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Dr. Lee Talbot honored with the John Wesley Powell award by the Cosmos Club

Lee Talbot
Dr. Lee Talbot

Professor Lee M. Talbot was this year’s honoree and presenter of the Powell Lecture. He preeminently embodies the values represented by Powell’s dedication to public service and geographic exploration.

John Wesley Powell was the founder of the Cosmos Club.  To celebrate this, the History Committee and Program Committee presented an award and hosted the second annual lecture in John Wesley Powell’s honor (2016 is only the second year of this award and lecture series). An eminent geographer, explorer, professor, linguist, anthropologist and director of major geographic, scientific and cultural institutions, Powell continues to astonish with his achievements.

Dr. Talbot is an ecologist, explorer and geographer (among many other fields of endeavor, including race-car driving). He has conducted more than 150 exploration and research expeditions to remote and hitherto unknown areas, on five continents.
He served as chief scientist and foreign affairs director of the President’s Council on Environment Quality for Presidents Nixon through Carter, and also headed environmental sciences for the Smithsonian Institution. He served as a member of more than 20 committees and panels at the National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council. Dr. Talbot is still active in his fields and is a professor at George Mason University. He has written 17 books and monographs, many of which have been translated into 9 foreign languages.

Below are congratulatory notes from Angel Cabrera, President, S. David Wu, Provost and Executive Vice President, and Peggy Agouris, Dean of the College of Science, at George Mason University:

Letter from President


Dear Professor Talbot:

Louise Shelly just informed me that you have been recognized by the Cosmos Club with the John Wesley Powell Award for your relentless dedication and work in environmental affairs, biodiversity conservation, environmental policy and ecological research. I would like to congratulate you personally as well as on behalf of the university. Your scholarship and contributions continue to bring acclaim, and your six decades of exploration and advancement of human knowledge has yielded profound impact, both the field of ecosystem science and on the welfare of our planet.

Again, hearty congratulations and best wishes!



Re: Congratulations on the Powell Award
Peggy Agouris
Sent: Thursday, April 7, 2016 4:42 PM
To: S David Wu; Lee M Talbot
Cc: Louise I Shelley; Robert B Jonas


Congratulations again on being recognized with this prestigious award! I appreciate all that you do for the College of Science and the university. I look forward to hearing more about your work.

Best regards,