January 15, 2015
Jason West, PhD, associate professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, was one of 20 researchers in the U.S. and Canada selected as a 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellow.
Based at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, the Leopold Leadership Program provides outstanding academic environmental researchers with skills and approaches for communicating and working with partners in nongovernmental organizations, business, government and communities to integrate science into decision-making.
West and other fellows will receive intensive leadership training to help them engage effectively with leaders in the public and private sectors who face complex decisions about sustainability and the environment. Fellows were chosen for their outstanding qualifications as researchers, demonstrated leadership ability and strong interest in sharing their knowledge beyond traditional academic audiences.
The program is funded by the S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
“The 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellows are generating new knowledge that is critical to answering the central question of our time: how to preserve Earth’s vital systems while providing the resources that support human wellbeing, including food, water, energy, and fiber,” said Pamela Matson, dean of Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences, senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute and Leopold Leadership Program co-director. “The Leopold program will help the fellows gain skills, tools and approaches they need to contribute their knowledge most effectively to finding solutions.”
The 2015 fellows are doing innovative research in a wide range of disciplines, including ecology, marine science, engineering, geography, genomics, and Native American studies. They join a network of 195 past fellows who are engaged in broad-based efforts to solve society’s most pressing sustainability challenges.
Fellows participate in a weeklong training session on leadership and communications, followed by a year of practicing skills that will advance their efforts to lead change. The fellowship also offers peer networking and mentoring through the Leopold Leadership Network of program advisers, trainers and past fellows.