Renowned Scientist to Serve as UConn’s Environmental Advisor

Dec 12th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Story

Gene E. Likens, an eminent and internationally-known scholar in the field of ecology, has agreed to serve as the University of Connecticut’s environmental advisor.

Likens was one of the first to document the link between fossil fuel combustion and increased acidity in precipitation. (Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies)

Likens was one of the first to document the link between fossil fuel combustion and increased acidity in precipitation. (Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies)

In this capacity, Likens will work with students, faculty, and staff on a wide range of sustainability projects and initiatives, and advise the University on matters of environmental policy. He will also advise the president and provost on environmental matters, and work to identify opportunities for the University to utilize its educational and research capacity to play a role in relevant environmental issues.

Likens has been a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor (visiting) since 2005, and will now serve in that role, and more, each fall semester over the next three years.

He was awarded the 2001 Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor, for his work in the field of ecology and was a co-recipient of the 2003 Blue Planet Prize – an environmental award on par with the Nobel Prize – for outstanding scientific research that helps to solve global environmental problems.

… Likens founded what is now called the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York in 1983 and was the co-founder of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study in 1963, which has shed light on critical links between ecosystem function and land-use practices. According to the Cary Institute’s website, Likens and his colleagues were the first scientists to discover acid rain in North America and to document the link between the combustion of fossil fuels and an increase in the acidity of precipitation. His findings have influenced politicians and policy makers, guided and motivated scientific studies, and increased public awareness of human-accelerated environmental change.

For more on this story, visit: Renowned Scientist to Serve as UConn’s Environmental Advisor | UConn Today.

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