A lifetime of achievement, an honorary doctorate and “bird friendly” conservation

September 5, 2013.  Have you reached a milestone, received an award or conquered the world (at least your little corner of it) lately? Let us know at  We want to toot your horn for you! Be sure to include your contact information and a picture as an attachment.

Smithsonian Institution Libraries


Nancy Gwinn

Director Nancy E. Gwinn received an honorary doctoral degree from University of Wyoming. It is the university’s highest award, and is given annually to individuals recognized internationally as leaders in their professions.

A former Fulbright scholar at the University of Oxford in England, Gwinn holds a doctorate in American civilization from George Washington University, a master of arts in library science from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of arts from the University of Wyoming. She joined Smithsonian Libraries in 1984 and was named the director in 1997.

Gwinn has been active in the American Library Association, the Research Libraries Group Partnership Council and the International Federation of Library Associations. She currently serves as chair of the Steering Committee of the Biodiversity Heritage Library, an international program to make biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.

National Museum of Natural History

Lynn Parenti

Lynn Parenti

Lynne R. Parenti, Curator of Fishes, was honored at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists with the prestigious 2013 Robert H. Gibbs Jr. Memorial Award. The award is given annually to recognize an outstanding body of published work in systematic ichthyology. This lifetime achievement award was established in 1988 with an endowment from the family of the late Bob Gibbs, former curator in the Division of Fishes and Chairman of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology, and consists of a plaque and cash award. The Natural History Museum now boasts seven out of the 25 recipients of the Gibbs award.

National Zoo

Russell Greenberg, Director of the Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo’s Conservation Biology Institute, has been awarded the prestigious Elliott Coues Award from the American Ornithological Association. The award recognizes outstanding and innovative contributions to ornithological research.

Russell Greenberg

Russell Greenberg

Greenberg began his professional training at the University of California-Santa Cruz as an undergraduate. He then went onto UC Berkeley where he received his doctorate. He joined the Smithsonian as a post-doc and has remained a key component of the Institution’s science program ever since.

Contributing to fundamental science has always been a priority for Greenberg, but his deep commitment to the species and habitats he cherishes led him to add conservation biology to his portfolio. He was one of the first scientists to recognize that some crops could be grown in ways that minimize the negative effect of agriculture on native ecosystems. Greenberg developed the idea of promoting shade-grown coffee as a bird-friendly product, and took his research on birds in tropical ecosystems and applied it to the marketplace. He changed the coffee industry by developing science-based criteria, now considered the gold standard, for how shade-grown coffee benefits both birds and broader biodiversity. The “Bird Friendly” concept has been copied by many and continues to be a pioneering way to link economics to conservation.

Posted: 5 September 2013
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