Two scientists who drew important links between local and global ecosystems --- a prescient explorer of nitrogen's wide-ranging impacts, and a central figure in the rise of international ecology -- will share the 2008 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.
The award, consisting of a $200,000 cash prize and gold medals, will go to James Galloway, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, and Harold Mooney, professor of environmental biology at Stanford University.
On Thursday, April 10, at 2 p.m., Galloway and Mooney will deliver public lectures at the Davidson Conference Center of the University of Southern California, which administers the prize.
On Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m., the Tyler Prize executive committee and the international environmental community will honor the recipients at a banquet and ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.
When the acid rain crisis of the 1970s began easing due to better control of nitrogen and sulfur emissions, many ecologists moved to other research areas. Galloway knew better.
"He was one of the few in the U.S. who realized that critical issues remained unresolved, especially in the area of nitrogen deposition," wrote John Aber of the University of New Hampshire, one of several leading environmental scientists who supported Galloway's nomination.
"In this arena, Jim has truly become the national and international leader," Aber added.
Galloway and his colleagues wrote the key papers presenting the "nitrogen cascade," a flow chart showing the pervasive and persistent effects of reactive nitrogen on Earth's environment.
Nitrogen in its inert form is harmless and abundant in the atmosphere. But in recent decades, massive amounts of reactive nitrogen compounds, such as nitrous oxide, have been entering the environment. Most have come from the use of nitrogen-based fertilizer.
Galloway used the cascade image
|Contact: Carl Marziali|
University of Southern California