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Chair of Environmental Communications at Loyola University New Orleans receives professional leadership award

Loyola press release - August 22, 2001

(New Orleans)--Loyola University New Orleans announces that Robert A. Thomas, Ph.D., has been selected as the second recipient of the Grossi Leadership Award, awarded by the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA). This national organization is dedicated to promoting and supporting best leadership and management practices for nature and environmental learning centers. The purpose of the ANCA award is to recognize individuals who have made a major contribution to the success of a nature center or centers, who have supported and mentored other nature center leaders, and who have made important contributions to the profession.

Thomas is the founding director of the Center for Environmental Communications and the Loyola Chair in Environmental Communications at Loyola. In 1978, immediately after he completed his doctorate in vertebrate zoology, he began work to establish the Louisiana Nature Center, where he was the founding director. His work with the Natural Science for Youth Foundation was recognized with the Elsie M. B. Naumburg Award in 1983. In 1994, he was awarded the Margaret Douglas Medal in Conservation Education by the Garden Club of America. Thomas is a past president of ANCA and has served on the accreditation commission of the American Association of Museums.

Thomas, who began at the university in 1996, is a busy speaker, giving environmental talks in six states and five countries. Known for his reputation for integrity, balance and reasoned dialogue, he is sought after as an expert on environmental issues by national and international television, radio and print journalists and locally as well. Recently, he was a technical advisor for several episodes of "The X-Files" that contained snakes and lizards, his area of specialization.

Based on the heritage of Catholic Jesuit higher education in Louisiana since 1849, Loyola University New Orleans was chartered in 1912.