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Environmental Systems and Societies: Institutions & People


A number of universities, research institutes and Non-Governmental organizations have played an important role in the field of ESS. It is worth examining their websites for further information on the work they do and what their empahsis and specialisation is.  

Environment and conservation MacArthur Fellows

The following people are some who have won the MacArthur "genius" fellowship for their work in Environment and Conservation.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand  is a French photographer, journalist, reporter and environmentalist.  In 1994 Arthus-Bertrand started a thorough study on the state of the Earth sponsored by UNESCO. As part of the study, he made a picture inventory of the world's most beautiful landscapes, taken from helicopters and hot-air balloons.  In 2005, he founded the international environmental organisation GoodPlanet, and set up the program Action Carbone to offset his own greenhouse gas emissions generated by his helicopter transports. Since then this program has evolved to help people and companies to reduce and offset their climate impact by funding projects on renewable energies, energy efficiency and reforestation.

Ted Ames, a long-term, Maine lobster and ground fisherman, has fused the roles of fisherman and applied scientist in response to increasing threats to the fishery ecosystem resulting from decades of over-harvesting. 

Lisa Curran is a tropical biologist who combines expertise in ecological processes with keen insight into the realities of forest communities.  Focusing her research on the forests of Indonesian Borneo and the ecology of its most economically important family of timber, Dipterocarpaccae, Curran works across disciplines and sectors to devise new strategies to address deforestation and its devastating environmental consequences. 

Ruth DeFries is an environmental geographer who uses remotely sensed satellite imagery to explore the relationship between the Earth’s vegetative cover, human modifications of the landscape, and the biochemical processes that regulate the Earth’s habitability. 

Edith Widder is a biologist and deep-sea explorer who combines expertise in oceanographic research and technological innovation with commitment to reversing the worldwide trend of marine ecosystem degradation. - See more at: