Friend of the Lake Award

The 2024 Friend of the Lake Award will be presented to Don Leonard at the Alta Club Reception and Banquet on Friday, May 10th



Friend of the Lake Award Recipients

The Friend of the Lake Award is given to a person, organization, or business performing outstanding work in education, research, advocacy and/or the arts to benefit Great Salt Lake. There is a vibrant and active community of people working on behalf of the Lake. Their efforts help increase our understanding and awareness of our big salty neighbor. Understanding can lead to positive action for preservation of Great Salt Lake. To recognize these talents and contributions, FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake established an award to be presented at our Biennial Great Salt Lake Issues Forum.

2002 – The first award was presented to the late Dr. Donald R. Currey, geomorphologist in the Geography Department at the University of Utah. Dr. Currey worked to raise awareness about the unique geomorphological features that surround Great Salt Lake, their importance as archives of the past, and why they should be protected.

2004 - Joy Emory is an environmental engineer representing FRIENDS on the Kennecott South End Technical Advisory Committee as part of the CERCLA process. Her understanding of extremely complex surface and ground water dynamics as it pertains to the remediation of mining contamination helped FRIENDS participate more fully in this important process.

2006 - Al Trout is the retired manager of the USFWS Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City, Utah. Al worked tirelessly with the community and volunteers to restore the Refuge after the high water years of the 1980’s. He continues to be an arch advocate for Great Salt Lake preservation and protection.

2008 – There were two recipients this year -  a doctor and an attorney. It’s important for the Lake to have both. Dr. Maunsel Pearce, Chair of the GSL Alliance and Joro Walker, Senior Attorney at Western Resources Advocates. Dr. Pearce has always been there for the Lake – advocating for better management, stronger protection and greater recognition of this hemispherically important ecosystem. Just like good science, good legal insight can strengthen the work FRIENDS is trying to do for the Lake. Joro has been instrumental in providing legal support to help advance timely and responsible results for the Lake.

2010 – Don Paul is president of AvianWest, Inc, a bird and habitat conservation business. He is a career wildlife biologist having served 34 years in several positions for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and four years as the Great Basin Bird Conservation Region Coordinator. His career emphasis takes two directions, conservation biology with emphases in international community conservation linkages and avian conservation with experience in large-scale landscape bird monitoring.

2012 – Charles Uibel, ( has an incredible photographic eye. He has been to just about every place a person can go around the Lake, capturing its beauty in such a magical way that the viewer is awed. His photographs are a constant reminder of the power and the importance of Great Salt Lake in our lives.

2014 – Hikmet Sidney Loe teaches art history at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Her research on Robert Smithson’s earthwork the Spiral Jetty has led to her cumulative work, The Spiral Jetty Encyclo: Exploring Robert Smithson’s Earthwork through Time and Place (forthcoming, as are several book chapters on the earthwork). She contributes regularly to the online magazine 15 Bytes ( and has essays included in the online Exhibition catalog essays were commissioned of Loe in 2013 for Utah Biennial: Mondo Utah (Utah Museum of Contemporary Art) and Plurality: Frank McEntire in Retrospect (Snow College University), and in 2014 for No One Site (The Leonardo and the School of Architecture, University of Utah). She has curated exhibitions at Westminster College, Finch Lane Gallery (Art Barn), and The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York; lectures frequently; and exhibits photographs related to the land.

2016 – At the the 2016 Great Salt Lake Issues Forum, FRIENDS honored the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program (GSLEP) with this award for its collaborative due diligence in studying artemia franciscana – Great Salt Lake brine shrimp. Over the past 20 years, this public-private partnership represented by the Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Cooperative, Division of Wildlife Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, Utah State University and the University of Notre Dame has succeeded in developing a sustainable management model for this resource. The Brine Shrimp Population Model developed by Dr. Gary Belovsky, University of Notre Dame, is a model used to track the brine shrimp demographics and manage the fishery in order to maximize production and ensure a healthy ecosystem. Our hats go off to the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program (GSLEP) for its coordinated effort in providing a valuable tool for managing this resource.

2018 – Steven E. Clyde, ClydeSnow, is recognized with this award for initiating a timely and important conversation about how we can bring water to Great Salt Lake. In a room filled with attorneys and water-purveyors at the October 2016 Utah Water Law Conference in Salt Lake City, Clyde delivered his white paper, Water Rights for Great Salt Lake -- is it the Impossible Dream? He argued that the Lake has a range of ecosystem services and values that must be honored; and that in the context of Utah water law, there are viable tools for bringing water to the Lake to sustain these values and to fulfill our stewardship responsibility for this unique and complex system.

2020 – During the twenty four years Neka Roundy worked for Davis County Community and Economic Development, she was involved with many interests involving Great Salt Lake: Linking Communities; Wetlands and Migratory Birds; Farmington Bay Visitor Center committee/Great Salt Lake Nature Center; Master Plan committee for Greater Great Salt Lake ecosystem; traveled to Nayarit, Mexico to discuss habitat conservation with government officials; worked on surveys for the “Proposed Attitude Awareness Study of Great Salt Lake and Davis County Communities;" served as a member of the Legacy Parkway Scenic Byway Committee; served as a member of the Governor’s Great Salt Lake Advisory Council; and served as a Friends of Antelope Island board member.

2022 – FRIENDS is delighted to recognize Rep. Tim Hawkes as the recipient of the 2022 Friend of the Lake Award. Tim is a champion and outstanding advocate of Great Salt Lake. First elected to the House of Representatives in 2014, his work on the Hill focusing on important water, Great Salt Lake, sovereign lands, and environmental issues, has been timely, significant, and deeply appreciated. Tim serves on the House Business and Labor Committee, the House Natural Resources Committee, and in appointed leadership as Chair of the House Rules Committee. From 2013 – 2017, he served as co-chair of Governor Herbert’s State Water Strategy Advisory Team, and currently serves as General Counsel for the Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Cooperative, Inc.