Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Presents Award of Excellence

An international researcher and prominent figure in U.S. science policy is the first recipient of Colorado State’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory’s award of excellence in ecosystem science.

Jerry Melillo, co-director of the Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., was given the honor today (Tuesday) at the national meeting of the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers hosted by NREL at Colorado State University. NREL is co-sponsoring the symposium as part of its 30th anniversary as one of the world’s leading ecosystem research centers.

Melillo was recently associate director for environment at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House, where he directed programs on environmental monitoring of ecosystem health. He is internationally recognized for his contribution to the understanding of nitrogen and carbon cycles and the effects of land use and climate change on temperate and tropical forests. Melillo’s work focused attention on the production of trace gases by natural ecosystems and those dominated by human activity. Melillo also has studied the effects of trace gases on regional and global climate change.

"We are proud to have the first recipient of this award be a scientist who has made so many contributions to ecosystem science," said Diana Freckman, director of NREL and associate dean for the College of Natural Resources at Colorado State.

Melillo is vice chairman of the International Geosphere- Biosphere Program, a collaboration of thousands of scientists worldwide studying global change. He is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and serves on several national and international science committees.

The Natural Resource Ecology Lab, based at Colorado State, has instituted the award to recognize excellence in the field of ecosystem science for those whose research has contributed to new insights into ecosystems. For more information on NREL or the award, call Freckman at (970) 491-1982.