AIBS to present annual awards

Washington, DC--The American Institute of Biological Sciences will present this year's major awards at the annual gathering of the AIBS Council of Member Societies and Organizations on May 23 in Washington, DC.

The awards are as follows:

  • Distinguished Scientist Award: Louis J. Gross, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Education Award: Judy Scotchmoor, University of California, Berkeley
  • Outstanding Service Award: John G. Hildebrand, University of Arizona
  • President's Citation Award: Mary E. Clutter, former assistant director, Biological Sciences Directorate, National Science Foundation
  • Past President's Award: Marvalee Wake, University of California, Berkeley
  • Broadcast Media Award: Daniel Grossman, Radio Netherlands and NPR Living on Earth
  • Print Media Award: Margaret Wertheim, LA Weekly
  • Print Media Honorable Mention: Michael Balter, Science

AIBS President Kent Holsinger and Executive Director Richard O'Grady said in a joint statement: "We are pleased to honor these talented and dedicated individuals. From a variety of backgrounds, they have all made significant positive contributions to the field of biology."

For more information on the AIBS annual awards, see http://www.aibs.org/about-aibs/awards.html. For more information on the 2006 awards ceremony, see http://www.aibs.org/council-news/.

Below are detailed biographies of the award winners:

Louis J. Gross will receive the Distinguished Scientist Award, presented annually to individuals who have made significant scientific contributions to the biological sciences. Gross is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics and Director of The Institute for Environmental Modeling at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has led the effort to develop an across trophic level modeling framework to assess the biotic impacts of alternative water planning for the Everglades of Florida. He is also well known for service on editorial boards of a variety of journals and being the organizer of over twenty conferences of professional societies. He is President-Elect of the Faculty Senate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Immediate Past-President of the Society for Mathematical Biology, and former Chair of the National Research Council Committee on Education in Biocomplexity Research. He has served as Chair of the Theoretical Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America. He has co-directed several Courses and Workshops in Mathematical Ecology at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, has edited or co-edited four books, including Individual-Based Models and Approaches in Ecology and Some Mathematical Questions in Biology: Plant Biology. In addition to his research in computational ecology, he has ongoing research projects in photosynthetic dynamics, landscape ecology, and the development of quantitative curricula for life science undergraduates. He has been a leader in promoting the interaction of scientists and educators in envisioning the future of biology education. He is a long-time volunteer for Jubilee Community Arts and Community Shares, has hosted and produced folk music programs for WUOT-FM since 1983, and serves as House Sound Engineer for concerts at the Laurel Theatre in Knoxville.

Judy Scotchmoor will receive the Education Award, presented annually to individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to education in the biological sciences, at any level of formal and informal education. Scotchmoor is Assistant Director for Education and Public Programs at the University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley. She coordinates the "Explorations through time" and "Understanding evolution" programs at the Museum, both of which are supported by funding from the National Science Foundation. She is also project coordinator for ISTAT (Integrating Science and Technology), co-Chair of the Science Coalition at the University of California - Berkeley, and a Director of the California Science Teachers Association. She is co-Chair of the Education Committee of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology and is editor and co-author of "Learning from the fossil record" and "Evolution: investigating the evidence," two widely used resource books for science teachers. Her most recent projects include work on the creation of a Coalition on the Public Understanding and Appreciation for Science (COPUS).

John G. Hildebrand will receive the Outstanding Service Award, presented annually in recognition of individuals' and organizations' noteworthy service to the biological sciences. Hildebrand is Regents Professor and Professor of Neurobiology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Entomology, and Molecular & Cellular Biology and Director of the Arizona Research Laboratories Division of Neurobiology at the University of Arizona. He has given service to many professional societies, government agencies, editorial boards, and research laboratory boards, including at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and the Statione Zoologica in Naples. He has received many honors and awards for his energetic and enthusiastic contributions. Most recently, Hildebrand serves as president for the Arizona Arts, Sciences and Technology Academy. This is a new effort to bring the intellectual forces in Arizona together with state leadership, and has already attracted the governor's attention and participation. He is an outstanding teacher and mentor, and is dedicated to producing outstanding research in the neurosciences and behavior while also promoting public understanding of science and its social impacts.

