2014 Distinguished Explorer Award

Dr. Margaret Lowman | 2014
Dr. Margaret D. Lowman, nicknamed the “real-life Lorax” by National Geographic and “Einstein of the treetops” by Wall Street Journal, pioneered the science of canopy ecology.

The Chief of Science & Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences, Meg Lowman has just been named the Distinguished Explorer Award recipient for 2014.

Meg Lowman will visit Beloit April 11th 2014 to receive the Roy Chapman Andrews Society’s Distinguished Explorer Award. This presentation marks the second time the Beloit-based organization has celebrated the science canopy ecology.

In 2008 the Society recognized the work of Beloit native Dr. Mark Moffett, entomologist, ecologist and photojournalist for his work in tropical forests and ecology.

Distinguished Explorer Award Presentation

  • Friday, April 11th, 2014
  • 4:30 pm
  • Eaton Chapel, Beloit College
  • FREE!  (bring the kids!)

Margaret D. Lowman Presentation

“It’s a Jungle Up There: How Canopy Exploration Is Conserving Global Forests”

Dr. Lowman will discuss her research and discoveries in the field of global canopy ecology and conservation during the award presentation. The program is free and open to the public

School Program:

Earlier that day, Dr. Lowman will discuss her work with area youth in an assembly at Beloit Memorial High School. The title of her presentation is:
“Life in the Treetops: Adventures of a Woman Arbornaut”

Suggested background material to prepare students attending the school program

Nicknamed the “real-life Lorax” by National Geographic
“Einstein of the treetops” by Wall Street Journal

Meg Lowman | CanopyMegMore about Margaret Lowman

Nicknamed the “real-life Lorax” by National Geographic and “Einstein of the treetops” by Wall Street Journal, Meg Lowman pioneered the science of canopy ecology.

For over 30 years, she has designed hot-air balloons and walkways for treetop exploration to solve mysteries in the world’s forests, especially insect pests and ecosystem health.

Meg is affectionately called the mother of canopy research as one of the first scientists to explore this eighth continent. She relentlessly works to map the canopy for biodiversity and to champion forest conservation around the world.

Her international network and passion for science have led her into leadership roles where she seeks best practices to solve environmental challenges and serves as a role model to women and minorities in science.

Professional Affiliations

Formerly a Professor at North Carolina State University and the founding director of North Carolina’s innovative Nature Research Center (NRC) at the Museum of Natural Sciences, Meg oversaw the creation, construction, staffing, and programming of this research wing in partnership with NCSU.

She was subsequently hired by the California Academy of Sciences to lead their twenty-first century strategy that integrates research with sustainability initiatives both local and global.

As the external voice for the Academy’s collections and research, she promotes its mission to groups ranging from elementary classes to corporate executives to international conferences.

Lowman’s academic leadership has included Vice President of the Ecological Society of America; Treasurer of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation; founder of the TREE Foundation; Board of Directors for The Explorers Cluband Earthwatch; and Climate Change Adviser to Alex Sink, former CFO of the Florida cabinet. Previously, she served as Director of Environmental Initiatives at New College of Florida, CEO of The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and Professor of Biology & Environmental Studies at Williams College.

Canopy RaftAcademic Traning

Lowman’s academic training includes Williams College (BA, Biology); Aberdeen University (MSc, Ecology); Sydney University (PhD, Botany); and Tuck School of Business (Executive Management). Her numerous awards include the Margaret Douglas Medal for Excellence in Conservation Education from the Garden Club of America, Girls Inc.

Visionary Award, the Mendel Medal for achievements in science and spirit, the Lowell Thomas Medal for canopy exploration, Kilby Laureate and Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow.

She has authored more than 125 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and her first book, “Life in the Treetops,” received a cover review in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Working tirelessly on sustainability initiatives at home and abroad, “CanopyMeg” was a Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar to both India and Ethiopia, and National Geographic funds her conservation work on Ethiopian church forests.

She is the proud mother of sons Edward and James, both science majors from Princeton University.

CanopyMeg Website

Forest Canopies | Meg Lowman
Life in the Treetops | Meg Lowman
It's a Jungle Up There | Meg Lowman
Methods in Forest Canopy Research
Treetops at Risk | Meg Lowman