|The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
The OFNC George McGee Service Award is given in recognition of a member who has contributed significantly to the smooth running of the Club over several years.
This year, the award goes to Karen McLachlan Hamilton, long-serving editor of Trail & Landscape. All club members are familiar with our quarterly publication, more commonly known as T&L, in which news of the club, regional biological and conservation reports and articles by members, lists of upcoming events, poems, photos and much else is published. Every three months, this lively and informative publication arrives in our mailboxes, to be enjoyed and savoured. I would guess, however, that many of us give little thought to the work and effort that ensures T&L lands in our laps four times a year!
From its inception in 1967, when it was produced five times a year, to today's much more substantial quarterly, T&L has had only 6 editors, as each tends to stay for a long time. Karen McLachlan Hamilton has served in that capacity since 2001 and has overseen the production of more issues (52 to the end of 2013) than anyone since founding editor Anne Hanes (65 issues).
Karen is responsible for seeking articles, editing them for technical accuracy and presentation, providing feedback and suggestions to authors, and making sure the publication is ready for the printer. In this, she is helped by an associate editor, a production coordinator and a mailing team. But the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the quality and production standards of T&L (presentation and timing etc.), is Karen's. No sooner has she put one issue "to bed," than she is working on the next, for there is little downtime in this business. It is astonishing that Karen, with a full-time job, is able to maintain this hectic schedule with professionalism and grace. While an honorarium goes along with the position of editor, it does not begin to compensate for the actual work and time that goes into this process. And besides, Karen has always refused to accept the stipend. It is indeed, a labour of love.
Karen not only edits T&L, she also writes many articles for it, such as the annual summary of the OFNC's Soiree and Awards Ceremony. She has also written numerous book reviews for T&L, which are characterized by a forthright discussion of the books in question, incisive comments on content, and descriptive information on the books themselves. Karen is also a long-serving member of the OFNC Board of Directors and the club's Publications Committee.
For all these reasons, we believe that Karen is very well deserving of this award to recognize her long service on behalf of the OFNC.
(Written by Christine Hanrahan)