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Seattle Aquarium Ocean Conservation Honors

Seattle Aquarium Ocean Conservation Honors

Each year since 2004, the Seattle Aquarium has presented two outstanding individuals with our highest honors during a special event celebrating their accomplishments. The annual Ocean Conservation Honors dinner raises the visibility of ocean conservation, highlighting and celebrating the honorees’ aspirations and impact, and sharing the passion for the work and the difference our actions make on behalf of ocean health.

While we weren’t able to plan an in-person gathering to celebrate this year, we can still heighten awareness around the urgency of marine conservation and work to inspire the next generation of leaders.

The Seattle Aquarium Sylvia Earle Medal

This award honors individuals whose leadership and lifetime accomplishments reflect and advance the mission of the Seattle Aquarium: Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment. Formerly the Seattle Aquarium Medal, the award was renamed in 2018, after we presented Dr. Sylvia Earle with our first Seattle Aquarium Lifetime Achievement Award.

2022 Seattle Aquarium Sylvia Earle Medal winner: Dr. Lisa Graumlich

Dr. Graumlich is the Denman Endowed Professor in Sustainable Resource Sciences in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and dean emeritus of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. Lisa has devoted her career to studying the causes and impacts of climate change. She’s passionate about science communication and speaks frequently on climate change impacts and adaptation. She has testified on long-term climate variability before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and is the president-elect of the American Geophysical Union as of January 1, 2021.

Hear how Lisa turned a trip to the Amazon into a lifelong passion for protecting the environment in our Q&A blog post.

The Seattle Aquarium Conservation Research Award honors individuals who are leaders and innovators in conservation research, with a particular focus on climate change, plastic pollution, sustainable fisheries and tourism, marine protected areas and socioeconomics. Special consideration is given for researchers working on projects in the Salish Sea or Coral Triangle, who have a special connection to the Seattle Aquarium, and those with strong educational or science communication elements to their work.

2022 Seattle Aquarium Conservation Award winner: Dr. Zhenyu Tian

Dr. Tian was an environmental chemist curious about organic pollutants in the environment. As a postdoctoral research scientist at the Center for Urban Waters, University of Washington, Tacoma, he performed years of collaborative research culminating in a 2020 paper on tire toxin that causes mortality in adult coho salmon. This paper fueled substantive conversations at the state and federal levels.

Hear how Dr. Tian was inspired by his childhood in Beijing to devote his career to the environment in our Q&A blog post.


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