Creativity, Persistence & Emotional Resilience: Dr Wallace J. Nichols Receives Champions Award at 39th Annual International Sea Turtle Symposium
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 February 2019
Last week at the 39th Annual International Sea Turtle Symposium in Charleston, South Carolina Dr. Wallace J. Nichols was presented with a Career Award by his peers. The ISTS Champions Award is presented annually to individuals or communities, governmental or non-governmental organizations that have, in the recent past, carried out outstanding work towards the effective conservation of sea turtles. The first awards were presented by then ISTS President, Wallace J. Nichols, at the Symposium Banquet in Loreto, 25th January 2008.
Nichols is a marine biologist, research associate at California Academy of Sciences and a Senior Fellow at Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Center for the Blue Economy. He has pioneered research on the migration of sea turtles, satellite tracking the first animal swimming across an entire ocean—a loggerhead sea turtle named Adelita—who crossed the Pacific Ocean from Baja California, Mexico to Japan in 1996. He has also led successful grassroots conservation efforts, helped jumpstart the global movement to end plastic pollution after learning about the Great Pacific Plastiscape during the Adelita Project, and mentored a generation of ocean leaders. He’s the co-founder of several organizations and campaigns focused on the protection and restoration of sea turtle populations and their habitat including Grupo Tortuguero, SEE Turtles, WILDCOAST, Ocean Revolution, Billion Baby Turtles Project, Too Rare To Wear and Divers for Turtles and serves on the advisory boards of many projects.
For the past decade Nichols has also focused on Blue Mind, a project that seeks to share insights into the cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical and spiritual health benefits of thriving waters and oceans.
Dr. Jesse Senko, a former graduate student of Nichols’ who is currently an assistant research professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and senior sustainability scientist at Arizona State University, presented the award.
“J. likes to solve big problems and always takes a creative and truly interdisciplinary approach. Everything he’s done, from working with poachers to save sea turtles from extinction and sharing data online in real time, to raising awareness about plastic pollution and his work on Blue Mindbroke the rules and started out as unpopular before it went mainstream”, stated Dr. Senko. “It was an honor to present him with this Champions Award recognizing three decades of tireless service and leadership.”
In the closing keynote entitled “Sea Turtles Are Medicine” at this year’s symposium Nichols made the case for what he calls wildlife conservation therapy.
"In the next decade health professionals will be advising patients to volunteer with conservation projects and insurance companies will pay for it”, Nichols said. “Healing ourselves and fixing what’s broken go together.”
Nichols indicated that the award now hangs in the office of Grupo Tortuguero in La Paz, BCS, Mexico where it belongs.
For more information:
Dr. Jesse Senko
Assistant Research Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Arizona State University | PO Box 875603 | Tempe, AZ 85287-5603 USA Jesse.firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Manager of Communication and Marketing Strategy
School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Arizona State University | PO Box 875603 | Tempe, AZ 85287-5603 USA eliza.Robinson@asu.edu
About the International Sea Turtle Society:
The Vision of the International Sea Turtle Society is globally robust populations of sea turtles fulfilling their ecological roles within a healthy environment, in harmonious co-existence with all Peoples. The Mission of the International Sea Turtle Society is to promote understanding, appreciation, and value of sea turtles and their habitats through the exchange and sharing of information, techniques, ideas, and inspiration that will promote actions from local to global levels, for the advancement of sea turtle biology and conservation.
The ISTS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since February 1996, convenes a uniquely important annual symposium that brings people together from all around the world (more than 1000 people from approximately 80 countries). all dedicated to the research and conservation of sea turtles. Since 1981 this community of sea turtle, biologists, conservationists, educators and advocates has gathered to share knowledge, build capacity, network and collaborate and ultimately, to leverage conservation.
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