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Eduardo Santana-Castellón

Leopold Board Member Santana-Castellón Receives Prestigious Environmental Merit Award

For his contributions in education, wildlife research, conservation, community development, and the design and creation of academic and conservation institutions Dr. Eduardo Santana-Castellón, a UW-Alumnus (BSc 79, MSc 85, PhD 00) received the “Environmental Recognition Award” from the Jalisco State Congress, Mexico, on Tuesday 21 June 2022 ([1]).

Eduardo, who is professor at the University of Guadalajara (UdG), is also Director of its novel Museum of Environmental Sciences, and founder of the Socioenvironmental Film Award in the Guadalajara International Film Festival, and the City and Nature José Emilio Pacheco Literature Prize, one of the leading awards in the world in its genre, in the Guadalajara International Book Fair.

Eduardo has a long history of association with UW-Madison that dates back to 1974 when he arrived from Puerto Rico at the young age of 17 to begin his undergraduate studies ([2]). He was an advisee of Joseph Hickey (+, see Wisconsin Academy Review[3]). He is the first Hispanic student to earn an undergraduate degree in the program created by Aldo Leopold, the first specialized in wildlife ecology in the United States, and the only one to earn three degrees (Grow [4]). In 1985 he moved to Mexico to participate with the University of Guadalajara and the World Wildlife Fund in creating the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve, a project promoted by Hugh Iltis (+), from where he described a new species of wild corn ([5]). This project was recently highlighted in the journal Nature ([6]).

He loves Wisconsin and has been coming back non-stop to Madison ever since. For the past 20 years, he has been adjunct professor at the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, visiting professor, honorary scholar and guest lecturer at the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies ([7]) and the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program (where he recently lectured on Museums and Human Rights [8]). Over the years he has participated in various UW-Madison programs like the Women & Wellbeing in Wisconsin & World ([9]), the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies ([10]), Earth Partnership ([11]), UniverCity Alliance ([12] ), and the City of Madison Sister City program ([13]).

He is or has been a member of the Advisory Committee of the Global Health Institute ([14]) and the governing boards of the Aldo Leopold Foundation[15], the Society for Conservation Biology, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology ([16]) and the National Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative-Mexico ([17]). For many years he has offered a field course with Jim Berkelman on the wildlife of western Mexico ([18]), which has been on-hold due to Covid 19 pandemic and violence in the State of Jalisco. Half a century of collaboration in environmental projects between UW-Madison and the University of Guadalajara will be highlighted in the upcoming book “Wisconsin in the World: Internationalization at the University of Wisconsin–Madison” by the International Projects Office.

To learn more about this outstanding board member, Dr. Eduardo Santana-Castellón, click here.

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[1] PUBLIC REFERENCES: (TV Interview mentions degrees from UW-Madison);  (Congressional announcement); (Univ. of Guadalajara newspaper); (University of Guadalajara news release;  (Guadalajara local newspaper);