At the time of her death, November 10, 2000, Elizabeth Jester Fellows was the Director of the Assessment and Watershed Protection Division in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. She had been the Chief of the Monitoring Branch in the Office for 6 years during which she was the EPA Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Task Force on Monitoring Water Quality (ITFM), the predecessor to the National Water Quality Monitoring Council. She was one of the most insistent voices that the National Water Quality Monitoring Council be chartered to succeed the ITFM.
Elizabeth’s commitment to public service and environmental protection was felt deeply and expressed early. She began her career with the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Her jobs included working with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. She worked at the Federal Office of Management and Budget before joining the EPA. During a period starting in 1997, she was Deputy Director of the Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water at EPA. Elizabeth dedicated her career to natural resources management and environmental protection. She was an effective advocate for developing a nationwide framework for coordinating, collecting, assessing, and communicating water quality monitoring information and results.
In the spirit of continuing to work toward the goals that she established, the National Water Quality Monitoring Council has established the Elizabeth Jester Fellows Award as a way of permanently honoring her. The EJF Award is to recognize and honor individuals for outstanding achievement, exemplary service, and distinguished leadership in the field of water quality monitoring, and/or distinguished leadership at the local, state, interstate, tribal, and/or national levels in natural resource management and environmental protection.
The award is presented at the biannual National Monitoring Conference. The
first award was presented in May 2002.
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