The Botanical Society of America (BSA) has honored Institute of Ecosystem Studies President and Director Dr. Gene E. Likens and Senior Staff Scientist Dr. Steward T.A. Pickett with Centennial Awards. The awards recognize and celebrate the contributions that the researchers have made to plant sciences. They will be conferred this week at the society's annual meeting in Chico, California.
In the words of BSA President Dr. Edward Schneider, "Plant sciences have evolved a great deal over the past 100 years. Our Centennial Award recipients have played a critical role in this evolution. As a major scientific society, we appreciate and applaud their efforts."
Dr. Likens is the founding Director of the Institute of Ecosystems Studies and a guiding force in finding solutions to complex environmental problems, such as pollution and deforestation. He is best known for his pioneering research on acid rain, conducted as part of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study. A recipient of the 2002 National Medal of Science, his findings have helped inform national legislation, including the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.
Established in 1983 as division of the New York Botanical Garden, the Institute of Ecosystem Studies became an independent not-for-profit in 1993. In a little over two decades, Dr. Likens transformed the organization into one of the largest ecological programs in the world. The Institute is now a global leader in long-term research on freshwater ecology, forest health, disease ecology, biogeochemistry, and urban ecology.
Before founding the Institute, Dr. Likens was on the faculty at Cornell University and Dartmouth College. He received his undergraduate education from Manchester College, and both his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His professional accolades include elected membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.