GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity has announced the establishment of the Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award, commemorating the important contributions to conservation and environmental education by Roy and Charlotte Lukes, two of Wisconsin’s most influential and beloved naturalists.

The award, created by a generous endowment from West Bend philanthropist Ron Horn, will support an annual scholarship for student research on natural history or nature conservation.

The Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award will be available to support conservation research in Door County by a student enrolled or employed by UW-Green Bay. Preference will be given to student research at the Toft Point Natural Area and the surrounding Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands, designated in 2015 as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. The initial award will be $1,000.

In addition to fostering original research on the natural history, ecology, and biodiversity conservation of Toft Point and Door County, this annual award is intended to provide valuable hands-on research opportunities for students. Past recipients of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity’s Student Research Grants have demonstrated the effectiveness of faculty-guided student research in helping shape successful careers in a wide variety of professions. By combining science, conservation and education, the Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award will extend the legacy and unselfish values that these two important Door County leaders have championed for more than half a century.

Born and raised in Kewaunee, Roy Lukes was a friend and colleague to many at UW-Green Bay. The educator and nature writer was known for his contributions well beyond the borders of Door County and the state of Wisconsin.

“Roy possessed an infectious combination of intellectual curiosity, passion, and kindness,” said Prof. Robert Howe, director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. “For more than four decades, he and Charlotte contributed to UW-Green Bay’s academic program by mentoring and inspiring students and by helping build the knowledge base about northeastern Wisconsin’s natural history and ecology. This generous gift from Ron Horn will help continue this legacy forever, we hope. We are very lucky to be part of a regional community with support by people like Roy, Charlotte, Ron, and many others, including members of the Friends of Toft Point, which Roy and Charlotte helped form.”

The award is part of the ongoing Cofrin Student Research Grants Program which has funded faculty-guided research for more than 150 graduate and undergraduate researchers since 1989. Donations to the Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award or to the Cofrin Student Research Program are welcome and will be used to increase future student award amounts.