Let’s Celebrate Volunteers: Volunteer Awards 2023

It’s national Volunteers Week (1-7 June) and this year we are again taking this time and opportunity to acknowledge the incredible dedication of our volunteers without whom we simply would not function as an institute. Did you know that CIEEM has around 380 volunteers (including 180 who sit on either a Member Network or Special Interest Group committee), between them fulfilling over 500 different roles. This equates to roughly 23,000 hours of donated time which is equivalent to 11.5 full-time staff! We simply cannot thank all our volunteers enough for the work they deliver collectively. It means so much to the Institute, its members and of course, the wider ecology and environment sector. You are all superstars!

We have also launched a new CIEEM Volunteer Awards scheme to further recognise and give additional thanks to volunteers who the Secretariat and Governing Board feel go above and beyond the call of duty and deliver their roles to an exceptionally high standard. Each year, CIEEM plans to highlight the work of a select few volunteers from a range of different roles within the Institute. After a nomination and judging process, chosen award winners are given an opportunity to attend the annual CIEEM Awards event where they will receive an honourable mention. Please read below to find out more about this years’ chosen winners and some of the amazing work that they have contributed so far…


Claire Lacey

Selected for her sterling work as Convenor of the Scotland committee for two terms, leading a very active geographic section which provided a whole suite of successful member network opportunities and conferences across Scotland. Claire always aimed high for the delivery of one member network event per month, which the Scotland committee still endeavours to deliver. She set the standard that we would like all Member Networks to aspire to (and are already seeing excellent results from her so far in her role as Convenor of the Marine and Coastal SIG). CIEEM are also acknowledging Claire for her excellent work to improve and produce important guidance and standards including guidance particularly for marine mammals.

Graham Russell

Graham is an incredibly active and valued member of the Scotland Policy group. His contributions to policy consultations responses are extremely valuable and while the Scotland Policy group submitted an incredible nine consultation responses in 2022, his input was vital in ensuring several of them were submitted. His ecological knowledge (especially in the marine sector) has been so hugely appreciated, as is the way he pushes to ensure CIEEM are evidence based wherever possible in our responses and highlighting the value of CIEEM’s policy response in being evidence and knowledge based. Our CIEEM policy team felt they could always rely on Graham to respond swiftly to enquiries which was very welcome when consultation deadlines can sometimes be rather tight. Graham’s enthusiasm always shines through, and his passion about sharing knowledge both with the policy team but also with younger members of CIEEM is simply fantastic.

John Rose

John was heavily involved in taking forward fundamental changes to the Associate and Full application processes in his role as Chair of the Membership Assessors Committee (MAC)! His help to develop, guide and refine the application process for the Associate and Full membership application has been so hugely appreciated. This has not only helped improve and streamline the process for applicants but also assessors. John has gone above and beyond with offering time and support to help the Secretariat implement these changes, bounce ideas off for MAC papers as well as sitting on MAC working groups. The way in which he is always happy to give advice and useful feedback to the Secretariat on any competency-related issues with Associate and Full applications (whether that is the pre or post assessment stages) has been so useful. In addition to his Chair role, his continued commitment to assessing Associate and Full applications and being willing and available to help deliver training for new assessors and welcome them to the MAC meetings has been incredible. The CIEEM membership team quote that he “has truly been a pleasure to work with and will be missed by the Membership Team when he steps down from the MAC in September.”

Katie Medcalf

Katie has been an unstoppable driving force behind the UK Overseas Territories SIG! Katie has been instrumental in organising events championing conservation and scientific research in UK Overseas Territories, setting up and confidently hosting well-attended webinars too. She pushed hard for representation of UKOT projects at CIEEM conferences and succeeded several times. She has also been a key contributor to In Practice Articles on behalf of the SIG, and for that we are extremely grateful also. CIEEM has complete confidence in here abilities in the role of Convenor of the UK Overseas Territories SIG, and will be devastated when her second term in the role comes to an end as she has delivered such sterling work, worthy of a CIEEM Volunteer Award. Katie laid the foundations for future successes with the UKOT SIG, and she has been a fantastic volunteer to work with in the process.

Penny Anderson

In her role currently as Chair of the Registration Authority (RA), her vital support in helping to develop, guide and refine the application process for those wishing to join the CEcol Register has been hugely appreciated. Penny has been the go-to person in cases of appeals for CEcol and have always been happy to give advice on competency-related issues with CEcol applications. In addition to her role as Chair on the RA, she has continued to assess applications and taken part in webinars and videos for applicants as well as been willing and available to help deliver training for both new and more established CEcol assessors. The CIEEM Membership Team have quoted that her “dedication to the role of Chair of the RA and the invaluable assistance you have given over many years to the Secretariat and in turn the Membership team, going above and beyond the volunteer role description, has been greatly appreciated.” As too are all the efforts Penny has put in to supporting the CIEEM ERHC SIG in terms of event delivery and in sharing your highly valued expertise in the subject. Additionally, her time and input on the CIEEM Action 2030 working group, especially in her work producing the paper on carbon and ecosystems on this group’s behalf, has been extremely valuable and appreciated. The CIEEM Membership team say that Penny “has been truly a pleasure to work with and will be missed by the whole team when she steps down from the RA in November 2023.”


Congratulations to all the volunteers mentioned above but also to all CIEEM Volunteers. Know that we are incredibly grateful for everything you do for us and the sector too. Thank you so much and be very proud of all you have achieved so far!