2022 Karl Mason and Walter Lyon Awards Recipients



Patrick McDonnell – Karl Mason Recipient

MACHAC – Walter Lyon Recipient

(Lori Erb, Turtle Conservation Specialist pictured)


Recipients of the 2022 Karl Mason and Walter Lyon Awards have been announced. Patrick McDonnell (former PADEP Secretary) has received the Karl Mason Award, while the Walter Lyon Award has been awarded to the Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation aka MACHAC’s Bog Turtle Recovery Program (Lori Erb, Turtle Conservation Specialist).

Patrick McDonnell served as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary from 2016 until his retirement in July 2022. He has been with DEP since 1998 serving in a variety of capacities over those years. Read more about Secretary McDonnell here.

The Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and study of amphibians and reptiles. Their Bog Turtle Recovery Program focuses on conservation by conducting population studies, facilitating the preservation of Bog Turtle habitats, creating habitat restoration plans and conducting habitat restoration throughout the range of the Bog Turtle. Lori Erb, Turtle Conservation Specialist, is the lead researcher of this program. Read more about Lori Erb and the Bog Turtle Recovery Program here.

Karl Mason

Karl Mason

History – Karl Mason served as Pennsylvania’s first State Environmental Administrator from 1952 to 1966. Karl’s holistic vision of environmental management embraced essential, but conflicting, needs associated with waste disposal and community environmental protection. The general framework established by Karl serves as the foundation for Pennsylvania’s environmental protection programs to this day. Karl believed and put into practice the notion that environmental protection is primarily the business of professionals who have the skills, by virtue of their scientific training, to manage the technical and scientific complexities of maintaining a safe, healthy and clean environment. He was committed to the belief that continuing education was an essential part of the career of every environmental professional.

Walter Lyon

Walter Lyon

History – Walter Lyon began his professional career as a sanitary engineer at the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington D.C. serving as Assistant Chief of the Planning and Development Branch, Division of Engineering Resources from 1950-1954. He then served for three-years as the Assistant Chief of the Environmental Health Section, Philadelphia Department of Public Health. From 1983 to 2013, Walter went on to teach and consult in the areas of environmental engineering and water policy. For many years, Walter participated in the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals (PAEP) conferences and special events and generously shared his knowledge and experience. He was a strong advocate for employing highly educated, qualified, and experienced environmental professionals in the public and private sectors and serves as a role model for the environmental professionals of today and tomorrow.

Awards Structure – PAEP is pleased to honor their contributions to environmental professionalism and commemorate the vision of both of these pioneers. The awards are presented to professionals who made a unique and creative contribution to the field of environmental management in Pennsylvania with preference given to the fields of administration, law, regulation and community organization. The Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals (PAEP) is the steward of the Karl Mason and Walter Lyon Awards.

Each year, the Karl Mason Award is presented to meritorious nominees selected by the PAEP Board of Directors. The Walter Lyon Award is selected in the same manner. One nominee will be chosen for the two categories as follows:

    • An individual who demonstrated exemplary leadership in the field of environmental management. (the Karl Mason Award)
    • An organization, project or program that made a unique, creative, or significant contribution toward maintenance or restoration of Pennsylvania’s environmental quality or to the field of environmental management. (the Walter Lyon Award)