Joel Floyd - Special Projects Award 2021 

Presented by GNSI President Kalliopi Monoyios at the 2021 All-Member Open Board Meeting

Joel Floyd

Established in 1994, this award is given for major projects that required a determination to pursue into being some project that was instrumental in furthering the GNSI mission.This year we are pleased to present the Special Projects Award to Joel Floyd for his role in steering us through the turbulent waters of pandemic conferencing.

As Chair of the Conference Oversight Committee in early 2020, Joel was about ready to hang up his hat and sail into retirement when widespread quarantine orders dashed our plans just weeks before we were to open registration for our 52nd annual conference in Salt Lake City,UT. Joel didn’t miss a beat and deftly switched to steering the ship into virtual waters. He instituted weekly meetings, kept everyone on task, identified holes that needed plugging, and was the steady organizational hand we needed amidst turmoil and uncertainty. The end result was a highly successful and totally innovative conference that was pulled together in just four months. When we asked him to rinse and repeat for 2021, he did so with his characteristic grace and determination.

As it turns out, both virtual conferences set attendance records and became models for accessibility, affordability, and international reach. We are profoundly grateful to Joel for helping us not just survive, but to thrive in the face of adversity, and help usher in a new chapter of online engagement for the Guild.

About Joel

Joel caught the “bug” for science illustration as an undergrad at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff when a museum curator noticed he could draw and asked him to illustrate entomological specimens. Later while pursuing an MS degree in entomology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, he enrolled in Don Sayner’s scientific illustration classes and illustrated a book on venomous animals of Arizona. He also took several classes from Jerry Hodge at the Scottsdale Artists School and learned a variety of techniques from many GNSI workshops at conferences.

Joel worked for a regulatory agency in the US Department of Agriculture for thirty-five years where he was an insect and plant disease identifier at international ports of entry and later managed national invasive species programs, emergency programs, and plant pest diagnostics coordination. All along Joel has done free-lance work for various non-profit organizations, government agencies, publishers and museums. He has taught natural science illustration at Montgomery College in Maryland, held drawing workshops for young people, and completed a large-scale indoor mural. Before the pandemic, he volunteered for several years at theSmithsonian’s National Museum of Natural history, assisting in maintenance of the entomology department’s insect illustration archive.

Joel has been a member of the GNSI since 1981 and he served as President of the GNSI DC Chapter from 2015-2017. Prior to serving as Chair of the Conference Oversight Committee from 2019-2021, Joel chaired GNSI’s 50th anniversary conference in 2018 in our founding city: Washington, D.C.