Rachel Carson, Founders, Global Partners Capacity-Building and other Global Awards Presented or Announced at the SETAC World Congress in Berlin
Charlie Menzie, Chairman, Global Awards Committee
Lars-Otto Reiersen, recipient of the 2012 SETAC Rachel Carson Award.
A SETAC World Congress is a special event. Among the highlights of this event is the recognition of individual recipients of Global Awards. One of these awards, the SETAC Rachel Carson Award, is particularly special because this award is only given every 4 years at the SETAC World Congress. The SETAC Rachel Carson Award was initiated by the Society on the 25th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring. Rachel Carson was a scientist and science writer who increased public awareness of the natural world and potential threats to it. The award is given to an individual who exemplifies characteristics such as a desire to help others understand and become more aware of the natural world and appreciate the potential threats that anthropogenic stressors may have on the integrity and functioning of that world and a desire to make science more accessible to the public. Lars-Otto Reiersen was presented with the 2012 SETAC Rachel Carson Award. In making the award to Reiersen, SETAC President Tim Canfield indicated to the World Congress that Reiersen was selected because he is an outstanding environmental science leader who has served for 20 years as executive secretary of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). Canfield also noted that the evolution and present reputation of AMAP and the impact that it has had on the world is a fitting testament to Reiersen’s vision, strategic judgment, tenacity, scientific understanding and passion for making people aware of how the Arctic is responding to global pollution and climate change. Canfield continued that Reiersen and AMAP have worked to raise the consciousness of not only political leaders but also the general public and that this has included working with the indigenous peoples to exchange information on Arctic conditions and to include scientists from these communities in monitoring and other research.
Michael McLachlan, recipient of the 2012 SETAC Founders Award.
Canfield also presented SETAC's highest honor, the Founders Award, to Michael McLachlan, Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Applied Environmental Science at Stockholm University in Sweden. The Founders Award is presented annually and is given to an individual with an outstanding career in the environmental sciences. Canfield informed the World Congress that McLachlan has exerted positive influence in many distinct areas of environmental chemistry, human and animal exposure and toxicity of persistent organic pollutants, particularly those that accumulate in animals, humans and plants. Canfield went on to note that McLachlan's most important contributions involve the integration of mathematical modeling with field and analytical studies and that the magnitude of his leadership and impact is evident through the large number of citations to his work. Further, McLachlan has been a large presence on the international stage and is recognized for his support for women scientists and other under-represented groups in environmental science and his persistent and effective participation in many international collaborations with government, academic and industry scientists. Canfield stated that SETAC strives to apply "sound science" to social issues and that McLachlan does this very effectively.
Michael Kishimba, recipient of the 2012 SETAC Global Partners Capacity-Building Award.
The Global Awards ceremony was also distinctive in that Canfield announced two recipients for the SETAC Global Partners Capacity-Building Award, Professors Michael Kishimba and Kelly Munkittrick. The Capacity-Building Award recognizes individuals or groups for their contribution toward building capacity in the environmental sciences within countries with developing economies. Professor Michael Kishimba of the University of Dar es Salaam was selected to receive the award posthumously because of his long-standing and tireless work on behalf of SETAC in Africa. Canfield noted that Kishimba was instrumental in the creation of the African Network for the Chemical Analysis of Pesticides (ANCAP) in 2002 and worked to create an interactive atmosphere among researchers in the region and to promote south-south and north-south collaboration. Canfield further pointed out that Kishimba was extremely interested in the promotion of a regional research approach to solving common problems and in fostering intra-regional capacity and capability for students and that he organized two summer schools at which more than 20 graduate students from Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Rwanda contributed to the organization of the SETAC Africa regional capacity-building workshop on risk assessment under the SAICM Quick Start Programme in March 2009.
Kelly Munkittrick (right), recipient of the Capacity-Building Award
Canfield stated that second recipient of the Capacity-Building Award, Professor Kelly Munkittrick of the University of New Brunswick, was selected in recognition of his efforts toward capacity-building efforts in Latin America over the past 10 years. Canfield described the many ways in which Professor Munkittrick had contributed to capacity building including his contributions to education, professional development, training and all-important networking of developing country scientists as potential collaborators within SETAC and in other relevant environmental organizations. Canfield noted that Professor Munkittrick has clearly promoted the advancement and application of scientific research related to contaminants and other stressors in the environment, education in the environmental sciences, and the use of science in environmental policy and decision-making.
(From left) Brett Blackwell, recipient of the 2012 SETAC Founders Awar;, Justin Conley, recipient of the SETAC / ICA Chris Lee Award; Carla Cherchi, recipient of the ET&C Best Student Paper Award.
Several other awards previously presented at the SETAC meeting in Boston in 2011 were also announced at the World Congress. Three of these awards are made to graduate students or post-doctoral scientists and included Brett Blackwell of Texas Tech University (Procter & Gamble Global Fellowship for Doctoral Research in Environmental Science), Justin Conley of North Carolina State University (SETAC / International Copper Association Chris Lee Award), and Carla Cherchi of Northeastern University (ET&C Best Student Paper Award).
Bill Goodfellow, recipient of the 2012 Herb Ward Exceptional Service Award.
Finally, Bill Goodfellow of EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc. was recognized as the recipient of the Herb Ward Exceptional Service Award. The award reflects the many years and the many ways in which Bill has supported SETAC.