Dr. Steven Hubbell, Co-Founder of the Center for Tropical Forest Science was presented a Scientific Achievement award at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) opening ceremonies on October 6, 2014. Dr. Hubbell is the first American to be presented with the honor in 40 years.
Dr. Hubbell was chosen for this year’s award because a he's a “visionary scientist who has made unparalleled contributions to understanding the biological diversity and ecology of tropical forests.” He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1983, among many other things. He joined the UCLA faculty in 2007 and is now a Distinguished Professor.
In a 2011 interview, Dr. Hubbell said "We need much better data on the distribution of life on Earth, We need to rapidly increase our understanding of where species are on the planet. We need citizens to record their local biodiversity; there are not enough scientists to gather the information. We also need much deeper thought about how we can estimate the extinction rate properly to improve the science behind conservation planning. If you don't know what you have, it is hard to conserve it.”
He developed his love for ecology at an early age. "When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time doing non-macho things like collecting butterflies and turning over rocks,” he said. “The only way we’re going to save nature is by making sure future generations experience nature.People who have never seen wild nature don’t miss it and don’t realize how impoverished their lives have become due to its loss. I worry about the loss of a conservation ethic among the public. Go to the tropics. Experience a rain forest — while you still can.”
"I deeply appreciate being nominated for and receiving the IUFRO Scientific Achievement Award,” Dr. Hubbell said. “It is a real pleasure to receive this unexpected honor.”
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