Call for Nominations: Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award 2020 - ALUS Canada - ALUS Canada
ALUS Canada is currently accepting nominations for the biennial Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award 2020, recognizing excellence and innovation in scientific research, monitoring or verification of ecosystem services on working farmlands. Deadline April 17, 2020.
Do you know an outstanding researcher who could be a strong candidate for this year’s Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award? Please fill out the nomination forms and send them in by April 17, 2020. Complete nomination packages must be received by email or postmarked by this deadline in order to be considered. The 2020 nomination form can be found here: https://alus.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Nomination-2020-Weston-Family-Ecosystem-Innovation-Award.pdf
The Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award highlights achievement in evaluating the ecosystem services that provide benefits both to the farm and to the broader public good. The prize was created in 2016 to recognize researchers and/or ALUS Canada partners who show excellence and innovation in scientific research, monitoring or verification of ecosystem services on working farmlands.
Nominees must have completed credible research related to the ecosystem services produced on working farmlands, to their monitoring, verifying and measurement, or to innovative methods of evaluating their economic value to society.
Nominees must also help promote the public awareness of ecosystem services to youth, landowners and the general public, and participate in regional, provincial or national committees or organizations relating to ecosystem services. A complete description of the criteria is available here: https://alus.ca/alus_news_and_events/the-innovation-awards/
The prize, worth $10,000, was first presented in 2016 to Dr. Andrew MacDougall, a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, in recognition of his innovative research work in pollinators and biodiversity.
“We are testing how regional and local factors affect food web assembly in fragmented landscapes, focusing on insect-plant interactions in tallgrass prairie,” said MacDougall, who has long worked in collaboration with ALUS Norfolk, researching plant-pollinator dynamics in agricultural landscapes and using as his laboratory the vast swaths of tallgrass prairie established by ALUS in southwestern Ontario.
According to Bryan Gilvesy, CEO of ALUS Canada, “Andrew has been a frequent guest of ALUS Norfolk as an informative resource person on public tours of ALUS projects and has persistently, and with little reward, led many efforts to bring research dollars to the study of successes on ALUS projects.”
The 2018 Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award was presented to Dr. Wanhong Yang, a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph who has pioneered innovative research in modelling and quantifying environmental benefits of on-ground conservation projects.
“My passion is to help advance ALUS by bringing scientific evidence and innovative modelling tools to bear on the ALUS program,” said Dr. Yang. “Through my research, I hope to help move its innovative work forward to another level over the next few years. Specifically, we will be using a hydrologic model to demonstrate the beneficial effect of ALUS projects that produce ecosystem services in representative watersheds.”
Dr. Yang has spent over ten years developing a tool to quantify the environmental benefits of different agricultural conservation practices such as wetlands and riparian buffers. This tool is known as the “IMWEBs” model, which stands for “Integrated Modelling for Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices.”
“Dr. Yang’s research offers much-needed insights into measuring the benefits of wetlands for the broader public good,” said Mrs. Camilla Dalglish, Director of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. “My family’s Foundation is pleased to honour him with this award, recognizing his dedication to the conservation of Canada’s agricultural watersheds.”
Congratulations to all recipients of the Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award and good luck to our nominees for 2020!