Dee Boersma (Biologist/Professor/Penguin Researcher)

dee-boersma.jpgDee Boersma is among 10 recipients of the Heinz Family Foundation awards given to people whose achievements have fostered a cleaner, greener and more sustainable world.

Boersma, a UW biology professor and holder of the Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science, is being honored for her extensive field study of penguins and other sea birds to promote conservation and understanding human impact on marine environments.

In an effort to better communicate issues of the natural world to the public, she launched Conservation Magazine, a publication for cutting-edge science and smarter conservation (

For more than 25 years, she and her students, working with the Wildlife Conservation Society, have studied Magellanic penguins at the Punta Tombo reserve in Argentina.

She has dubbed the penguins "marine sentinels" for their warning signs about the ocean environment. Her recent work has shown that, because of climate change and other factors, during the critical period of egg incubation, the penguins at Punta Tombo must swim an average of 25 miles further in search of food than they did just 10 years ago.

Related Links:
Sylvia Earle's TED Prize Wish To Protect Our Oceans
The Mission Blue Voyage – a project of the TED Prize