John Acorn received the Carr Award for inspiring interest in amateur entomology and public awareness of entomology across Alberta. John has an international reputation as a science writer, speaker and television entertainer, and his long running television show, “Acorn the Nature Nut”, brought entomology and natural history in Alberta to an wide audience throughout the world. He has had a major impact on amateur entomology in Alberta through his books, including “Butterflies of Alberta”, “Bugs of Alberta”, and “Tiger Beetles of Alberta”, as well as numerous other books on insects and natural history. John has also given his time generously for the promotion of entomology. He was the first to start organized public butterfly counts in Alberta, and has been the feature speaker or organizer for an extensive array of public events in Alberta and elsewhere. Throughout these activities, John Acorn’s commitment to amateur entomology in Alberta has been deep and unwavering.
John and Bertha Carr
John and Bertha Carr jointly received the Award. John Carr is the son of Frederick Stephen Carr, the namesake of the Frederick S. Carr Award. After donating his father’s insect collection to the University of Alberta in 1939, John and his wife Bertha continued on in his footsteps, and began amassing their own Alberta beetle collection. John is an oilfield geologist by training, and Bertha is a homemaker; their insect collecting has been strictly an unpaid passion. Over the years they have become noted authorities on our local beetle fauna. They have frequently gone on collecting trips with other coleopterists, and they have always been happy to entertain enquiries and visits from young enthusiasts. They have contributed significantly to the training of coleopterists, and to entomology in general in Alberta. In 2001 their beetle collection, equal in size to the F.S. Carr collection at approximately 100,000 specimens, was donated to the Canadian National Collection in Ottawa.
Dr. Ruby Larson was transferred to the present-day Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research Centre from Swift Current in 1948. There she worked on cytogenetics of wheat until she retired in 1979. She is a charter member and honorary member of the Entomological Society of Alberta. In her spare time, she was dedicated to science education. She was a founding member of the Lethbridge Science Fair, and also created the Lethbridge Science Club. Every Saturday for over 20 years, she hosted this group of young enthusiasts in her basement. Graduates of her club include Dr. Ken Richards (Ph.D. in Entomology), Dr. Joe Shorthouse (Ph.D. in Entomology), Dr. J. Haberman (M.D.), Dr. Dave Larson (Ph.D. in Entomology), and Dr. Carol Brosgart (M.D.). Although her professional accomplishments have been internationally recognized, it is for her contributions to encourage amateur entomology that she is awarded the Carr Award (and the ESC Criddle Award).