Alan Townsend, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University
of Colorado Boulder, recently was named one of 21 Google Science Communication Fellows for 2011.
Google said the awards were initiated to foster a more open, transparent and accessible scientific dialogue aimed at inspiring pioneering use of technology, new media and computational thinking in the communication of science to diverse audiences.
Initially the awards focus on communicating the science on climate change.
Townsend's background is as an ecosystem ecologist and biogeochemist. Much of his work focuses on controls over nutrient limitation and carbon storage in moist tropical and alpine tundra ecosystems, and how these controls help researchers understand the response of such systems to human-induced environmental change.
The Google fellows were elected from a pool of applicants of early to mid-career Ph.D. scientists nominated by leaders in climate change research and science-based institutions across the United States.
In June, the fellows will participate in a workshop, which will integrate hands-on training and facilitated brainstorming on topics of technology and science communication. Following the workshop, fellows will be given the opportunity to apply for grants to put their ideas into practice. Those with the most impactful projects will be given the opportunity to join a Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic trip to the Arctic, the Galapagos or Antarctica as a science communicator.