Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, Tropical Biologist and Respected Environmentalist to Receive BRIT’s 2014 International Award of Excellence in Conservation

Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, Tropical Biologist and Respected Environmentalist to Receive BRIT’s 2014 International Award of Excellence in Conservation

FORT WORTH, Texas (December 3, 2013) —The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) announced today that Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy is the recipient of its 2014 International Award of Excellence in Conservation for his life-long work in biodiversity protection. The award luncheon will be held on Friday, March 28, 2014, at The Omni Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Lovejoy received his Ph.D. in biology from Yale University in 1971. His accomplishments and service assignments include helping bring attention to tropical deforestation through his groundbreaking work on forest fragmentation in the Amazon. He coined the term “biological diversity” and made the first projection of global extinction rates in the 1980, Global 2000 Report to the President given to Jimmy Carter. He originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps and was the founder of the public television series “Nature”. He has served as the Chief Biodiversity Advisor at the World Bank as well as Lead Specialist for the Environment for the Latin American region for the World Bank, as the Assistant Secretary for Environmental and External Affairs for the Smithsonian Institution, and as Executive Vice President of World Wildlife Fund-US.

He has served on advisory councils in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations and in 2009, he was appointed Conservation Fellow by the National Geographic Society. He chaired the Scientific and Technical Panel for the Global

Environment Facility which provides funding related to the international environmental conventions from 2008 – 2013. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. (Biology) from Yale University.

Currently, Dr. Lovejoy is a University Professor at George Mason University and also serves as Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation.

“Tom Lovejoy truly deserves this award,” says Dr. S.H. Sohmer, BRIT’s president and director. “Tom’s work in the field of conservation is a remarkable study of how one person can make a difference through the creative application of knowledge. He has been engaged for decades in helping conserve the Amazon rainforest; and his other programs, like his innovative debt-for-nature swap concept and his conservation biology initiatives, are helping save Earth’s precious biodiversity.”

Created in 1995, the International Award of Excellence in Conservation is presented to honor individuals and organizations that exemplify the ideals expressed in BRIT’s mission. Recent honorees include: the originator of U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED sustainability standards, Rob Watson; CNN founder, entrepreneur, and environmentalist, Ted Turner; Brazilian rancher and conservationist John Cain Carter; biologist Edward O. Wilson, Ph.D.; botanist and author Peter H. Raven, Ph.D.; renowned chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall; and wildflower advocate Mrs. Lyndon Baines (Lady Bird) Johnson.

Dr. Lovejoy is the twentieth recipient of the award.

Regional Awards of Excellence in Sustainability


In 2013, BRIT established a sustainable awards program that recognizes area businesses, organizations, and individuals that make conservation a priority in their operations and lives, and in turn make North Texas a better, cleaner place to live and work.

For 2014, the recipients of these three awards, who will also be honored during BRIT’s 2014 International Award of Excellence in Conservation luncheon, are:

Regional Award of Excellence in Sustainability Education

To be presented to Texas Christian University for its sustainability program that encompasses many of the university’s operations. From energy and water conservation, design and construction, and food services, to promoting recycling and waste reduction by its student population and offering courses in sustainability, the university is committed to being a model conservation-oriented center for higher education.

A stated goal of the university is to design all new buildings within the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The same goes for major retrofits.

It is one of three Texas universities recognized as a “Green College” by The Princeton review.

Regional Award of Excellence in Sustainability for a Business

To be presented to Sundance Square for its commitment to sustainability by annually purchasing more than 30 million kilowatt-hours of green power for its downtown, 35-block multi-use development. The EPA calculates Sundance Square’s green power purchase of more than 30 million kilowatt-hours is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 4,000 passenger vehicles per year or the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 3,000 average American homes annually.

As the centerpiece of downtown Fort Worth, Sundance Square’s management believed that it should take a leadership position within the community by showing how this large, multi-use development can meet its electrical needs while supporting clean sources of electricity. Since 2008, Sundance Square and Green Mountain Energy Company have been partners in a 10-year pledge to sustain and promote cleaner electricity.

Regional Award of Excellence in Sustainability for an Individual

To be presented to John Merrill, TCU School of Ranch Management Director Emeritus. Mr. Merrill was director of TCU’s School of Ranch Management for more than 30 years. Under his leadership, he expanded the focus of the program from teaching basic ranch skills, to training students to oversee an entire ranching organization. His course curricula prepared students to manage any type of ranching operation anywhere in the world. The knowledge areas that students have to master include: ranch operations and development, records and finance, animal health management and reproduction, soil and water conservation and marketing.

The program has received international acclaim from the agricultural industry for staying true to its roots while keeping up with industry trends and technological innovations.

About the Botanical Research Institute of Texas

Founded in 1987, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT

®) based in Fort Worth, Texas is an international, scientific research and learning center focused on conservation, knowledge sharing and studying the diversity of plant life. BRIT conducts extensive global research, including major projects in Texas, Europe, Peru, and the Pacific Islands. In the last 10 years, BRIT scientists have located and described scores of species previously unknown to science. BRIT’s herbarium is among the largest in the United States and is the largest U.S. herbarium not part of a university, botanical garden, or broader natural history museum. In the spring of 2011, BRIT moved into its new, US Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified headquarters located in the Fort Worth Cultural District. For more information, visit http://www.brit.org.



Botanical Research Institute of Texas
Chris Chilton, Director of Marketing and Public Relations; 817.546-8691; cell 817.880.5670; [email protected]; www.brit.org