"The Clem" Award for Outstanding Non-Member Volunteerism

"The Clem" was established in 2015 as “a perpetual award honoring a person who is not a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists yet who has volunteered to help our organization in a way and an extent that merits this special recognition.”

The inaugural award goes to its namesake, Clem Henriksen. Beloved husband of long-time SEJ member Carolyn Whetzel, he passed away August 21, 2015.

Clem was a leader in bringing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) experts to SEJ's annual conference. He made countless contributions to the organization as a volunteer trainer, tour leader, photographer and donor.

Clem Henriksen’s deep expertise in GIS combined with his profound understanding of journalism and his easy way of teaching served to greatly advance the use of mapping as a storytelling platform. The workshops and demonstrations designed for journalists that Clem developed for SEJ and other J-groups surely enriched news coverage on significant issues, benefiting millions of readers and viewers. Clem worked over three decades for Esri, a GIS technology and analysis enterprise that works with governments, NGOs, industries and academics “to create responsible and sustainable solutions to problems at local and global scales.”


Clem and Carolyn, 2012.



Clem made a grand contribution to environmental journalism. But within SEJ, his good humor and ready friendship, the adventures he shared, leave the biggest legacy. His support for Carolyn in all she was doing for the organization over so many years also did not go unnoticed.

Read more about Clem.




Past winners:

2016 — Ben Sherman



See also: The David Stolberg Meritorious Service Award, which annually recognizes an SEJ member for his or her exceptional volunteer work.