Dr. P. Dee Boersma is the Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science in the University of Washington’s Department of Biology. Her decades of research have extended from Alaska and Washington to Argentina and the Galápagos Islands. In the southern hemisphere her work has focused on penguin ecology and conservation, combining scientific rigor with resource management. Throughout her career she has mentored scores of undergraduate and graduate students while studying seabirds as indicators of environmental change. Her research started with Galápagos penguins and how their breeding biology was honed to the unpredictable Galapagos upwelling. She worked on Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels in the Barren Islands, Alaska for more than a decade, showing they ingested petroleum and could be used as indicators of oil spills. Dee directs the Center for Penguins as Ocean Sentinels, and for 30 years she has directed the Magellanic Penguin Project at Punta Tombo, Argentina, as a scientific fellow for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Her work on penguins led the charge for responsible fisheries in the South Atlantic, and helped guide management at a major tourist destination. She serves on numerous marine conservation boards spanning international, national, and scientific domains.
For her lifetime of education, research, and international leadership in conservation of seabirds, including opening new frontiers in ecological studies and conservation of penguins in South America, the Pacific Seabird Group honors Dr. Boersma with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.