In recognition of 50 years of dedicated service to conservation, it is with pleasure that the Board of Directors of the ACEER Foundation presents to Dr. Thomas Lovejoy the 2015 ACEER Legacy Award. The Legacy Award was established in 2012 to honor an individual or individuals who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to conservation in general, and conservation of the Amazon rainforest in particular.
Dr. Lovejoy has had a long and distinguished career. He graduated from Yale University earning a B.S. and Ph.D. in Biology, and became a University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. His Ph.D. dissertation introduced bird banding to Brazil and identified the long-term community patterns of birds. His rainforest work began in the 1960s with his project on how forest fragmentation influences biological dynamics. It is still considered one of the largest, long-term landscape ecology projects ever. Dr. Lovejoy also is credited with coining the term “biological diversity” to describe the global abundance of plant and animal species on planet Earth.
Dr. Lovejoy directed the World Wildlife Find US Program from 1973 to 1987 while serving as Executive Vice President from 1985 to 1987. He brought his expertise to the government serving on the advisory councils in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations, and became Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation. Other leadership positions included the Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for the Environment for the Latin American region of the World Bank; the Assistant Secretary for Environmental and External Affairs for the Smithsonian Institution; and as a Chair to the Scientific and Technical Panel for the Global Environment Facility. In addition to serving on the boards of an array of non-profit environmental organizations, Dr. Lovejoy serves the ACEER Foundation as a member of our Science and Education Advisory Committee.
For his work, he has received a wealth of awards including the Order of Rio Branco in 1988 which was the first given to an environmentalist; the Grand Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit in 1998; the John & Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 2001; the Tyler Prize in 2002; the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Category in 2009; the Joao Pedro Cardoso Medal of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2011; the Blue Planet Prize in 2012; and the World Wildlife Fund Leaders for a Living Planet Award in 2013.
Dr. Lovejoy is also an accomplished scholar having written articles and books as either an editor or writer, including Key Environments: Amazonia, Global Warming and Biological Diversity, and Conservation and Management of Southeast Asian Rainforests.
Lastly, Dr. Lovejoy is the co-founder of the public television series Nature which continues to run on PBS since 1982, exploring global environmental and wildlife issues and continuing to inspire audiences to conserve nature.
The Board of Directors of the ACEER Foundation applauds Dr. Thomas Lovejoy for his lifetime achievements on behalf of global environmental conservation and thanks him for his service. The ACEER Legacy Award will be presented to Dr. Lovejoy at a gala on February 11, 2016 in Washington, D.C. at the headquarters of the National Geographic