John Melack Named AAAS Fellow

Bren School Associate Dean John Melack has received a prestigious 2008 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow Award. A professor of biology and ecology who has earned an international reputation for his work in biogeochemistry, aquatic ecology, and remote sensing, Melack has written more than 200 publications describing research emphasizing ecological processes in lakes, rivers, wetlands, and catchments in Brazil, Africa, Australia, Japan, Central Asia, and the United States.

His research on the ecology of saline Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierras led to a decision by the State Water Resources Board to decrease allocations of water that could be diverted from the lake’s feeder streams and added to the Los Angeles water supply. He has conducted scientific projects in the Amazon River basin for nearly 20 years, most recently as a researcher and member of the Science Steering Committee for the Large Scale Atmosphere and Biosphere Experiment. The collaborative international project began in 1993 as an effort to address how Amazonia functions as a regional entity within the larger Earth system, and how changes in land use there might affect the region’s biological, chemical, and physical functions and influence global climate.

Melack also played a seminal role in the creation of the Bren School and was a member of the committee charged with greening Bren Hall, which became the first laboratory building in the United States to earn LEED Platinum status from the U.S. Green Building Council, when it was completed in 2002.

AAAS, publisher of Science­ magazine, is the world’s largest scientific society. The nonprofit organization is “dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association.”

Melack and 470 other 2008 Fellows will be recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum, to be held February 16 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.