10th Anniversary Reception
E.O. Wilson receives NatureServe Conservation Award at 10th Anniversary celebration
Expert panel preceding ceremony tackles climate change adaptation
NatureServe presented Edward O. Wilson, Ph.D., with its annual NatureServe Conservation Award during a reception at the Carnegie Institute for Science in Washington, D.C., on March 8, 2011.
The award recognizes Wilson’s groundbreaking scientific research and innovation along with his wide-ranging eloquence on humanistic topics including evolution, culture, and knowledge.
“Thank you so much for this award,” Wilson said during his acceptance speech. “I’m very grateful for this recognition and I’m proud to be associated with the necessary, the unique, and the increasingly impressive enterprise led by NatureServe.”
One of the most accomplished intellectuals of our time, Wilson is a pioneering scientist, thinker, and author who has transformed the way humans think of the natural world and our place in it. A two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, he has helped shape and define through his work numerous disciplines, including conservation science, sociobiology, population genetics, and chemical ecology.
“NatureServe’s function is of central importance in humanity’s wise management of the environment- Which is exceedingly important to our future, because the 21st century in my opinion is going to be known as the century of the environment.”
The NatureServe Conservation Award seeks to honor individual or institutional achievements that increase and advance public awareness and scientific understanding of biodiversity conservation. NatureServe is a nonprofit network of 82 public and private member programs in 14 countries across the Western hemisphere dedicated to providing the scientific basis for effective conservation action.
“Okay, Now What?”
Wilson had joined other experts immediately prior to the ceremony for “Okay, Now What?”: A Panel on Climate Change Adaptation.
Immediately prior to the award reception NatureServe hosted “Okay, Now What?”: A Panel on Climate Change Adaptation. President and CEO Mary Klein moderated a dialogue with leading experts to discuss the challenges that a changing climate presents for conservation science, policy, investment, and management in the coming decades. Panel participants included (left to right, above):
- Mary Klein — President & CEO, NatureServe
- Jeff Marqusee – Executive Director, Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) | Director, Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP)
- Lynn Scarlett – Visiting Scholar, Resources for the Future | former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior
- Jeff Fulgham – Chief Sustainability Officer & ecomagination Leader, GE Power & Water
- E.O. Wilson – Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus, Entomology Department, Harvard University
- Dawn Rittenhouse – Director, Sustainable Development, DuPont
- Jorgen Thomsen – Director of Conservation & Sustainable Development, John P. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- Greg Czarnecki – Executive Director, Wild Resource Conservation Program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
In her opening remarks, panelist Lynn Scarlett framed her perspective as a policy maker in a way that captures the stake NatureServe and its member programs have in the issue. “If one looks at the characteristics of climate effects on landscapes they are characteristics of interconnectivity, complexity, significant location specificity, but also they play out anywhere and everywhere and to me, that means the focus of decision-making needs to telescope outward to a larger landscape scale.
“But that then introduces challenges from a governance standpoint and process standpoint of ‘how does one govern at that landscape scale, deliver actions at that landscape scale?’ where we have institutions that are both geographically and topically structured in silos. So I think my interest in climate change adaptation is how do we move to more cross jurisdictional collaborative governance, what some have called ‘network governance’?”
Both the award reception and panel are part of a year-long celebration marking NatureServe's 10th anniversary as an independent nonprofit and nearly four decades of achievement by its natural heritage network.