Dr. Dee Boersma

Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science, Professor

Dr. Boersma arrived at the University of Washington in 1974 to be an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Environmental Studies and Zoology. Fieldwork remained her passion, whether it was working on Fork-tailed storm-petrels in Alaska, on Magellanic penguins in Argentina, or her continued work in the Galápagos Islands. In the early 1980’s she started visiting Punta Tombo, Argentina where the largest colony of Magellanic penguins, over 200,000 pairs, come ashore to breed. Her studies and data helped prevent the harvest of penguins for high fashion golf gloves, moved tanker lanes farther offshore to prevent penguins from swimming through petroleum, and informed legislation for Marine Protected areas in the Province of Chubut, Argentina. Support from the Wildlife Conservation Society, a Heinz Award, Pew and Kellogg fellowships, and many donors helped fund her research. Dr. Boersma enjoys the penguin colony because it is noisy, bustling with activity and 100 miles from the nearest city. She is the Director of the Center for Ecosystem Sentinels at the University of Washington and for 35 years has lead the Magellanic Penguin Project at Punta Tombo, Argentina.

Honorary Doctorate, 2003, Central Michigan University, Michigan
Ph.D. Zoology, 1974, Ohio State University, Ohio
B.Sc.(Honors) Biology, 1969, Central Michigan University, Michigan
Fulbright Fellow at the University of Otago, New Zealand (2010)
Heinz Environmental Award (2009)
American Ornithologists’ Union Elliott Coues Award (2008)
Grace Hopper Outstanding Achievement Award (2008)
Education Fellow in the Life Sciences, National Academies (2006-2007)
Distinguished Service Award, Society for Conservation Biology (2006)
Leopold Fellow (2000-2001)
AAAS Fellow, Elected (2000)
Pew Fellow in Conservation and the Environment (1997-2000)
William Evans Visiting Fellow, University of Otago, New Zealand (1995)
Elected Fellow, American Ornithologists’ Union (1994)
Dean’s Achievement Award, University of Washington (1994)
Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Washington (1993)
Outstanding Centennial Alumni Award, Central Michigan University (1993)
Top 10 Outsiders of the Year Award, Outside magazine (1987)
Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship (1982-1985)
Board of Directors, Natural History Network (2008 to date)
Executive Editor, Conservation Biology In Practice (2000 to date)
Advisory Board, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park (1994 to 2012)
Scientific Advisor, Penguin Taxon Advisory Group, AAZPA (1992 to date)
Scientific Fellow, Wildlife Conservation Society N.Y.Z.S, elected (1982 to date)
Board of Directors, Peregrine Fund (1995-2002, 2003 -2012, 2013- to date)
Member, U.S. National Committee, International Union for Biological Science (2001-2007)
Governing Board, Ecological Society of American (2004-2006)
Board of Directors, Islandwood (2001-2006)
Board of Editors, El Horneno (2002-2005)
Board of Governors, Society for Conservation Biology (1991-2005)
Ocean Science Advisory Board, Conservation International (2002-2004)
Naturalist, Lindblad Expeditions, Antarctica (2001-2004)
Board of Scientific Experts Comm. Partnership for Science and the Sea (2000-2004)
Advisory Board Island Press: Initiative on Environmental Instruction (1999-2004)
Board of Editors, Ecological Applications (1999-2002)
President, Society for Conservation Biology (1997-1999) Past President (1999-2001)
Principal Investigator, National Review of Recovery Plans for SCB and FWS (1998-2001)
Board of Directors, Bullitt Foundation (1997-2001)
Society for Conservation Biology, Board of Governors (1991-2001)
Washington Nature Conservancy, Board of Directors (1997-1998)
Bullitt Foundation, Board of Directors (1997-1998)
Pacific Seabird Group, Regional Representative (1981-1985)
Department of the Interior, Endangered Species Subcommittee, Chair (1979-1983)