Daniel Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Biology in the School of Arts & Sciences was chosen to receive a 2014 Blue Planet Prize, an international environmental award sponsored by the Asahi Glass Foundation. The award announcement recognizes Janzen and Costa Rica’s Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad for work on sustainable development, environmental education and conservation of biodiversity.
Janzen is the Thomas G. and Louise E. DiMaura Term Chair and Professor of Conservation Biology at Penn. He has studied and catalogued the biodiversity of Costa Rica for more than four decades, involving local people in the research and restoration work. Together with his wife, biologist Winnie Hallwachs, Janzen helped create a tropical forest reserve covering 163,000 hectares, the Área de Conservación Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica.
Two Blue Planet Prizes are awarded each year to individuals or organizations “that make outstanding achievements in scientific research and its application and, in so doing, help to solve global environmental problems.” Janzen and Hallwach's work in Costa Rica exemplifies a goal of the Penn Compact 2020, to put Penn's research excellence into practice to better the world around us.
The award will be presented on Nov. 12 at the Palace Hotel Tokyo. Commemorative lectures by the prize recipients will be given on Nov. 13 at United Nations University in Tokyo.