Our Donors


Leonard and Jayne Abess

In 2006, Leonard and Jayne Abess made a significant contribution to the University of Miami to name the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.

As devoted environmentalists, they also founded the Abess Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) at Miami Country Day School, the Abess Greenhouse at the Peddie School, and the Abess Floating Research Station in the Brazilian Amazon.

Leonard served as Chairman of the Board of Trustee from 2011-2014.

[More to come...]

Louis Aaron Reitmeister

Louis Aaron Reitmeister (1903-1975) was a 20th century American writer whose dedication to both humanism and the environment was a life-long commitment. He was a respected contributor of articles to numerous academic journals and popular periodicals. Through an understanding of the human condition, most of his books emphasized rights and indivuality in a modern world dominated by a century of hostility and war.

Before his death, he established the Louis Aaron Reitmeister Foundation, which, through grants and scholarships, continues to preserve and safeguard endangered species -- and help rid pollution from rivers, streams, and oceans of the world.

In 2008, the Louis Aaron Reitmeister Foundation generously created an endowed scholarship at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and an endowed award at the University's Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. The funds created the Louis Aaron Reitmeister Endowed Award Fund at the Abess Center.

The Reitmeister-Abess Center Award is presented annually or biennally to the individual who has made a singularly significant contribution to conservation, particularly related to water resources and/or endangered species. The intent of the Award program is to help publicize and promote efforts to preserve and safeguard endangered species and help rid pollution from rivers, streams and oceans of the world.

Past recipients:

Dr. Jennifer Jurado, Director, Natural Resources Planning and Management Division in Broward County

Terrence "Rock" Salt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, US Army (Retired)

Carl Hiaasen, Author and Environmental Activist

Harvey Ruvin, Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts and Environmentalist

Rachel Silverstein, Executive Director and Waterkeeper, Miami Waterkeeper

Orion Herbs

Orion Herbs Co. was established in January 1998 and has been in business in their current Miami Beach Location since 2004. The company was founded to provide the highest quality medicinal herbs and supplements, initially for a single acupuncture office, later developing a wholesale network to other healthcare practitioners. Over the years Orion Herbs has expanded with a signature line of herbal tinctures,  developed by Daniel J. Atchison-Nevel and based on his 25 years of clinical experience.

In 2014, Orion Herbs established the Orion Herbs Fieldwork Grant to benefits graduate students in the Abess Center's Environmental Science and Policy Ph.D. program. The company has pledged to donate 5% of all website sales to the fieldowkr grant, which they hope will help students from underserved populations fulfill their goals of travel and fieldwork.

The first grant recipient was Karlisa Callwood, a now-fifth-year Ph.D. student, who focuses on integrated marine management with the aim of optimizing the design and implementation of marine protected area networks.