Joan Kleypas recipient of prestigious Heinz Award

Teresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation Announce Recipients of Prestigious Heinz Awards
17th Annual Awards Honor Environmental Champions

Teresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation today announced the winners of the 17th annual Heinz Awards, honoring the contributions of eight individuals and two co-recipients whose significant achievements have benefitted the environment. Each recipient receives an unrestricted cash prize of $100,000, with the pair of co-recipients sharing one of the cash prizes.

This year’s winners include an “environmental composer,” documentary filmmakers, authorities on toxic chemicals, an ice core guru, ocean scientists and an innovation consultant who borrows ideas from nature.

“At a time when so much of our public discourse is about constraints and the limits of possibility, these men and women offer an inspiring reminder that change always comes from those who see past today’s boundaries to a world of new possibilities and new discoveries,” Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation, said today. “Their ingenuity and persistence is a refreshing reminder of America’s can-do spirit, which is as alive today in innovators like this as it has ever been. They offer us practical, real-world ideas for how to protect our environment, and their innovative spirit offers us a powerful and much-needed antidote to the idea that our country is no longer capable of greatness.”

The awards program annually recognizes individuals creating workable solutions to the problems the world faces while inspiring the next generation of modern thinkers. While this year’s awards focus on the environment, winners were chosen in award categories recognized in many previous years.

The belief in the power of the individual to improve the lives of others is a quality exemplified by John Heinz, and an attribute the awards program was created to honor.

The winners of the 17th Heinz Awards are:


Joan Kleypas, Ph.D., National Center for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, Colo.)

For conducting breakthrough research on the impacts of climate change on coral reefs and engaging both scientists and policymakers

Dr. Joan Kleypas has conducted research on how changes in temperature and in seawater chemistry and acidity have impacted coral reefs. She has also identified ways to bolster coral reef health so that ocean organisms can survive climate changes. She was a member of a National Academies of Science committee that produced a 2010 report “Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenge of a Changing Ocean,” and has led many efforts to bring climate change and ocean acidification to the attention of scientists, the public and policymakers. Her testimony before Congress in 2009 on the threat of ocean acidification helped to ensure the passage of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act.

Heinz Foundation, 13 September 2011. Web site.

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