In Memorium: Dr. Ruth Patrick, Pioneer Who Shaped Environmental Science Research
Dr. Ruth Patrick passed away this week at the age of 105. She leaves behind a living legacy of students and stronger, innovative institutions, among them The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University and The Patrick Center for Environmental Research.
Here are excerpts from her biography posted on The Academy’s website--
“It is with great sadness that we have learned today of the passing of Dr. Ruth Patrick at the age of 105.
“Throughout her long and distinguished career at the Academy of Natural Sciences (which began in 1934), Dr. Patrick pioneered the study of fresh water and the organisms that depend on it. She positively affected the quality of life for both humans and wildlife by providing policy makers with accurate information about the environment and the benefits derived from its protection.
“Dr. Patrick mentored generations of young scientists and served as a remarkable role model for women eager to establish professional careers in the natural sciences. She will continue to serve as an inspiration for generations to come. Her friends and colleagues at the Academy extend their deepest sympathy to her family,” George W. Gephart Jr., President and CEO, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
In the book A to Z of Biologists, you'll find the entry on Dr. Ruth Patrick sandwiched between Louis Pasteur and Linus Pauling.
They are in good company. Dr. Patrick’s pioneering research, begun in the 1940s and dubbed the Patrick Principle, became the fundamental principle on which all environmental science and management is based. Dr. Patrick proved that biological diversity holds the key to understanding the environmental problems affecting an ecosystem.
Called “a den mother for generations of scientists,” and a “visionary ecologist,” Dr. Patrick grew as adept in the boardroom as in the lab. She has long filled the role of advisor, director, and trustee for corporations, governments, and nonprofits.
For seven decades, she has championed environmental protection, mentoring future scientists and inspiring many others by the example of her life and work. Learn more about Dr. Ruth Patrick by viewing her biography, list of positions and activities, honors and awards, and publications.
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