SAN FRANCSICO -- AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society, has named a pioneering landscape ecologist from Arizona State University to receive the 2006 International Scientific Cooperation Award.
Jianguo Wu, director of the Landscape Ecology Modeling Laboratory at Arizona State, was cited for his outstanding contributions to sustainable science, including his conceptual modeling activities, his career-long involvement with landscape ecological research in China, and his great enthusiasm and energy in training advanced students and mentoring young scholars.
In collaborative studies from Asia to North America, Professor Wu has studied a variety of landscapes, from Eucalyptus forests in South China to grasslands of Inner Mongolia to the deserts of Arizona.
"Issues of sustainability in China are of urgent significance to the people of Inner Mongolia, where [Wu] does much of his fieldwork, and insights he is gaining there will be important to people of semi-arid regions across the globe," Charles L. Redman, director of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State, wrote in his nomination letter for the award.
Wu was nominated for his work in rejuvenating the field of landscape ecology. He has been at the forefront of efforts to study urbanization and desertification. He has helped bring the human element into the study of landscape ecology by incorporating economic, social and cultural factors in an integrated fashion. Wu has made fundamental contributions to the study of grassland ecology, His extensive study of the largest grassland ecosystem in the world, in Inner Mongolia, is considered to be unmatched in the scientific community. He also has done critical studies on some of the world's urban landscapes and the potential ecological impact of urban development. The National Science Foundation has recognized the importance of such work with a $9.1 million grant to the Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project. Wu has been co-primary investigator on the project.
Wu received his bachelor's degree from Inner Mongolia University in Hohhot, China. He did postdoctoral studies at Princeton University. Now a professor of life sciences at Arizona State, Wu returns frequently to Asia to do grasslands research, train local conservationists, and teach university students how to undertake scientific research and write successful grant proposals. He serves as an adviser on China issues to Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Ecology, a leading international journal in his field.
Jonathan Fink, a professor of geological sciences at Arizona State, noted in his nomination letter that Wu is widely known and respected. During the opening in 2006 of the U.S. National Science Foundation's office in Beijing, Fink said it became clear that all of the NSF staff members at the office were familiar with Wu's work. During the opening, representatives of American institutions spoke of the need to do research that combines cutting-edge discovery with profound social relevance, Fink said. "I felt fortunate that thanks to the efforts and accomplishments of Dr. Wu, Arizona State University, and the many universities that we now partner with in China and the U.S., are well on our way to establishing these kinds of deep multidimensional connections."
Established in 1992, the AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation recognizes an individual or a limited number of individuals for making extraordinary contributions to further international cooperation in science and engineering. Wu will receive a commemorative plaque and a monetary prize of $5,000 on 17 February at the 2007 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.
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