This year's Guggenheim Fellows range in age from 27 to 73 and their projects will carry them to all parts of the United States and Canada and around the globe. For its 86th annual competition, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded 180 Fellowships to artists, scientists, and scholars. Successful candidates were chosen from a group of 3,000 applicants. Since its establishment in 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted over $281 million Fellowships to more than 16,900 individuals.
Alum Carl Safina is a prominent ecologist, marine conservationist and president of Blue Ocean Institute, an environmental organization based in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. His has also been a recreational fisherman since childhood. His research with the grant will focus on nature, environment, and conservation as moral dilemmas.
He received an honorary degree from Purchase in 2005 and is also a winner of the prestigious Pew Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He is the author of five books and his latest The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, will be out in the fall 2010.
As a teenager he played drums in various jazz and rock bands and worked his way through college by entertaining at private parties and weddings. He earned a BA degree from Purchase College in environmental science and Masterâ€™s and Ph.D. degrees from Rutgers University in ecology. He worked for the National Audubon Society beginning in 1979 and in 1990, founded their Living Ocean Program where he served for a decade as vice president for ocean conservation.
In 2003 he co-founded and became president of Blue Ocean Institute, an organization dedicated to inspiring among humans a closer relationship with the sea and helping more people realize its power and beauty. The Institute is designed to inspire conservation by using science, art and literature to build a greater appreciation for the oceans and their inhabitants.
Safina has engaged in many conservation efforts. He has helped ban high-seas driftnets and overhaul federal fisheries laws in the U.S., and has persuaded fishermen to call for and abide by international agreements to restore depleted populations of tuna, sharks, and other fish, as well as such creatures as dolphins and sea turtles.