WSU Vancouver prof honored with Sustainability Science Award

John Harrison, WSU

VANCOUVER, Wash. – John Harrison, associate professor in the School of the Environment at Washington State University Vancouver, was recently honored with the 2013 Sustainability Science Award by the Ecological Society of America for his work on the book “Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution.”

He shares this award with 14 other contributors to the boo, including its editor, Pamela Matson.

“Seeds of Sustainability,” published in 2011, is an analysis of 15 years of data pertaining to the agricultural development and transitions toward more sustainable management of the Yaqui Valley in Sonora, Mexico.

The Sustainability Science Award is given to the authors of a scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences.

The Sustainability Science Award Subcommittee was unanimous in its recommendation that the “Seeds of Sustainability” team of authors receive this year’s award, citing the following:

Seeds of Sustainability tackles a central challenge of sustainable development: agricultural modernization. It is cutting edge not because the issue itself is new, but rather the level of integration the authors attempted and the innovative process they used. The volume summarizes the findings and reflects on the process of a highly interdisciplinary team of researchers, integrating perspectives from: biogeochemistry, atmospheric sciences, land-use change, institutions, agronomy, economics, and knowledge systems. The foundation of the work is rigorous, grounding its findings in multiple peer reviewed publications, while not hesitating to point out gaps or unresolved issues.

Harrison and each of the other contributors received a plaque on Aug. 5 in Minneapolis, Minn., at ESA’s annual meeting to discuss future sustainable trends.

ESA is dedicated to the science of ecology, stimulating research in all aspects of the discipline, encouraging communication among ecologists and promoting the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. It has more than 10,000 members worldwide.