Two environmental activists were among the 23 people honored with MacArthur “genius awards” yesterday. One of the $500,000 fellowships, which are awarded annually to outstanding individuals by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, was pilot and conservationist Sandra Lanham. Lanham flies researchers to remote areas of the Southwest and Mexico to study endangered species. She is a self-taught naturalist, as is the other environmental MacArthur recipient, Cynthia Moss. The director of Kenya’s Amboseli Elephant Research Project, Moss is one of the world’s leading experts on elephants and author of Portraits in the Wild, Elephant Memories, and other books.