UCSB professor and director receives two national awards

08/02/04

(Portland, Ore.) –– Two national awards are being presented this summer to Jim Reichman, director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), based at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is also a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology.

The 2004 Distinguished Service Citation from the Ecological Society of America recognizes Reichman for long and distinguished service to ESA, to the scientific community, and to the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare. It will be presented on Monday, August 2, at the society's national meeting in Portland, Ore. The award salutes Reichman for his career of service, including his directorship of NCEAS. "Clearly its present role and prominence reflects Jim's efforts, imagination and leadership," said the committee. "Under Jim's guidance, NCEAS has become one of the most valuable resources for the environmental science community, not only in the U.S. but also internationally."

NCEAS, initiated in 1995 under UCSB professors William Murdoch and Michael Goodchild, was originally expected to bring in 500 visiting ecologists over five years for various lengths of time, explained Sandy Andelman, deputy director of NCEAS. However, the Center has hosted 700 visitors per year over nine years, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) has requested a renewal proposal that would extend funding beyond the original 11 years. "The model has been successful beyond what anybody ever imagined," she said, noting that Reichman has worked hard to make NCEAS an academic community center, rather than an exclusively discipline-oriented endeavor. The program has been so successful under Reichman's guidance that the NSF has adopted the model for other disciplines, said Andelman.

Also this summer, Reichman received the premier research award in mammalogy, the C. Hart Merriam Award of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM). This award, presented at the annual meeting of the ASM in June, cited Reichman's contributions as director of NCEAS as well as his research contributions.

"The present role and prominence of NCEAS reflects Jim's broad background and open, consensus-building leadership style," according to the citation. "Under Jim's guidance, NCEAS has become one of the most valuable resources for the environmental science community, not only in the U.S. but also internationally. … Its working groups have produced seminal papers and pioneered new research frontiers. …The breadth of the science done there and the interactive, collaborative atmosphere that makes the place work so well must be attributed in large measure to Jim's vision and leadership. Just for his role at NCEAS, Jim would have to merit recognition as one of the most influential living ecologists."

Regarding mammalogy, the citation said, "A look at his c.v. will reveal that he has a long and distinguished research career, with nearly all of his work being in mammalogy of some kind. He has more than 70 publications, many in the very best peer-reviewed journals. These show an amazing diversity of interests and accomplishments. … Jim is a great collaborator, as shown by the number and exceptional breadth of his co-authored publications. He has also trained as graduate students some outstanding mammalogists … ."

Reichman was also cited for his service as president, vice-president, and member of the ASM board of directors, as well as special features editor of the society's journal. In addition, he was the first assistant director for research of the National Biological Service, and has served on editorial boards and governing boards of other scientific societies and non-profit, science-related corporations.

The citation summarizes Reichman's career, stating that he has been an "exceptionally influential ecologist and mammalogist. Much of this influence has come through his role as director of NCEAS, a member of editorial boards and committees, and through his other service activities. In addition, however, Jim has made major contributions to mammalogy in research and graduate student training, and as an officer of the American Society of Mammalogists. His research contributions are especially noteworthy."

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