PHILADELPHIA (March 21, 2013) In Mongolia, a sparsely populated, resource-endowed country sandwiched between China and Siberia, the climate is changing more rapidly than in many other places on Earth. Rising temperatures have caused rivers and streams to dry up, grass to grow stunted, and, consequently, some nomadic herders to lose their livelihoods.
Dr. Clyde Goulden, a pioneering ecologist and director of the Asia Center of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, first visited Mongolia in 1994 shortly after it emerged from the international isolation of 70 years of rule by the former Soviet Union. Since then he has devoted his life to studying the alarming climate trend and how it is affecting the country's herders and one of the most pristine lakes in the world, the 2-million-year-old Lake Hvsgl. His efforts have not gone unnoticed.
On Wednesday, in a ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Zandaakhuu Enkhbold presented Goulden with Mongolia's highest award to foreigners, the Order of the Polar Star. Previous recipients include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain.
William Chang, director of the Beijing office of the National Science Foundation, a long-time funder of the Academy's Mongolia initiative, noted that Goulden's contributions go beyond scientific research. For nearly two decades he has worked to train Mongolian scientists and to build a scientific infrastructure where practically none existed.
"He led the NSF-supported research efforts in Mongolia and trained many young U.S. and Mongolian scientists, who are now pivotal in Mongolia contributing to our understanding of global environmental changes," Chang said. "We at NSF are very pleased that he has been recognized with the Order of the Polar Star by the Mongolian Parliament."
A second Academy scientist is honored for his Mongolia research
In a separate hono
|Contact: Carolyn Belardo|
Academy of Natural Sciences