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Gene Likens Ph.D.

Gene Likens Ph.D.

National Medal of Science - Biological Sciences 2001

Zoologist. Ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, acid rain, human impacts on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Linked fossil fuel combustion to acid rain. Founder, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies


Generously contributed by Gene Elden Likens

Gene Elden Likens Distinguished Senior Scientist Emeritus, Founding Director and President Emeritus of Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. As of 1 July 2012, Dr. Likens, in addition to being Distinguished Research Professor became Special Advisor on Environmental Affairs to the President of the University of Connecticut.

Professor Gene E. Likens is an ecologist best known for his discovery, with colleagues, of acid rain in North America, for co-founding of the internationally renowned Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study and for founding the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, a leading, international ecological research and education center. Dr. Likens is an educator and advisor at state, national, and international levels. He has been an advisor to two governors in New York State and one in New Hampshire, as well as one U.S. President. He holds faculty positions at Yale, Cornell, and Rutgers Universities, SUNY Albany, the University of Connecticut and an Honorary Professorship at Jinan University, Guangzhou, China. Dr. Likens has been awarded ten honorary doctoral Degrees. In addition to being elected a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Dr. Likens has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Austrian Academy of Sciences, an Honorary Member of the British Ecological Society and Albert Einstein Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Science. Dr. Likens was awarded the 2001 National Medal of Science, presented at The White House; and In 2003 was awarded the Blue Planet Prize (with F. H. Bormann) from the Asahi Glass Foundation, considered to be the Nobel Prize of Ecology. Among other awards, in 1993 Dr. Likens, with F. H. Bormann, was awarded the Tyler Prize, The World Prize for Environmental Achievement, and in 1994, he was the sole recipient of the Australia Prize for Science and Technology. In 2004, Prof. Likens was honored with a Miegunyah Fellowship from Melbourne University. Dr. Likens was awarded the Naumann-Thienemann Medal from the Societas Internationalis Limnologiae, the Ecological Society of America's Eminent Ecologist Award in 1995 and the Alfred C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. Prof. Likens has served as President of the International Society of Theoretical and Applied Limnology, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Ecological Society of America, and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. Dr. Likens is the author, co-author or editor of 25 books and more than 600 scientific papers.

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Photo: Courtesy Gene Elden Likens

Name: Gene Elden Likens
Birth: 6 January 1935 Pierceton, Indiana USA
Title: Director and President and G. Evelyn Hutchinson Chair in Ecology
Affiliation: Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Citation: "For his discovery of acid rain in North America and his sustained leadership in developing the fields of ecology and ecosystem science." Presented by President George W. Bush in a White House East Room ceremony on June 12, 2002."
History of Discovery
External Resources Text
Patents: Likens has not patented his discoveries