2019 A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Stephen Carpenter (University of Wisconsin, Madison) 

The A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement award honors major, long-term achievements in the fields of limnology and oceanography, including research, education, and service to the community and society. Stephen R. Carpenter is the 2019 recipient of the A.C. Redfield Award in recognition of his remarkable contributions to the field of limnology and lake management; including major advances in our understanding of trophic cascades, eutrophication, regime shifts, fisheries sustainability, and social ecological systems via approaches that confront theory with large-scale collaborative experimentation, long-term lake surveys, community outreach, and education. The award will be presented at the ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico in February 2019.

For more than four decades, Stephen Carpenter has combined mathematical and theoretical approaches with whole-ecosystem experiments to explore complex lake dynamics, interactions between humans and aquatic ecosystems, and aquatic-terrestrial linkages. The influence of concepts developed by Carpenter, such as trophic cascade theory, extends beyond limnology, leading to major advances in broader ecological theory. With five published books, 400 journal articles and book chapters, and nearly 30,000 citations, Carpenter is one of the most cited authors in the field of ecology.

A respected mentor and highly regarded collaborator, Carpenter’s leadership is impressive both within and beyond academia. Colleagues cite his ability to articulate concepts in a way that is understandable as key to his success in bridging the gap between science, social science and policy. He is respected worldwide as a leading scientist, as evidenced by his status as a member of the National Academy of Sciences and foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academies of Sciences; he has also served as an “Einstein Scholar” for the Chinese Academy of Sciences. While his research has provided the foundation for management of aquatic resources, Carpenter has also contributed to broader efforts to inform policy, including serving as co‐chair of a United Nation's Millennium Ecosystem Assessment working group. He also co-founded the journal Ecosystems, which has become of the high impact journals in the field of ecology.

“Steve Carpenter is a prior winner of the Hutchinson and Martin awards and it is fitting to honor him with the Redfield award reflecting a career of accomplishment,” said ASLO President Michael Pace. “While Steve has many talents, his ability to develop and test innovative ideas has enabled him to make numerous, far reaching contributions to limnology and ecosystem science.”