University of Idaho Professor Named As Prestigious AAAS Fellow

Thursday, December 17 2009

Written by Ken Kingery

Washington, D.C. – Gary Machlis, University of Idaho professor of conservation and science adviser to the director of the National Park Service, has been named as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

This year, 531 AAAS members have been awarded the honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be inducted during the Fellows Forum at the AAAS annual meeting on Feb. 20 in San Diego.

Machlis – who is currently serving in Washington, D.C. – was named an AAAS Fellow for “imaginatively combining research, policy, and practice as an academic scholar and federal administrator of programs in human ecosystems, international conservation, and socioeconomic change.”

“I am very much honored.” said Machlis. “AAAS is one of the leading scientific societies in the world. To be recognized in this way is deeply rewarding. I am thankful to both the University of Idaho and the NPS for the extraordinary opportunities they have provided in teaching and training, research and service. It is not just an individual recognition; it is the institutions’ as well.”

Machlis long has been a believer in interfacing academic research and science policy. Besides teaching courses in conservation, human ecology and ecosystem science, he has served as the visiting chief social scientist for the NPS and the national coordinator of the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) National Network.

“The distinction of an AAAS Fellow embodies what Dr. Machlis - and the rest of the faculty at the University of Idaho - tirelessly work toward every day,” said Jack McIver, University of Idaho vice president for research. “Creating bridges between scientific disciplines to solve the nation’s biggest challenges – such as water use, urbanization’s affects on the environment and energy generation – is a necessary step in moving forward. We fully support and are proud of Dr. Machlis’ efforts.”

Additionally, Machlis has worked to build international capacity for conservation science, including working on giant panda conservation in China, developing a scholarship program to fund graduate students throughout the Americas, and serving on the AAAS national committee for opportunities for women and minorities in science.

“Dr. Machlis is a proven leader and innovator within the scientific community,” said National Parks Service Director Jon Jarvis.”Dr. Machlis was appointed to advance the role of science within the NPS as we meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.”
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About the University of Idaho

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation classification for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit

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About the AAAS
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( as well as Science Translational Medicine ( and Science Signaling ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, at, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit