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Jim Jacobi Receives Distinguished Service Award—U.S. Department of the Interior’s Highest Honor

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James D. Jacobi, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) botanist and a lead scientist in the USGS Ridge-to-Reef project, received a Department of the Interior Distinguished Service Award—the highest honor that can be granted to a career employee within the DOI. Jacobi received the award “in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the U.S. Geological Survey in the field of ecology” at an all-hands meeting of the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center in Hawai‘i. Here is the award citation, signed by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

Jim Jacobi in the native forest on Tutuila Island
Above: Jim Jacobi in the native forest on Tutuila Island, American Samoa, while helping the National Park Service develop vegetation-monitoring protocols as part of their Pacific Island Network Inventory and Monitoring Program. This Samoan fieldwork was unusual for Jim, who has conducted virtually all of his research and fieldwork in the main Hawaiian Islands. [larger version]

Dr. James D. Jacobi is an internationally recognized scientist who has worked on the ecology of Hawaiian forests for over 40 years. Through his research, devoted to processes that shape island ecosystems and threaten biodiversity, he pioneered the use of remote sensing and geospatial tools and their application to landscape change in Hawai‘i. Dr. Jacobi is recognized as an expert on Hawaiian flora, and has published numerous publications on the distribution of plant communities. This work has transformed the understanding of ecosystems change, and highlights the role of invasive species in ecosystem degradation. As a renowned scientist and communicator, Dr. Jacobi is recognized for addressing actions needed to protect Hawai‘i’s biodiversity and ecosystems. His work led to the inclusion of several areas into the State’s Natural Area Reserve System and inspired the formation of various partnerships to manage watersheds and protect biodiversity. The research he conducted on landscape change provided the foundation for the Hawai‘i Forest Bird Surveys, a large-scale effort to document the occurrence and distribution of Hawai‘i’s unique and impaired forest bird fauna. Dr. Jacobi also led the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Ridge to Reef project [“From Ridge to Reef—Linking Erosion and Changing Watersheds to Impacts on the Coral Reef Ecosystems of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Ocean”], which linked impacts of invasive species in the watershed to erosion, coastal water quality, and coral reef health. His surveys showing the extent of re-vegetation after feral ungulate control were the genesis of a multi-million dollar project by the State of Hawai‘i for watershed protection. Currently, Dr. Jacobi leads an effort to assess the effectiveness of conservation actions in Hawai‘i and identifies areas for additional attention. His knowledge, commitment, and communication skills have been instrumental in developing coordinated plans between Federal, State, private, non-governmental organizations, landowners, regulators, and scientists. The result of Dr. Jacobi’s work has greatly improved coordination and effective use of conservation resources throughout the State. For his outstanding contributions to the USGS, Dr. James D. Jacobi is granted the highest honor of the Department of the Interior, the Distinguished Service Award.”

Congratulations, Jim!

Related Sound Waves Stories
Murky Waters
July 2010
USGS Ridge-to-Reef Team Honored for Work in Hawaiian Islands
Jan. / Feb. 2007

Related Websites
Ridge to Reef Project
James D. Jacobi, Ph.D.
James D. Jacobi, Ph.D.: Publications
2015 Convocation Program: p. 10 (PDF, 4.2 MB)

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in this issue:

Scientists Investigate the Virtually Unexplored Mariana Trench

Expedition Explores Deep-Sea Areas near Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

Imaging Methane Seeps and Plumes on the U.S. Atlantic Margin

Some Communities May Not Have Time for Tsunami Evacuation

Spotlight on Sandy
Mendenhall Postdoc Joins Estuarine Physical Response Project

Spring 2015 Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group Meeting

Amanda Demopoulos Receives USGS Leadership Award

Fran Lightsom Receives Leadership and Innovation Award for Data Integration

Jim Hein Receives DOI Distinguished Service Award

Jim Jacobi Receives DOI Distinguished Service Award

Cheryl Hapke Is New Director of St. Petersburg, Florida, Science Center

Publications New Maps Reveal Seafloor off San Francisco

March–June Publications

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