Robert J. Naiman, a University of Washington professor known internationally for his work on freshwater ecology and ways to balance environmental and societal considerations, has received the highest award given by the Ecological Society of America, the world’s largest society of professional ecologists.
Each year the Eminent Ecologist Award goes to a senior ecologist who has produced an outstanding body of ecological work according to the society.
Naiman, a professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, studies the structure and dynamics of streams and rivers and the vegetated areas on either side of such bodies of water – known as riparian zones.
The awards committee, for example, pointed to Naiman’s key role in establishing a national ecological research program in freshwater science at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation. Leading up to that, he led a working group and helped build the consensus necessary so that the resulting document “The Freshwater Imperative: A Research Agenda” was endorsed by all the major professional organizations involved with freshwater issues.