Grand Canyon Trust announces 2012 John Wesley Powell Award recipients

Grand Canyon Trust announces 2012 John Wesley Powell Award recipients

Flagstaff, Az. — Grand Canyon Trust  is pleased to announce that  Jane Belnap and Tom Sisk are the  recipients of our 2012 John Wesley Powell Award. The Trust presents the John Wesley Powell Award periodically to an exceptional individual or institution who has accomplished significant conservation for the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau.

Jayne Belnap has been a scientist with the Department of Interior since 1987. Her doctoral dissertation was on the effects of coal-fired power plants on the physiological functioning of biological soil crusts and rock lichens. Over the past twenty years, she has published 105 peer-reviewed articles and books on soil crusts that include a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) technical reference (co-authored with 3 other BLM scientists) and the only comprehensive book available on the topic. She is recognized by scientists around the globe as one of world’s leading authorities on soil crusts. Dr. Belnap has been invited by many governments to train their scientists in soil crust ecology, including those of South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, China, Siberia, Australia, and Iceland. She travels extensively throughout the U. S., training Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy staff and managers on appropriate management of soil crusts. She is past Chair of the Soil Ecology chapter of Ecological Society of America, as well as the President-Elect of the Soil Ecology Society.

Thomas D. Sisk is an environmental scientist focusing on landscape conservation and the application of ecology to complex land and natural resource management challenges, particularly those involving public lands. He works at the interface of science and public policy, while leading a research group in population biology and landscape ecology. He teaches conservation biology, environmental policy, and leadership courses at Northern Arizona University, and coordinates an interdisciplinary graduate degree program in Environmental Sciences and Policy. His educational approach engages students in research, while linking their work with conservation efforts outside the university. While focusing most of his efforts on the arid West, Tom has benefited from diverse international research and policy experiences, including senior positions in government, nonprofit, and academic sectors. His management experience includes complex public land and resource management projects, interdisciplinary academic programs, diverse supervisory responsibilities, and membership on various advisory bodies and boards of regional, national, and international organizations.

John Wesley Powell (March 24, 1834 – September 23, 1902) was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a 3-month river trip down the Green and Colorado Rivers that included the first known passage through the Grand Canyon.

Previous John Wesley Powell Award recipients include Bruce Babbitt (2003), Stewart Udall (2004), Martin Litton (2006) and Terry Tempest Williams (2010).

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