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AIBS Outstanding Service Award

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Instituted in 2002, this award is given annually in recognition of individuals' and organizations' noteworthy service to the biological sciences. Recipients of this award have led initiatives or dialogs that helped the biology community advance in new and exciting ways, have worked to innovatively solve challenges facing the community, or have contributed above and beyond the professional call of duty. The award is presented annually and consists of a plaque and lifetime membership in AIBS.

2012 Thomas Lovejoy

Thomas Lovejoy

Thomas Lovejoy
Outstanding Service Award 2012

Thomas Lovejoy is a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and the biodiversity chair at the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, where he previously served as president. He has also been a senior advisor to the president of the United Nations Foundation, and the chief biodiversity advisor and lead specialist for the environment for Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank. He has held leadership positions with the Smithsonian Institution and the World Wildlife Fund, and he is a past-president of the Society for Conservation Biology and of AIBS. His volunteer service with professional scientific organizations, natural history museums, and environmental and education organizations is significant.

Lovejoy is an internationally recognized champion for biodiversity, a term he is credited with establishing, whose career is a model for translating biological research into environmental conservation.

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2010 Kathleen K. Smith

Kathleen K. Smith

Kathleen K. Smith
Outstanding Service Award 2010

In 2010 AIBS honored Kathleen K. Smith, professor of biology at Duke University and a former (2006-2010) director of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). Smith received her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her PhD in biology from Harvard University. She has been at Duke University throughout her academic career.

Smith has served in a variety of administrative positions, most recently as director of NESCent. Her research interests include vertebrate evolution, evolutionary morphology, and the relationship between evolution and development. In recent years, her work has concentrated on the developmental and evolutionary consequences of the marsupial reproductive pattern, with particular focus on craniofacial development in marsupial and placental mammals.

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2009 Dr. Robert T. Pennock

Dr. Robert T. Pennock

Dr. Robert T. Pennock
Outstanding Service Award 2009

Dr. Robert T. Pennock received the Outstanding Service Award in recognition of an individual's (or organization's) noteworthy service to the biological sciences. Pennock is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Michigan State University, where he is on the faculty of the Lyman Briggs College of Science, the Philosophy Department, and the Department of Computer Science, as well as the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior graduate program.

His research interests include the philosophy of biology and the relationship of epistemic and ethical values in science. He is also the author of Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism and Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives.

He testified in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District federal court case that found that intelligent design is no different than creationism and should not be taught in science classes.

Pennock serves on numerous advisory boards and committees and is the chair of the Education Committee of the Society for the Study of Evolution and is currently working on a book examining how Darwinian evolution, as an abstract theoretical model, can be applied practically beyond biology.

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2008 David E. Blockstein

David E. Blockstein

David E. Blockstein
Outstanding Service Award 2008

David E. Blockstein received the Outstanding Service Award, presented in recognition of noteworthy service to the biological sciences. Blockstein is a senior scientist with the National Council for Science and the Environment, which he joined in 1990 as founding executive director. He is also vice president and acting secretary-treasurer of the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, as well as executive secretary to the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors.

Blockstein's writing, mentoring, and organizational talents have bolstered environmental science policy, improving the linkage between science and decisionmaking on environmental issues, and increased the representation of minorities in the sciences.

Blockstein is founding chair of the Ornithological Council, an association that provides scientific information about birds to policymakers, and is involved in ongoing efforts to conserve the critically endangered Grenada dove and the Grenada hook-billed kite.

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2007 William Murdoch

William Murdoch

William Murdoch
Outstanding Service Award 2007

William Murdoch received the Outstanding Service Award for 2007, presented in recognition of an individual's (or organization's) noteworthy service to the biological sciences. Murdoch is the Charles A. Storke II Professor of Ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

One of the foremost ecologists in the world, Murdoch has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the President's Award from the American Society of Naturalists, and the Robert MacArthur award from the Ecological Society of America. He was the founding director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and he is editor in chief of Issues in Ecology and a member of the board of directors of The Nature Conservancy.

