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Trent University Biology Professor Awarded Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship


Dr. James Schaefer Selected as One of 18 Academic Environmental Researchers in the U.S. and Canada to Participate in Intensive Leadership Training Program

Wednesday, March 15, 2006, Peterborough

Trent University is pleased to announce that Biology Professor James Schaefer has recently been awarded one of 18 Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowships for 2006. Chosen for his outstanding scientific qualifications, demonstrated leadership ability, and a strong interest in communicating science beyond traditional audiences, Professor Schaefer was selected from a wide-range of academic environmental scientists from across the United States and Canada.

"I am delighted by this news", said Professor Schaefer. "This Fellowship is an opportunity to convey to the public the importance of scientific knowledge and to invite our students to consider their own roles in public policy. These are essential features of conservation biology."

Based at Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment, the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program awards up to 20 fellowships each year to mid-career academic environmental scientists who are interested in receiving intensive communication and leadership training to help them deliver scientific information more effectively to policy makers, the media, business leaders, and the public.

"Academic scientists often lack the special communication skills necessary to give decision makers the information they need to address pressing environmental challenges," said Pamela Matson, the Chester Naramore Dean of the Stanford School of Earth Sciences, and chair of the program's advisory committee. "The Leopold Leadership Program provides them with critical skills and intensive training to do so more effectively."

As a Fellow, Professor Schaefer will participate in two, week-long intensive training sessions that include practice interviews with journalists and a mock Congressional hearing at which he will practice giving testimony. The fellowship also offers peer networking and mentoring through the Aldo Leopold Leadership Network of program advisors, trainers, and past fellows.

Professor Schaefer's research centres on the population ecology and behaviour of northern terrestrial mammals. Much of his recent work focuses on woodland caribou and his studies have demonstrated that, because of their association with old forests and their need for vast spaces, woodland caribou are extraordinarily sensitive to human landscape disturbances. He has served on recovery, advisory, and/or scientific technical teams for woodland caribou, eastern wolverines, polar bears, and Peary caribou and he has been an invited contributor to environmental assessment hearings. Professor Schaefer has also served as director of the interdisciplinary Watershed Ecosystems Graduate Program at Trent University.


For more information, please contact:
Professor James Schaefer, Department of Biology, 748.1011 x1378

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Last Updated March 16, 2006