September 15, 2009
Dee Boersma wins Heinz Award
Dee Boersma is among 10 recipients of the Heinz Family Foundation awards given to people whose achievements have fostered a cleaner, greener and more sustainable world.
Each recipient will receive $100,000 and a medallion inscribed with the image of the late Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., whose environmental legacy is commemorated by the awards.
Boersma, a UW biology professor, and holder of the Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science is being honored for her extensive field study of penguins and other sea birds to promote conservation and understanding human impact on marine environments. In an effort to better communicate issues of the natural world to the public, she launched Conservation Magazine a publication for cutting -edge science and smarter conservation (www.conservationmagazine.org). For more than 25 years she and her students, working with the Wildlife Conservation Society, have studied Magellanic penguins at the Punta Tombo reserve in Argentina. She has dubbed the penguins "marine sentinels" for their warning signs about the ocean environment. Her recent work has shown that, because of climate change and other factors, during the critical period of egg incubation the penguins at Punta Tombo must swim an average of 25 miles further in search of food than they did just 10 years ago.
The awards, announced Sept. 15, were established in 1993 to honor Heinz's legacy on environmental issues.
Learn more at the Heinz Awards website: