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May 2, 2007
Russell Mittermeier to Receive McGovern Science and Society Award
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International in Arlington, Virginia, will receive Sigma Xi's John P. McGovern Science and Society Award and deliver the McGovern Award Address during the Society's 2007 Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference in Orlando November 1-4.
The McGovern Award has been presented annually since 1984 and consists of a medal and a $5,000 honorarium. The John P. McGovern Foundation recently donated more than $32,000 to bring the award's endowment up to $150,000 and make it self-sustaining.
Mittermeier is a prominent primatologist, herpetologist and wildlife conservationist with 37 years of field experience in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Having served as CI's president since 1989, he is the only active field biologist to head an international conservation organization.
His fieldwork has been on primates, protected areas and other conservation issues in Brazil, Suriname, Madagascar and more than 20 other countries. His areas of expertise include biological diversity and its value to humanity, tropical biology and species conservation. Mittermeier has written 15 books, including the trilogy Megadiversity, Hotspots, and Wilderness, and more 500 papers and popular articles on primates, reptiles, tropical forests and biodiversity.
He has served as chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Primate Specialist Group since 1977, has been an adjunct professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook since 1978, and president of the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation since 1996. Prior to coming to CI, he was with the World Wildlife Fund-U.S. for 11 years, where his last role was as vice president for science.
His work has been recognized by a number of institutions and national governments. His many awards include the Order of the Golden Ark from His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (1995), the Grand Order of the Southern Cross from the President of Brazil (1997), and the Grand Sash and Order of the Yellow Star from the President of Suriname (1998), the San Diego Zoo Gold Medal (1987), and the Aldo Leopold Prize of the American Society of Mammalogists (2006).
In 1998, he was one of Time magazine's "EcoHeroes for the Planet." He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1971, and received his Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Harvard University in 1977.