Daniel BotkinDr. Daniel B. Botkin is a biologist, environmental scientist, musician, and author of 20 books, who has made many prominent contributions to his scientific field. Dedicated to solving the environmental quandaries of our modern times, Dr. Botkin has publicly spoken and written extensively on several topics, and is also credited with solving some of the environmental issues our Earth faces. His work has helped the conservation of African elephants, bowhead whales and salmon. For his research on bowhead whales, Dr. Botkin pioneered the use of historical records to study the population of this large mammal, eventually logging 65,000 days of observation between 1849 and 1914 of commercial whaling ships logbooks alongside his team. He has helped to protect forest ecosystems, and worked on issues pertaining to satellite remote sensing, biodiversity and the future of energy sources. In addition, he has explored ecological and environmental computer modeling.

Dr. Botkin is distinguished for several notable accomplishments that span across his career. He wrote and created the first successful multispecies computer ecology called JABOWA, completing this project with two scientists from IBM Thomas J. Watson Laboratories back in 1970. The program is still widely used today, and has been the focal point of other scientists such as Professor Hank Shugart. JABOWA is a powerful ecological computer simulation that not only forecasts but also lit the path for scientists to use computers in ecological and environmental sciences. To learn more about JABOWA, visit this partial listing of published papers.

Furthermore, Dr. Botkin has lead the world in developing global ecology. This venture has opened the channels for important discussions about global warming. He first began researching global warming in the 1960s, before it was a known subject for many scientists and the general public. He was instrumental in helping NASA establish a program to study ecological and environmental problems from space.

With more than 45 years of research experience, Dr. Botkin helped found and has led the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Program. He initiated NASA’s use of satellite remote sensing to study ecology from space. He has advised the government of Taiwan in solving environmental problems, and helped California handle problems such as toxic waste leakage and water withdrawal. Additionally, Dr. Botkin has helped the state preserve their native species of condor.

Additional Work Achievements

Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. He was Chairman of the English Department of the newly formed Mindanao State University (among seven faculty members in the department, all American Peace Corps Volunteers) whilst also taught introductory physics.  Dr. Botkin became close friends with a village headman, Sulutan Sa Duna (“the Sultan of the World”) who adopted him into his family, resulting in receiving a share of the bride price when the Sulutan’s  daughter was married.  

Professional Journalist.  Dr. Botkin worked for The World Wide Medical News Service in 1964, after obtaining a Master’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in English Literature under a Science Writing fellowship, for which he worked at the University’s News Bureau. Because of his undergraduate degree in physics and his knowledge of many scientific fields, he wrote most of the news articles about the scientific and medical research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, between 1960 and 1962.

University Founder. After the fall of the Soviet Union, George Soros, a native of Hungary and a well-known investor, asked Dr. Botkin and one other ecologist, C. S. “Buzz” Holling, to help him set up a new Middle European University, in which the environment would be one of the primary emphases. They worked with Soros for two years, helping him design the university, urging him to hire a director. Hired upon Dr. Botkin’s recommendation, this director did an excellent job. Dr. Botkin and Holling involved leading environmental scientists as possible cooperators—helping the new university get started.

Founded a Nonprofit Corporation. In 1990, Dr. Botkin founded a nonprofit corporation, The Center for the Study of the Environment, which pursued a number of projects, including projects to save Mono Lake, California and salmon in the states of Oregon and Washington  (discussed later).

Science Advisor. The only Science Advisor for Power to the People in 2014;  Dr. Botkin’s understanding was that the film would be shown on most PBS stations.

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