SmartTALK returns to the stage with conservation leader

October 24, 2011

President Dr. Roger Casey leads a conversation with environmental champion and former state Senator Gerald W. Winegrad at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 when the McDaniel College SmartTALK series returns to the WMC Alumni stage. The event is free and open to the public.

Among the region’s greatest conservation leaders, Winegrad has championed the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and the protection of our natural world as a legislator, leader of national wildlife conservation groups and as a graduate professor.

He heads a group of prestigious senior Bay scientists and policymakers advocating measures to reverse the decline of the Chesapeake. His work has involved analyzing the science for complex environmental issues and developing public policy responses at the state, national, and international levels. He also has broad experience in wildlife management and policies and in electoral politics.

Winegrad holds a B.A. in Economics from Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, and a J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. He has served as counsel to the National Wildlife Federation and as vice president for policy of the American Bird Conservancy in Washington, D.C. During the Vietnam War, he was a naval officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps and was promoted to and served as a full time military judge. He achieved the rank of commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for his naval service.

An author and national and international presenter, he has been a practicing attorney and has taught courses on Chesapeake Bay restoration, land use, and wildlife management at the graduate school level at the University of Maryland, College Park and at Johns Hopkins University, as well as at the University of Maryland Law School. He has authored numerous articles on the environment and has spoken at national and international conferences throughout the U.S. and around the world. He served with distinction in the Maryland Legislature for over 16 years first as a member of the House of Delegates and then as a state Senator from 1983 to 1995.

The recipient of numerous awards for his legislative work, including legislator or conservationist of the year from such groups as the Sierra Club, Audubon Society of the Central Atlantic States, Clean Water Action, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Maryland Public Health Association, Winegrad was called the "environmental conscience" of the Senate by the Washington Post, and Tom Horton wrote that "he is the person who more than any other set Maryland's environmental agenda over the past 16 years." In January 2002, he was presented the prestigious Life Time Achievement Award by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Winegrad lives on Oyster Creek just off of the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis and is an active birder and crabber. He is vice president of the Anne Arundel Bird Club.