Lacawac Sanctuary To Honor 4 With Lifetime Achievement Awards Aug. 12, Wayne County

The Lacawac Sanctuary will honor three individuals and one company with Lifetime Achievement Awards at its annual Farm To Plate Dinner on August 12 at the Sanctuary’s 113-year-old Waters Lodge in Lake Ariel, Wayne County. The awardees are:

— Lifetime Achievement Award in Research: Dr. Daniel Townsend;

— Lifetime Achievement Award in Education: PPL Electric Utilities; and 

— Lifetime Achievement Awards in Preservation: Roy Chesseri and Dr. Dennis Peterson.

Dr. Daniel Townsend

Dan Townsend retired as a faculty member in the Biology Department at the University of Scranton after 29 years (1987-2016). He was active in numerous environmental and civic organizations during his time at the University of Scranton, including Lacawac Sanctuary.

His earliest involvement at Lacawac dates from fall 1988, when he began bringing his ecology class to the sanctuary for the first of many outdoor labs focused on its aquatic (Lake Lacawac) and terrestrial communities.

In 1991, Dan initiated a research program in forest community ecology at Lacawac, aspects of which continue today.

In 1992, Dan became involved in the sanctuary’s administrative structure, and eventually served in the following capacities: Member (1992-2000) and Chair (1994-2000) of the Science and Resource Management Committee; Member of the Board of Trustees (1994-2004), Administrative Vice Chair (1997-2000), Chair (2001-2004); Chair of the Nominating Committee (1998-2000); Planning Committee member (1995-2001) and Chair (1995-98); Chair of Executive Committee, 2001-2004.

Over the years, Dan conducted many natural history walks, educational talks and other programs while affiliated with Lacawac, and frequently brought students to the sanctuary in his ecology course and under other educational programs.

His research program in forest community ecology, begun in 1991, ultimately involved the participation of many undergraduate students, mainly from the University of Scranton. In 1994-95, with the help of many volunteers, the experimental deer exclosures were installed that still stand today.

PPL Electric Utilities

As one of the largest investor-owned companies in the U.S. utility sector, PPL Corporation delivers on its promises to customers, investors, employees and the communities we serve.  PPL Electric Utilities provides an outstanding service experience for our customers, consistently ranking among the best in the U.S. 

PPL is committed to providing essential energy services in extraordinary way. The company is a positive force in the cities and towns where they do business, providing support for programs that create jobs, donating millions to charitable organizations that improve the quality of life, and encouraging the generosity of employees who volunteer freely to help others.

The PPL Electric Utilities awarded more than $450,000 in sustaining grants to 95 nonprofit organizations, including Lacawac, across Pennsylvania to support their efforts to improve education, develop the future workforce and revitalize communities in 2017, including Lacawac Sanctuary.

“At PPL, our commitment to the communities we serve guides our work every day. Whether it’s delivering power to homes or businesses or volunteering as tutors at local schools, our employees bring that commitment to life,” said Ryan Hill, president of the PPL Foundation. “The PPL Foundation’s sustaining grant program allows us to further that commitment through partnerships with nonprofit organizations that have a meaningful and positive impact on communities throughout northern and central Pennsylvania. Together we are working to empower communities.”

Roy Chesseri

Roy started his career at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ performing research on electrical connector systems.  He rapidly progressed into high level management positions at Hewlett Packard, Wallace & Tiernan and Steinway Piano Companies. 

These positions all focused on optimizing all aspects of Manufacturing Operations.

Roy started his involvement with Lacawac after a fortuitous encounter with Arthur Watres at a Technical Seminar about ten years ago. 

Roy has been on the Lacawac Board of Directors and continues to contribute to the improvement of Lacawac in a wide variety of ways.  Most recently Roy has played an important role in the restoration of the Ice House at Lacawac Sanctuary.

Dr. Dennis Peterson

Dennis’ childhood in rural Minnesota led him to a love of the natural world and a lifetime interest and career in science. He studied biology and chemistry culminating in a doctorate in Biochemistry (’69).

He had a 35 year career focused mainly on the fate and toxicity of chemicals in the environment. After retiring in 2004, Dennis moved to N.E. P.A. to live near Lake Wallenpaupack.

He discovered Lacawac Sanctuary as soon as he moved here in 2004 and saw volunteering at Lacawac as a way to keep a finger in science and to help preserve the natural environment.

As a volunteer at Lacawac, Dennis has made many new friends and served in many capacities: He has served on numerous committees and ad hoc groups, including Science & Research, Membership, Education, Building & Grounds and the Forest Management group.

He has served on the management board of directors and has been responsible for deer exclosure maintenance.

For a number of years he gave the scheduled tours of the great camp. He has also worked on numerous improvement projects for the buildings, trails, forest and Lake.

Dennis remains committed to Lacawac Sanctuary and looks forward to being around for its future growth and successes.

Farm To Plate Dinner

The 2017 Farm To Plate Dinner will feature cocktails, dinner stations at the Historic Watres Lodge, live music, and a silent auction.  Cost per person is $85 and can be purchased in advance or if you have questions, call Lacawac at 570-689-9494 or send email to:

For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the Lacawac Sanctuary website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates (right panel). Follow on TwitterLike on Facebook.   Click Here to support their work.

(Photo: Dr. Daniel Townsend, Roy Chesseri and Dr. Dennis Peterson.)

[Posted: August 4, 2017]


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