Martin Smith and Lincoln Pratson Selected as 2011 Leopold Leadership Fellows

February 24, 2011

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Martin D. Smith, associate professor of environmental economics, and Lincoln Pratson, professor of energy and environment, at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, have been selected as Leopold Leadership Fellows for 2011.

Leopold Leadership Fellowships are awarded annually to up to 20 outstanding, mid-career academic researchers in environmental fields of critical importance, and whom also are also actively engaged in public outreach.

Fellows receive two weeks of intensive communications and leadership training to help them improve their ability to explain their scientific work to key nonacademic audiences, including journalists, business leaders, policymakers and members of communities facing complex decisions about sustainability and the environment.

Smith is a widely cited expert on fisheries economics and marine policy. In 2010, he was lead author on two papers in Science – one on foreign aid and sustainable fisheries’ vital roles in global food security, the other on flaws in the Food and Drug Administration’s review process to determine the safety of transgenic salmon for human consumption, and ways these flaws can be corrected.  The same year, he also was lead author of a study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that examined how economic and social factors shape fishermen’s support for, or opposition to, the creation of new no-take marine reserves.

In recognition of his scholarly output, Smith received the prestigious Quality of Research Discovery Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association for 2010.

Pratson, a geologist and geophysicist by training, is an expert on energy resources and energy systems.  He is director of the Nicholas School’s Energy & Environment Program; director of the Duke University Energy Hub; associate director of the Gendell Center for Engineering, Energy & the Environment; co-founder and co-director of the Sustainable Energy Fellowship; and serves on the executive committee for the Research Triangle Energy Consortium.

Pratson co-leads a research group at Duke on carbon capture and storage.  Working with students, he conducts research into integrating different forms energy storage and renewable energy generation into the electricity delivery system, assessing current and future water use in thermoelectric power generation, and evaluating future demand for and supplies of energy resources.

The Leopold Leadership Program is based at Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment.  It was created in 1998 by Jane Lubchenco, a widely cited environmental and marine scientist at Oregon State University who in 2009 became the first woman confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.