Esri Founders Receive Prestigious Audubon Medal

Esri founders Jack and Laura Dangermond.
Esri founders Jack and Laura Dangermond.

The National Audubon Society awarded Esri’s founders, Jack and Laura Dangermond, the Audubon Medal at its annual gala dinner on March 31.

The award acknowledges exceptional work in conservation and environmental protection. It is one of the highest distinctions in the field.

The Dangermonds were recognized for their accomplishments in technology and conservation innovation, as well as their support for research institutes, schools, and nonprofits.

Audubon president and CEO David Yarnold presented the award. He pointed out that the Dangermonds’ commitment to the environment and their development of innovative GIS technology have allowed his organization to support conservation solutions and share empowering data with citizen scientists throughout the United States.

Jack Dangermond spoke on behalf of himself and Laura. He accepted the medal on behalf of their colleagues at Esri, the company’s nonprofit partners, and Esri software users worldwide, noting that the award was “special because it acknowledges the work that we’ve been doing.”

Esri equipped Audubon with $11.2 million worth of software, which has helped, among other things, to preserve one of the world’s most important bird breeding grounds—11 million acres in Alaska that attract birds from all seven continents.

“The maps aggregate different types of data, from soil type to rainfall to demographics of people living in those places,” said Yarnold. “You can put all those together and you can actually see the potential outcomes.”

In his acceptance speech, Jack Dangermond said that if we can unify the two worlds of nature and technology—like the National Audubon Society has done—he “will have a lot more hope for the future.”