janzenThe Association for Tropical Biology is pleased to recognize Dr. Daniel H. Janzen as the Honorary Fellow for 2002. Dr. Janzen was nominated for this honor for many reasons. He is, simply, one of the most creative and productive scientists of this century. He has had an enormous impact on tropical biology.

In the mid-1960’s, he galvanized a generation of field biologists with his experimental studies of acacias and their mutualistic ants. The world was ready for this fusion of natural history and experimental science, and Dr. Janzen became the role model for countless tropical biologists.

By the force of his personality and his legendary productivity, he demonstrated that tropical biology was a serious scholarly endeavor of considerable importance, and it gave many tropical biologists the confidence to pursue similar careers.

Costa Rican Natural History

costarican_naturalhistoryThe volume he edited in 1983, Costa Rican Natural History, was a radically new kind of book. It was like a bird guide for all Costa Rican life, a series of stories told by specialists about their favorite plants, insects, vertebrates, and ecosystems. The book became a cornerstone for subsequent field courses in Costa Rica, and is still widely used.

Dr. Janzen has also provided much of the creative energy and early impetus to a remarkable number of institutions whose existence we now take for granted: e.g., the Organization for Tropical Studies and its field courses, the Institute for Biodiversity, our own ATB, and the Costa Rican system of conservation areas.

Dr. Janzen’s work over the last 20 years has emphasized conservation of tropical wildlands and has been a remarkable combination of conceptual contributions and specific conservation actions in the establishment of the Guanacaste Conservation Area. Tropical biology is indebted to Dan Janzen for his vision and tireless promotion on its behalf.

Nalini Nadkarni
ATB President 2002
Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington 98505

Daniel H Janzen’s Homepage

Daniel H Janzen at Wikipedia

National System of Conservation Areas in Costa Rica

Guanacaste National Park in Costa Rica