Rutgers University Board of Governors today (December 14, 2011) appointed Paul G. Falkowski, a professor of geological and marine sciences, as the first holder of the Bennett L. Smith Chair in Business and Natural Resources. The university established the endowed chair – which resides jointly in Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences – to support a university faculty member whose research has contributed to understanding the Earth and its climate and who has been instrumental in shaping energy policy internationally.
The anonymous gift establishing the endowment is part of the university's fundraising campaign, Our Rutgers, Our Future: A Campaign for Excellence. A Rutgers faculty member since 1998, Falkowski, who is the founding Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, www.rei.rutgers.edu, has been recognized for his contributions to the understanding of the role of the oceans in the co-evolution of life and biogeochemical cycles."Paul Falkowski is recognized internationally for his far-reaching scientific vision that is of tremendous value to the understanding of biological oceanography and climate change," said Richard L. McCormick, president of Rutgers University. "His leadership and collaborative efforts toward energy independence through scientific and technological advances exemplify Rutgers' role in New Jersey and beyond."Falkowski is a Board of Governors Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences in the School of Environment and Biological Sciences. He is the lead investigator of the Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Program.
At the Rutgers Energy Institute, he works to foster innovative research and educational programs in science, technology and economic policies aimed at developing sustainable energy production compatible with economic growth and environmental vitality.A renowned teacher and scholar, Falkowski has received recognition and many distinguished awards and for his work including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Huntsman Medal, the Hutchinson Award and the Verndsky Medal from the European Geosciences Union. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a private nonprofit society of distinguished scholars chartered to advise the government on science for the general welfare of the nation. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Academy of Microbiology.Falkowski, who earned his doctoral degree in Biology from the University of British Columbia in 1975, lives in Princeton with his wife Sari Ruskin and two daughters, Sasha and Mirit.
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