown exceptional dedication and accomplishments regarding invasive species management or educational activities. Rita Beard, a luminary in the federal and private sector of the invasive species world, passed away in October, 2016 at her home in Fort Collins, CO. Throughout her career, Rita advanced her vision of coordinating invasive species management on a national scope. By encouraging collaboration from the field to congressional levels, she effectively changed the way invasive species are managed in this country. In addition, she worked to make sure that all invasive species management decisions were based on the latest and best available research and technology, thus ensuring that management decisions were supported by science. Towards that end, Rita spearheaded the development of the original mapping standards for the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA), which unified management practices to help ensure consistent data collection.

Past recipients include:

  • Wesley Daniel, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS NAS Database) (2022)
  • Dr. Deah Lieurance, Assistant Extension Scientist, Coordinator, UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants (2021)
  • Dr. Jeanette Davis (2020)

Special Recognition Award

This award goes to an organization or individual who, through a specific act or group of acts, helped amplify NAISMA’s mission: to support, promote, and empower invasive species prevention and management in North America. This could also be an organization/individual who had a particularly successful invasive species project or made a significant contribution to one or more of NAISMA’s programs.

Past recipients include:

  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Wildlife – Impact Management Nonnative Species Subsection (2022)
  • Marsha Watland (2022)
  • Stephen Phillips, Pacific States Marine  Fisheries Commission (2021)

  • Beverlee Lawrence (2021)