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AIBS Presents 2004 Awards at Annual Meeting

At its Annual meeting, AIBS presents its major awards: the Distinguished Scientist Award, the Outstanding Service Award, the Education Award, and the President's Citation Award. Recipients of this year's awards, presented on the 16th and 17th of March, are profiled below.

Distinguished Scientist Award

Since 1972, the AIBS Distinguished Scientist Award (previously called the Distinguished Service Award) has been presented annually to individuals who have made significant contributions to the biological sciences, particularly in the field of integrative and organismal biology. The 2004 Distinguished Scientist Award recipient is Jane Lubchenco, Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University.

Jane Lubchenco is one of the nation's most distinguished biologists. Her research interests cover a broad range of disciplines, including marine biology, biodiversity, climate change, and environmental sustainability. She maintains an active and innovative research program in marine science; she is one of the world's leading advocates of research on the oceans. Lubchenco is in the forefront of U.S. science: She has served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Ecological Society of America; she has twice been a member of the National Science Board; and she founded the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, which trains environmental scientists to communicate effectively with lay audiences. Lubchenco is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and she has served on the boards of trustees of several foundations and institutes concerned with the environment. Moreover, Lubchenco has been an active participant in many AIBS programs and events. She also figures prominently in the advancement of international science for the good of society, currently serving as president of the International Council for Science, which is headquartered in Paris.

Lubchenco is outstanding in her contributions to research, in her dedication to teaching, and in her service to the scientific community. She is a powerful, thoughtful, articulate voice for science in the service of humanity and the environment. Lubchenco, a Pew Scholar and a MacArthur Fellow, has been the recipient of many honors and awards, among them eight honorary degrees, the 2002 Heinz Award, and the 2003 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest.

Outstanding Service Award

The AIBS Outstanding Service Award, given annually to individuals or organizations in recognition of noteworthy service to the biological sciences, is for 2004 presented to Rita Colwell, chairman of Canon U.S. Life Sciences and former director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

While at NSF, Colwell spearheaded the agency's efforts to improve education in science and mathematics at the K-12 level, as well as in science and engineering at the graduate level, and to increase the participation of women and minorities in science and engineering. She enabled NSF to strengthen its core activities and to establish support for major initiatives concerning nanotechnology; biocomplexity; information technology; social, behavioral, and economic sciences; and the 2lst-century workforce. In her capacity as NSF director, she served as cochair of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council. Under her leadership, NSF received significant budget increases.

Before joining NSF, Colwell was president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (1991-1998), and she remains professor of microbiology and biotechnology (on leave) at the university. Colwell, a respected scientist and educator, has held many advisory positions in the U.S. government, in nonprofit science policy organizations, and in private foundations, as well as in the international scientific research community. She was a member of the National Science Board from 1984 to 1990.

Colwell is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Medal of Distinction from Columbia University, the Gold Medal of Charles University (Prague), Barnard's Medal of Distinction, of Charles University (Prague), the UCLA Medal from University of California-Los Angeles, and the Alumna Summa Laude Dignata from the University of Washington.

Although service to AIBS in particular is not a criterion for the Outstanding Service Award, it should be noted that Rita Colwell has made many contributions to AIBS. She was the anchor keynote speaker at the 2001 AIBS annual meeting, speaking on the topic that she "invented," biocomplexity. She was also a generous participant in the first President's Summit convened by AIBS in 1999; her participation meant a great deal in terms of validating the efforts of presidents of AIBS member societies, and her thoughtful comments about the role that AIBS could, and should, play in the future of the biological sciences were insightful. She has maintained helpful communications with AIBS in the development of many AIBS programs.

Education Award

The AIBS Education Award, presented annually to individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to education in the biological sciences, for 2004 goes to John R. Jungck, of Beloit college.

John Jungck has specialized in science education for at least 20 years. He has published many constructive papers in American Biology Teacher, Biosystems, the Journal of College Science Teaching, and other science education journals; he has also made many contributions to other scientific journals.

Jungck's work in developing the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium represents another extensive contribution to biology education. As a 17-year-old reform effort, BioQUEST has sustained a community of innovative educators, providing them with a professional outlet for teaching scholarship that emphasizes the use of technology to support realistic problem solving and student-centered pedagogy. Indeed, as the 4 November 1994 issue of Science noted in its section on great teachers, Jungck is known as the "godfather of pedagogical software." The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium has received two EDUCOM Higher Education Software Awards for "Distinguished Natural Sciences Curriculum Innovation." The consortium has also been chosen as a Project Kaleidoscope "model program" of science education that works.

Jungck has worked in biology and biology education not only in the United States but also in Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Scotland, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Hungary, Croatia, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Peru, Ecuador, and the Ukraine.

President's Citation Award

The AIBS President's Citation Award, which recognizes meritorious accomplishments by individuals or groups in the biological sciences, for 2004 goes to Tyrone Hayes, a dynamic young faculty member in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California-Berkeley.

Hayes is a distinguished teacher and mentor who is deeply committed to increasing diversity in academic, and his synthetic research is of the highest caliber, integrating endocrinology, development, and ecology to understand synergies and effects on organisms in nature, particularly frogs. His fieldwork is done in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the United States.

His recent research on endocrine disruptors, which has produced a potential test that has general application, has revealed major problems with various agricultural agents, including a widely used pesticide. His research entails large samples in double-blind studies; his work is carefully documented and rigorously analyzed--the science is impeccable. He has earned the approbation of many scientists and policymakers, yet because of the economic and policy implications of his research, Hayes has met with scientific and personal attacks.

With great personal courage, Hayes continues to expand his research into areas that are scientifically and politically important. He is a role model for a new generation of biologists who use basic research to look at major problems confronting humans and other species and their environments.

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