The 16th annual Heinz Awards were announced this morning, with the awarding of $100,000 each to 10 individuals. Past recipients have included NASA climate scientist (and advocate) James Hansen and Amory Lovins, chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
"Were living in a time of unprecedented global change. Our planet is facing rising temperatures and our communities are affected by toxic chemicals that werent on the market a hundred years ago," said Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation. "Were recognizing innovators who are tackling some of the most vexing problems facing our planet."
This year's winners are (in the words of the Heinz Foundation):
James Balog, Extreme Ice Survey (Boulder, Colo.) for his photographic documentation of the effects of global warming. Using materials from his local hardware store, he adapted 39 Nikon cameras to take photos of glaciers around the world each hour of daylight. More than 500,000 photographs from his Extreme Ice Survey illustrate the evidence of global warming over time, providing scientists with vital insight on glacial retreat.
Frederick vom Saal, University of Missouri (Columbia, Mo.) for discovering unexpected health problems linked to exposure to common chemicals in everyday products such as bisphenol A (BPA), a widely used ingredient in consumer products. Dr. vom Saals work has opened new questions about the safety of many chemicals which had been thought safe based on traditional methods used in toxicology.
Cary Fowler, Global Crop Diversity Trust, whose efforts to conserve crop diversity, including the development of the Global Seed Vault − holding one-third of the worlds seed varieties − are critical to preserving crop diversity as factors like climate change and natural disasters threaten agriculture and its ability to feed humanity in the future.
Terrence Collins, Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pa.), for training the next generation of scientists to combine the tools of chemistry with the knowledge of environmental health science to reduce the use and generation of hazardous substances. He and his research group have played a crucial role in inventing safe, sustainable ways to mitigate toxic waste and biological agents.
Gretchen Daily, Stanford University and the Natural Capital Project (Stanford, Calif.), for her achievements demonstrating the financial value of natural ecosystems. Daily's work places a value on the services provided by natural ecosystems. She has created new tools and approaches for estimating the economic value of conservation and for implementing these in key demonstrations around the world. With the Natural Capital Project, she has co-developed InVEST, a computer software program helping decision makers identify ecological assets with the highest financial value.
Daniel Sperling, University of California, Davis (Davis, Calif.), for advancing sustainable transportation policies and accelerating the transition to low-carbon alternative fuels nationwide. His transportation and energy research uses an academic approach that merges research, policy studies and entrepreneurship in pursuit of clean, equitable transportation options. At the Institute of Transportation Studies, Dr. Sperling was instrumental in the passage of Californias Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the first major regulation built on the concept of measuring greenhouse gases over a product or fuels lifecycle.
Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, (Williamstown, Mass.), for her groundbreaking environmental journalism and devotion to informing readers. She is honored for her journalistic explorations of environmental issues that are central to global change. She has written about key issues of the day, in media outlets as well as in books. Ms. Kolberts investigations go beyond traditional reporting and her skill for providing readers with intriguing narrative generates intense interest and grabs national attention.
Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University (Princeton, N.J. and New York, N.Y.), for assessing the impacts of global warming and air pollution, and working for policies to prevent future harm. He is honored for his leadership in assessing the impacts of climate change and air pollution, as well as promoting policies to prevent future harm. He drew international attention to the issue by co-organizing workshops that helped precipitate the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is currently a lead coordinating author of the fifth IPCC assessment.
Richard Feely, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (Seattle, Wash.), for his efforts in identifying ocean acidity as global warming's "evil twin." Feely is honored for his extensive study of ocean acidification caused by rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. His discoveries prove acidity levels are rising fast and represent a major challenge to the health of the oceans food web. His research documenting the pace and extent of acidification have forced recognition of the fact that our current policies are not fully confronting global change.
Lynn Goldman, George Washington University (Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, Md.), for promoting regulation of dangerous chemicals and expanding citizens right to know about pollution in their communities. The Heinz Awards honor Dr. Goldman, a pediatrician and epidemiologist, for her work to protect people from toxic chemicals. Appointed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, she strengthened regulation on pesticides and toxic substances and expanded citizens right-to-know about pollution in their communities. In August, she became dean of the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University.
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