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2005 Jay M. Savage

Jay M. Savage

Jay M. Savage
Outstanding Service Award 2005

The 2005 Outstanding Service Award was presented to Jay M. Savage (retired) of the University of Miami. Introducing Savage, Marvalee Wake, then-President of AIBS, remarked, "For more than forty years, the Organization for Tropical Studies [OTS] has been an important part of training organismal biologists, and Jay Savage may be the person most responsible for its founding and continued success, serving as its president from 1974 to 1980 and, according to those who know the organization well, saving it when its fortunes were low in the early 1980s.

He was inducted into the Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Costa Rica in 1998 in recognition for his lifetime of efforts associated with OTS. In addition, he was a member of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature for eighteen years [1982-2000] and of the Steering Committee for Systematics Agenda 2000. He has been president of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and the Society of Systematic Biologists."

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2004 Rita Colwell

Rita Colwell

Rita Colwell
Outstanding Service Award 2004

The AIBS Outstanding Service Award, given annually to individuals or organizations in recognition of noteworthy service to the biological sciences, for 2004 is 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.

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2003 Gregory J. Anderson

Gregory J. Anderson

Gregory J. Anderson
Outstanding Service Award 2003

The AIBS Outstanding Service Award was presented to Gregory J. Anderson, of the University of Connecticut-Storrs.

Gregory J. Anderson is the 1997 Distinguished Alumni Professor and department head of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut-Storrs.

He received his PhD in 1971 from Indiana University, working with Charles B. Heiser. His research interests include biodiversity, conservation, plant systematics and evolution, economic botany, island biology, pollination biology, and plant breeding systems. He has done fieldwork in much of Latin America and in parts of Europe, Australia, and Africa.

He has been an active member of many societies, including AIBS, where he has served on a number of committees. As president of AIBS in 1999, he helped organize the 50th anniversary "Presidents' Summit" (of and for the member society presidents) and took part in the effort that brought about the unprecedented increase in member societies.

He has also served as president of the Botanical Society of America (BSA), the American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT), and the Society for Economic Botany (SEB), as well as serving on the board of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents and as secretary for the Organization for Tropical Studies.

His contributions have been honored with a number of awards, including "best paper" awards from ASPT (Cooley Award) and SEB (Fulling Award), a Merit Award from BSA, the Distinguished Biology Alumnus award from St. Cloud State University, and a Faculty Mentor of the Year award from the Compact for Faculty Diversity Institute for Teaching and Mentoring.

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2002 Eugenie C. Scott and the National Center for Science Education

Eugenie C. Scott and the National Center for Science Education

Eugenie C. Scott and the National Center for Science Education
Outstanding Service Award 2002

Eugenie C. Scott and the National Center for Science Education are the recipients of the AIBS Outstanding Service Award. Instituted in 2002, this award will be given annually in recognition of an individual's and organization's noteworthy service to the biological sciences, especially integrative and organismal biology.

Founded in 1981, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a membership organization of scientists and others who work to improve public understanding of the nature of science and the science of evolution. As director, Eugenie C. Scott works with NCSE staff, members, and volunteers to counter creationist strategies aimed at removing evolution education from public schools. NCSE promotes the approach that "the best guarantee of good education is public understanding of the issues."

Scott, who holds a PhD in physical anthropology from the University of Missouri, taught 15 years at the university level before coming to NCSE. Currently, she is president-elect of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

She has received awards for her promotion of the separation of church and state and of public understanding of science, including the Isaac Asimov Science Award from the American Humanist Association, the Bruce Alberts Award of the American Society of Cell Biologists, and the 2002 National Science Board Public Service Award.

Although the courts have consistently denied any legal right to have creationism taught in schools and have struck down laws banning the teaching of evolution, Scott notes that antievolution groups continue to develop new strategies of political activism at local, state, and federal levels. In recent years, this has led to what she calls "perhaps the most damaging" effect of those forces: voluntary self-censorship of evolution education by teachers seeking to avoid controversy. One of NCSE's tasks, says Scott, is to supply teachers with information, tools, and an understanding of their responsibility to teach evolution, despite political pressure.

AIBS partners with NCSE on the AIBS/NCSE Evolution List Server Network, which offers scientists, teachers, and other interested parties in the United States and Canada a forum for discussions, alerts, and collective action related to evolution education.

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