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Director of Science Honored by Sustainable CT

Dr. Adam Whelchel, director of science for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, has been named Partner of the Year by Sustainable CT.

Media Contacts

  • Susan Wollschlager
    Director of Marketing and Communications, Connecticut
    The Nature Conservancy
    Email: s.wollschlager@tnc.org

Dr. Adam Whelchel, director of science for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, has been named Partner of the Year by Sustainable CT for his extensive work developing and providing the Community Resilience Building process to municipalities and academic institutions since 2008.

Sustainable CT, a nonprofit supporting environmental solutions for municipalities in the Nutmeg State, announced the recognition at the 2023 Sustainable CT Awards Celebration this fall and has found Whelchel’s leadership instrumental in increasing planning and action on climate via his CRB program throughout CT.

Photo of Adam Whelchel holding an award from Sustainable CT.
Director of Science Honored TNC in CT's Dr. Adam Whelchel named Partner of the Year by Sustainable CT. © Photo by Sustainable CT

Dr. Adam Whelchel, director of science for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, has been named Partner of the Year by Sustainable CT.

“We are so very proud to be recognized with this prestigious award by our long-standing partner, Sustainable CT,” says Whelchel, who has been at TNC in CT for more than 17 years. “The Community Resilience Building work that we have advanced hand-in-hand with Sustainable CT is truly making the places we call home more resilient, sustainable, and equitable. The CRB process works because it is all about community-building and allowing people to work together in a constructive and collaborative manner to make their community better.”

Whelchel has been a founding Sustainable CT partner since 2017, and soon after, TNC in CT began providing the CRB process at no cost to municipalities registered with Sustainable CT. The CRB program guides community leaders in outlining strengths, challenges and priority actions to build resiliency and protect people, infrastructure and the environment, as they deal with escalating impacts from climate change in Connecticut and across the United States.

Whelchel continues organizing CRBs for towns and cities, with some joining for additional rounds years after making an initial plan, with the goal of addressing risks and hazards that have changed over time. To date, over 55 municipalities have completed their CRB resulting in over 1.3 million residents in Connecticut (33%) now with climate action plans.

“Sustainable CT is deeply grateful for Adam's work and our strong partnership with The Nature Conservancy,” said Lynn Stoddard, executive director of Sustainable CT. “We are proud to recognize Adam Whelchel as our Partner of the Year for his dedication to helping communities prepare for the very real impacts we are experiencing from climate change. The preparedness actions that towns take as a result of this important work will not only make our communities more resilient, but they will help save lives, money and enhance community well-being.”

Whelchel, a professional wetland scientist and certified wildlife biologist, also works in ecosystem restoration and integrated watershed management with TNC in CT. His 32-year career in leadership positions has resulted in catalytic projects and partnership across the U.S., China, Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. Adam served as the lead facilitator on the Puerto Rico Climate Adaptation Plan and a Lead Author for the U.S. National Climate Assessment. Recently, Whelchel founded both the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program in Massachusetts and the Municipal Resilience Program in Rhode Island—both of which rely on CRB to help their 350+ municipalities, to date. 

Photo of Adam Whelchel shaking hands with a member of Sustainable CT
Director of Science Honored by Sustainable CT Dr. Adam Whelchel, director of science for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, has been named Partner of the Year by Sustainable CT. © Photo by Sustainable CT

Dr. Adam Whelchel, director of science for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, has been named Partner of the Year by Sustainable CT.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.