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Saturday, May 31, 2014

URI scientist recognized by International Association for Landscape Ecology

Richmond resident earns distinguished service award

KINGSTON, R.I. –Peter August, professor of natural resources science at the University of Rhode Island, was awarded the 2014 Distinguished Service Award by the United States chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology at its annual symposium in Anchorage, Alaska last week.

The award recognizes those who have made exceptional contributions of time, energy and dedication to advance the association’s mission.

“Pete is an extremely effective spokesperson for the society and the discipline of landscape ecology,” said Janet Franklin, president of the chapter and a professor at Arizona State University. 

“One of his greatest gifts is his ability to motivate others to serve. He leads from the front when necessary and from the background when it is not. For nearly two decades, Pete has been our greatest advocate, helping make the society welcoming, professional, social, scientific, inclusive, intimate, and just better.” 

A resident of Richmond, August served as president of the chapter from 2004 to 2006 and has chaired and served on numerous committees, including Site Selection, Foreign Travel Award, Strategic Planning, and Past Officers Advisory Committee. He remains active on the Awards Committee and Ad Hoc Communications Committee, and he served as co-host of the group’s annual symposium in Newport in 2012. 

A member of the URI faculty for more than 30 years, August has focused much of his career on using computer technology to help conserve biodiversity. He established the URI Environmental Data Center and the framework for the Rhode Island Geographic Information System that became a model for the country. 

He was the founding president of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey and a long-time member of the boards of the Rhode Island chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association and the Richmond Land Trust.