Mary E. Clutter will receive the President's Citation Award, which recognizes meritorious accomplishments by individuals or groups in the biological sciences. Clutter is former assistant director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she was responsible for the Biological Sciences Directorate that supports all major areas of fundamental research in biology. Dr. Clutter has also served as the U.S. Chair of the U.S.-European Commission Task Force on Biotechnology, a member of the Board of Trustees of the international Human Frontiers Science Program, a member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine, a member of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board, chair of the Biotechnology Subcommittee of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), co-chair of the Subcommittee on Ecological Systems of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources/NSTC and co-chair of the NSTC Committee on Science's Interagency Working Group on Plant Genomes. She is a member of numerous professional societies and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is a Fellow of the AAAS and the Association for Women in Science. Dr. Clutter received her B.S. in biology from Allegheny College and her Master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, which presented her with its Medal of Distinction. She also holds honorary doctorates from Allegheny College and Mt. Holyoke College.

Marvalee Wake will receive the Past President's Award, which recognizes the services of the Immediate Past-President of AIBS. In addition to being former AIBS president, Wake is also a former president of the International Union for Biological Sciences (IUBS), as well as other professional societies. She has served on the Smithsonian Science Commission, the US National Academy of Sciences Board on Sustainable Development, and National Science Foundation advisory committees and task forces, and a number of committees and boards. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the California Academy of Sciences, and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1988-89 and a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2002. She received her Ph. D. in biology from the University of Southern California. She has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, for 35 years, and was Assistant and Associate Dean of the College of Letters and Science, Chair of the Departments of Zoology and Integrative Biology, and was Chancellors Professor of Integrative Biology.

Daniel Grossman will receive the Broadcast Media Award for his work with Radio Netherlands and NPR Living on Earth on "Noah's Raft: Saving Madagascar's Wildlife Without the Ark." Grossman has been a print journalist and radio producer for 19 years. He holds a Ph.D. in political science and a B.S. in physics, both from MIT. He was awarded a Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he studied climate science. He has reported from all seven continents, including from within 1,000 miles of both the south and north poles. He has produced radio stories and documentaries on science and the environment for National Public Radio's environmental show Living on Earth; National Public Radio's news magazine Weekend Edition; Public Radio International's international affairs show, The World; the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Germany's Deutsche Welle radio; the BBC; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; the documentary show Soundprint, and Radio Netherlands. He is coauthor of A Scientist's Guide to Talking with the Media: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists (Rutgers University Press, 2006). He is a two-time winner of the AIBS Media Award; he also won in 2004 for "The Penguin Barometer," a story on global warming.

Margaret Wertheim will receive the Print Media Award for her work with LA Weekly on "GenX on Ice" and "Godzilla Ice." Wertheim is an internationally noted science writer and commentator. She is the author of Pythagoras' Trousers, a history of the relationship between physics and religion, and The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet. She writes the "Quark Soup" column for the LA Weekly and is a contributor to the New York Times Science Section and the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed page. In her native Australia, she wrote and produced television science documentaries, including the award-winning series "Catalyst," aimed at teenage girls. In 2003, Wertheim founded the Institute For Figuring, an organization that presents lectures and exhibitions about the poetic dimensions of science and mathematics. (www.theiff.org) She is currently working on a book about the role of imagination in theoretical physics.

In addition, AIBS has given an honorable mention in print media to Michael Balter for his work with Science on "Are Humans Still Evolving?".

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About AIBS: The American Institute of Biological Sciences is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) scientific association dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the welfare of society. Founded in 1947 as a part of the National Academy of Sciences, AIBS became an independent, member-governed organization in the 1950s. Today, with headquarters in Washington, DC, and a staff of approximately 50, AIBS is sustained by a robust membership of some 5,000 biologists and 200 professional societies and scientific organizations; the combined individual membership of the latter exceeds 250,000. AIBS advances its mission through coalition activities in research, education, and public policy; publishing the peer-reviewed journal BioScience and the education website ActionBioscience.org; providing scientific peer review and advisory services to government agencies and other clients; convening meetings; and managing scientific programs. Website: www.aibs.org.


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