Twenty environmental researchers from across North America have been awarded Leopold Leadership Fellowships for 2011.
Based at Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment, the Leopold Leadership Program was founded in 1998 to help academic scientists make their knowledge accessible to decision makers. Each year the program selects up to 20 mid-career academic environmental researchers as fellows. They receive intensive leadership and communications training to help them engage effectively with policymakers, journalists, business leaders, and communities confronting complex decisions about sustainability and the environment.
"These twenty outstanding researchers are change agents engaged in cutting-edge research," said Pam Sturner, the executive director of the Leopold Leadership Program. "Through our program, they will gain new skills and connections to help them translate their knowledge into action at the regional, national, and international level."
The 2011 fellows come from a wide range of disciplines, including marine science, ecology, engineering, geography, economics, behavioral science, and political science. They will join a network of 153 past fellows who are actively working to infuse the best research into public and private sector discussions about the environment.
The fellows were chosen for their outstanding qualifications as researchers, demonstrated leadership ability, and strong interest in communicating beyond traditional academic audiences. Each fellow participates in two week-long training sessions that include practice media interviews and meeting with policymakers in Washington, D.C. The fellowship also offers peer networking and mentoring through the Leopold Leadership Network of program advisors, trainers, and past fellows.
"Academic scientists work hard to understand environmental problems and to develop potential solutions, but to actually solve problems requires communication and a two-way flow of information between scientists and decision makers," said Pamela Matson, Dean of Stanford University's School of Earth Sciences and Scientific Director of the program. "The Leopold Leadership Program trains academics to close the gap between knowledge and action."
The Leopold Leadership Program is funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
The 2011 Leopold Leadership Fellows are:
Joseph Arvai, Svare Chair in Applied Decision Research, Haskayne School of Business, and Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment, & Economy, University of Calgary. Current research: Decision science and risk management across social, environmental, and economic contexts.
Elena Bennett, Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resource Sciences and McGill School of Environment, McGill University. Current research: Ecosystem services and management of agricultural landscapes.
Elizabeth Canuel, Professor of Marine Science, Department of Physical Sciences, Virginia Institute of Marine Science / College of William & Mary. Current research: Nutrient pollution and development of renewable energy in coastal waters.
Greg Characklis, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Current research: Water resource management and treatment strategies based on hydrologic, engineering and economic processes.
Leah Gerber, Associate Professor, Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Science, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University. Current research: Marine conservation ecology, population biology, and adaptive management.
Liz Hadly, Professor of Biology and Professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences, by courtesy, Stanford University. Current research: Evolution and ecology of mammals; historic perspective on climate change.
Jessica Hellmann, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame. Current research: Impacts of climate change and human activities on the dynamics of populations and species interactions; "adaptation" methods of reducing climate impacts.
Andrew Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan. Current research: Cultural and institutional aspects of environmental issues for organizations (corporations, NGOs and governments).
Tracey Holloway, Associate Professor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Director, Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), University of Wisconsin-Madison. Current research: Air quality and links with energy planning, international development, climate change, and public health.
Hope Jahren, Professor, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii. Current research: Arctic forests and ecosystems in Geologic history.
Marco Janssen, Associate Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Director, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University. Current research: Co-evolution of human activities and ecological processes.
Raghu Murtugudde, Professor, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Forecast System. Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland. Current research: Earth system forecasts for sustainability and climate decision-support.
Lincoln Pratson, Professor of Energy & Environment, Division of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. Current research: Optimizing design for carbon capture and storage.
Ted Schuur, Associate Professor of Ecosystem Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Florida. Current research: Permafrost carbon and terrestrial ecosystem feedbacks to climate change.
Martin Smith, Associate Professor of Environmental Economics, Division of Environmental Science and Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. Current research: Fisheries economics and marine policy.
Valeria Souza, Investigadora Titular C, Evolutionary Ecology, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Current research: Microbial evolutionary ecology.
Jake Vander Zanden, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology and Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Current research: Ecology and management of aquatic invasive species.
Jack Williams, Bryson Professor of Climate, People, and the Environment, Department of Geography & Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Current research: Responses of plant species and communities to the environmental changes of the late Quaternary for understanding the sensitivity of vegetation to 21st-century climate change.
Elizabeth Wilson, Associate Professor, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Current research: Technology and socio-political factors shaping low-carbon energy deployment.
Dawn Wright, Professor of Geography and Oceanography, Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University. Current research: Geographic technologies for mapping of oceans and coasts; marine conservation.