Sierra College Professor Emeritus Joe Medeiros received Placer Land Trust’s prestigious Placer Conservator Award at a dinner in Loomis on Saturday. The Placer Conservator Award honors exceptional individuals who have enriched the quality of life in Placer County through resource conservation.
Past recipients include retired Placer County Planning Director and current Placer Land Trust board president Fred Yeager, former County Agricultural Marketing Specialist Joanne Neft, Publisher of Sierra Heritage Magazine and Placer Sentinel, Janice Forbes, and Janet Cobb and Ellen Maldonado representing the California Wildlife Foundation. All were on hand to present the award to Mr. Medeiros.
“Joe’s contributions to the quality of life in Placer County have been enormous and far-reaching. In addition to his work at Sierra College,Joe has put in countless hours of volunteer time to promote, protect and restore our natural resources. By sharing his love and knowledge of our natural environment, Joe has inspired the current generation of emerging leaders to balance the needs of society and nature, and to provide a better world for future generations,” commented Fred Yeager.
In addition to the award, Supervisor Jim Holmes presented a commendation from Placer County Board of Supervisors.
“Joe has educated and inspired students in the department of Biological Sciences at Sierra College in Rocklin through his teachings about natural ecosystems throughout California and the west. He has also organized and conducted the “Placer’s Future” event at Sierra College helping participants focus on the protection of Placer County’s environmental, agricultural, and open space needs for the future,” read the Supervisors’ commendation.
Joe dedicated 33 years to the California Community College system in order to share his passion for the outdoors and the environment. He began at Modesto Jr. College from 1974-1990 where he taught botany and biology and was founder and past Executive Director of the Great Valley Museum of Natural History at the college.
From 1990-2009 he taught botany, ecology, and environmental studies at Sierra College in Rocklin. During his tenure there he was the first faculty advisor of ECOStudents (Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students), voted Faculty of the Year(chosen by academic senate), Teacher of the year (Chosen by students) and received a lifetime Achievement Award.
Gary Noy, a long-time friend a colleague from Sierra College,shared some history about Joe’s career. “Aside from his work at Sierra College,many in Placer County know Joe as a great naturalist and storyteller. He freely shares his knowledge of local flora and fauna helping people understand the wild places where we live. In addition to learning about ecosystems and habitat, Joe imparts an emotional connection to the land. He inspires his audience to examine their relationship with theplanet and act responsibly.”
Event Sponsors included the Armrod Charitable Foundation,Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust, Janice Forbes, Aronowitz & Skidmore, Inc., Supervisor Jim Holmes, Placer Vineyards, Adams & Hayes Law, Andregg Geomatics, Julie Hanson, and The Houston Group.
Placer Land Trust is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 1991 and dedicated to working with willing landowners and conservation partners to permanently preserve natural and agricultural lands in Placer County. To date the Trust has preserved 4,654 acres across Placer County for current and future generations. For more information about Placer Land Trust or the Placer Conservator Award see www.placerlandtrust.org.