John Wesley Powell Award
Grand Canyon Trust presents the John Wesley Powell Award periodically to an exceptional individual or institution who has accomplished significant conservation for the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau.
John Wesley Powell (March 24, 1834 – September 23, 1902) was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a 3-month river trip down the Green and Colorado Rivers that included the first known passage through the Grand Canyon.
Powell served as second director of the U.S. Geological Survey (1881–1894) and proposed policies for development of the arid West. He was director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution, where he supported linguistic and sociological research and publications. Unlike most white men of his era, Powell had tremendous respect for Native Americans, an insatiable curiosity about their language and institutions, and a belief that they had a right to live their lives according to their own traditions.
Grand Canyon Trust John Wesley Powell Award recipients: