July 1, 2011
R. A. Houghton Appointed to WHRC Woodwell Chair for Global Ecology
Woods Hole Research Center President and Executive Director Eric A. Davidson announced today that R. A. Houghton, one of the Center’s senior scientists, has been appointed to the George Masters Woodwell Chair for Global Ecology.
According to Dr. Davidson, ”In recognition of his accomplishments in the international community of science, his service to the Woods Hole Research Center, and his long-term commitment to George Woodwell’s vision of advancing science for a healthy planet, there could be no more fitting first occupant of the Woodwell Chair than Richard Houghton.”
The Chair is named in honor of the Center’s founder and was established in 2005 by lead gifts from the Center’s Board of Directors.
Dr. Houghton is an ecologist with interests in the role that terrestrial ecosystems play in climate change and the global carbon cycle. He co-ordinates the Center's efforts to understand the problems of global warming and climate change, especially the that forests and soils play in this accelerating or slowing climate change. His area of expertise has been documentation of changes in land use and determination of historic and current sources and sinks of carbon resulting directly from human activity. Dr. Houghton has been a scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center since 1987, following positions held at the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory and at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He earned his doctorate in ecology from SUNY at Stony Brook.
Dr. Woodwell is an ecologist with broad interests in global environmental issues and policies. Prior to founding the Woods Hole Research Center, he was founder and director of the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and a senior scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratories. He was also a founding trustee and continues to serve on the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He is a former chairman of the board of trustees and currently a member of the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund, a founding trustee of the World Resources Institute, a founder and currently an honorary member of the board of trustees of the Environmental Defense Fund, and former president of the Ecological Society of America. Dr. Woodwell is the author of more than 300 major papers and books in ecology. He holds a doctorate in botany from Duke University and is the recipient of several honorary degrees as well as the 1996 Heinz Environmental Award and the Volvo Environment Prize of 2001. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Houghton and Woodwell have been colleagues since their time together at Brookhaven in the 1960s. They have worked together at the MBL Ecosystems Center, and since 1987 at the Woods Hole Research Center.
Perhaps one of the best examples of the long-standing effectiveness of the Houghton-Woodwell team is a seminal 1989 paper in Scientific American that they coauthored with the simple title "Global Climatic Change."
For more information, please contact:
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Woods Hole Research Center
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