Andrea Lawrence Award

A view across an open snow-covered mountain valley spotted with pine trees to three alpine peaks above the tree line with rocky crags and the bright light and blue shadows of a sunset under a bright blue sky, with the middle peak being Mount Andrea Lawrence.

Carrying on the legacy of Andrea Mead Lawrence

Andrea Mead Lawrence was an Olympic double gold medalist, mother of five, visionary environmental leader, 16-year Mono County Supervisor, and advocate for Mono Lake’s protection. The Mono Lake Committee helps to carry on Andrea’s inspirational environmental legacy through the annual presentation of the Andrea Lawrence Award for passionate engagement in community and the land.

Pictured: Mt. Andrea Lawrence, officially designated in 2013.

Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner

The Mono Lake Committee helps to carry on Andrea’s inspirational environmental legacy through the presentation of her award at the annual Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner. The dinner is a chance to gather in memory of Andrea while enjoying food and conversation with a spectacular view of Mt. Andrea Lawrence. It is at this event that we present the Andrea Lawrence Award for passionate engagement in community and the land.

2024 event

We held the 2024 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner on Thursday, May 16 at 5:30pm.

The 2024 Andrea Lawrence Award celebrating passionate engagement with community and the land was presented to Ryan Carle, Science Director for Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge. Ryan has built international partnerships and connections through coordinating phalarope research at Mono Lake and other saline lakes throughout the Western Hemisphere. He also has shared his deep love for the Mono Basin, where he grew up, with many UC Santa Cruz students as a teacher of the Natural History Field Quarter.

Andrea Lawrence Award recipients

The Andrea Lawrence Award is awarded for passionate engagement in community and the land. Find each year’s recipient below or see all recipients since 2011 here.

2023: Dave Marquart

Dave Marquart, retired Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve Ranger, a dedicated and a skilled interpreter during his 36-year career, received the Andrea Lawrence Award in 2023.

Andrea Lawrence Award recipient Dave Marquart, third from left, was honored by family, friends, and colleagues for his 36 years as a State Park ranger at the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve. Photo by Andrew Youssef.
2022, 2021, and 2020

The 2020, 2021, and 2022 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner events were canceled due to COVID-19. In 2021 and 2022 on Andrea’s birthday, April 19, we posted stories and memories from some of her family, friends, and colleagues. We organized an online fundraiser for the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center in Andrea’s memory, which raised more than $14,000 in an outpouring of generous support.

2019: Elsa Lopez

Elsa Lopez, a Los Angeles-based educator, activist, and champion of the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center program, received the Andrea Lawrence Award in 2019.

Current and former Mono Lake Committee staff with Quentin Lawrence and 2019 award recipient Elsa Lopez (second and third from left). Photo by Andrew Youssef.
2018: Phil Pister

Phil Pister, desert fish and golden trout conservationist, environmental ethicist, and retired California Department of Fish & Wildlife fishery biologist, received the Andrea Lawrence Award in 2018.

Geoff McQuilkin and Quentin Lawrence with Phil Pister, center, recipient of the 2018 Andrea Lawrence Award. Photo by Andrew Youssef.
2017: Genny Smith

Genny Smith, author, editor, activist, and the “Naturalist Queen of the Eastern Sierra,” received the Andrea Lawrence Award in 2017.

Geoff McQuilkin, Genny Smith, and Quentin Lawrence at the 2017 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner. Photo by Antonia Chihuahua.
2016: Dan & Leslie Dawson

Dan & Leslie Dawson, formerly of the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve (Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory and Valentine Camp), received the Andrea Lawrence Award in 2016.

Geoff McQuilkin and Quentin Lawrence with Leslie & Dan Dawson, right, recipients of the 2016 Andrea Lawrence Award. Photo by Bartshe Miller.
2015: Ted Schade

Ted Schade, formerly of the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, received the Andrea Lawrence Award in 2015.

Quentin Lawrence, Ted Schade, and Geoff McQuilkin with Ted’s Andrea Lawrence Award at the 2015 dinner. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.
2014: California Department of Fish & Wildlife

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife received the 2014 Andrea Lawrence Award for their dedicated work to achieve the 2013 Mono Basin Stream Restoration Agreement. Department of Fish &Wildlife staff Steve Parmenter and Nancee Murray attended the dinner to accept the award.

Quentin Lawrence, Steve Parmenter, Nancee Murray, and Geoff McQuilkin at the presentation of the 2014 Andrea Lawrence Award to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.
2013: Karen Farrell-Ingram

Karen Ferrell-Ingram, founding Board member and former Executive Director of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust, received the 2013 Andrea Lawrence Award.

Geoff McQuilkin presents the 2013 Andrea Lawrence Award to Karen Ferrel-Ingram. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.
2012: Bodie Foundation

The Bodie Foundation received the 2012 Andrea Lawrence Award. Bodie Foundation President Brad Sturdivant attended to accept the award.

Bodie Foundation President Brad Sturdivant, center, accepted the 2012 Andrea Lawrence Award. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.
2011: Eastern Sierra Audubon

The Eastern Sierra Audubon Society, whose work to initiate the Owens Lake Master Plan process reflected the spirit of collaboration for which Andrea was a tireless advocate, received the 2011 Andrea Lawrence Award.

Pete Pumphrey, second from right, accepted the 2011 Andrea Lawrence Award on behalf of the Eastern Sierra Audubon Society. Photos by Arya Degenhardt.
2008: Mono Lake Committee

The Mono Lake Committee was honored to receive the 2008 Andrea Lawrence Award from Andrea herself.

2007: Friends of the Inyo

In 2007 Andrea started what later became the Andrea Lawrence Award. The inaugural recipient was Friends of the Inyo.

Andrea Mead Lawrence

Skiing career

Black and white photograph of Andrea Mead Lawrence skiing with the text "Downhill Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Combined Championships".

Raised in Rutland, Vermont, Andrea Mead Lawrence skied competitively from 1942–1956. She won the Olympic Tryout Slalom at the age of 14 and was the youngest winner of the Harriman Cup in downhill, slalom, and combined events in 1950, at age 18. During the 1950–51 season, she entered sixteen international races in eight weeks in Europe, placing first in ten races and second in four.

Andrea was a member of the US Olympic Alpine Team in 1948, 1952, and 1956—the only American alpine skier to compete in three Olympics and one of only four women in the world to do so at that time. She was captain of the women’s team in 1952, when she won two Olympic gold medals in slalom and giant slalom.

Andrea was the only American skier to ever win two gold medals in a single Olympics, and was the only woman in the world to do so until the record was matched in 1972. In 1950, Andrea was awarded the American Ski Trophy for making the greatest contribution to the sport of skiing and Time Magazine acknowledged her contribution to her sport by putting her on the cover of their January 21st issue.

Community involvement and environmental advocacy

Black and white image of Andrea Mead Lawrence sitting on a rock with the craggy rocks and snow of the Sierra Nevada behind her.

Andrea was an environmental and community leader and advocate who has helped preserve the beauty of the Eastern Sierra’s landscapes and communities. She served as a Mono County Supervisor and chairperson, where she represented Mono County on many important issues, including supporting the establishment of the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area and advocating for the Bodie Protection Act. She also served as a member and chairperson on the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and served on the boards of the Yosemite Restoration Trust, Coalition for Unified Recreation in the Eastern Sierra, and the Mono Lake Committee.

Throughout her career she also founded several organizations, including Friends of Mammoth, Southern Mono Historical Society, Sierra Nevada Alliance, Sierra Nevada Regional Initiative, and the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers.

Andrea Lawrence Fund

A woman, Andrea Mead Lawrence, looking straight into the camera with a big beautiful smile.

After Andrea’s passing in 2009, her non-profit, the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers (ALIMAR), led by her daughter Quentin, approached the Mono Lake Committee and together both organizations crafted a plan to transfer the ALIMAR program to the Committee.

The Mono Lake Committee created the Andrea Lawrence Fund to promote and celebrate passionate engagement in community and the land with an emphasis on encouraging collaboration and inspiring youth to become environmental leaders.

The fund was established with the transfer of all assets from ALIMAR, which dissolved as an organization. All ALIMAR members became Mono Lake Committee members, and the Committee began hosting the Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner in 2011.

Special gifts in Andrea’s honor are welcome and will be dedicated to the purposes of the fund.

Please send to:

Mono Lake Committee
Andrea Lawrence Fund
P.O. Box 29
Lee Vining, CA 93541

Mt. Andrea Lawrence

In 2013 President Obama signed legislation that named Peak 12,240, on the border between Yosemite National Park and the Inyo National Forest, Mt. Andrea Lawrence. The prominent but previously unnamed peak has sweeping views across Yosemite, the upper San Joaquin River drainage, and the Rush Creek-Mono Lake watershed.

The legislation to name the peak in her honor was advanced by California Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Buck McKeon. “Andrea Lawrence was an Olympic champion who dedicated her life to protecting the treasures of the Eastern Sierra.” Senator Boxer said. “Her passion and achievements were larger than life, which is why I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to name this majestic peak in her honor.”

Top photo by Arya Degenhardt.