Pamela McElwee, associate professor, Department of Human Ecology, and Malin Pinsky, associate professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, are among the 2021 cohort of leading sustainability scientists selected as Fellows by the Earth Leadership Program (ELP), the global successor to the renowned Leopold Leadership Program, in partnership with Future Earth.
McElwee and Pinsky are among the 21 academics working within a wide array of disciplines related to sustainability, from marine biology to atmospheric chemistry, governance, and economics, chosen for the prestigious ELP’s 2021 North America cohort. Rutgers is the only North American university with more than one faculty member named to the 2021 cohort of ELP fellows.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the first ELP fellowship, building off all the wonderful things I heard from recipients of the previous Leopold Leadership Program. I’m looking forward to expanding my leadership skills and collaborative engagement to increase the impact of my work on climate and ecosystem management policies,” said McElwee.
McElwee’s work primarily aims to understand how global environmental changes—whether biodiversity loss or climate change or unsustainable development—affect community and individual vulnerability and how policies can help or hinder longer-term resilience.
“While most of my empirical research takes place in Southeast Asia, where flood and hurricane risks and loss of ecosystem functioning has been acute, these questions are front and center for many parts of the world, including here in the U.S.,” she added.
Pinsky believes that “this fellowship will be a fantastic opportunity to make this science more useful for society and public policy, with the overall goal of reducing the impacts of climate change.”
“It’s an incredible honor to be chosen as the one of the fellows, but more than that, I’m excited to learn. This will be a wonderful chance to learn new skills and be inspired with new ideas for linking research to action,” said Pinsky, whose research focuses on how climate change is impacting ocean animals and how we can adapt marine conservation and fisheries to these changes.
ELP’s 2021 fellows, who come from 11 U.S. states, Canada, and Mexico, are committed to pursuing transdisciplinary work that brings together scientific disciplines, government representatives, private sector voices, and civil society to build a more sustainable future for all.
The Earth Leadership Program provides outstanding academic researchers with the skills, approaches, and theoretical frameworks for catalyzing change to address the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges, emphasizing new forms of individual and collective leadership. The program enables scientists to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders and become agents of change within and beyond their universities.