Professor Margaret Lowman Among Ten Global Innovators Selected to Judge Rolex Awards for Visionary Young People

October 5, 2009 — Dr. Margaret Dalzell Lowman, professor of biology and environmental studies at New College of Florida, has been selected one of ten leading international figures in science, the environment and exploration to serve on the inaugural jury for the recently launched Rolex Awards for Enterprise: Young Laureates Programme. Announced in Geneva, Switzerland on September 30, 2009, the initiative supports next-generation pioneers tackling pressing world issues.

A geographically and professionally diverse group, the inaugural jury for the Young Laureates Programme will meet at Rolex headquarters in Geneva in early March 2010 to select the five budding pioneers between the ages of 18 and 30 who will be the first Young Laureates. The winners will be announced in April 2010.

“The jury for the first edition of the Young Laureates Programme is a rich mix of individuals who all share the dedication to improving life on the planet that we hope to foster in the next generation,” said Rebecca Irvin, director of philanthropic initiatives at Rolex. “We are honoured that these esteemed judges have joined us to help advance the careers of young innovators around the world.”

In March 2010 the jury members will select five Young Laureates from a pool of nearly 200 high-caliber applicants from around the world and across a wide range of interests. Just over a quarter of the candidates come from North America, slightly less from Asia/Pacific, followed by Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Of the possible subject categories for award submissions – science and health, applied technology, exploration, the environment, and cultural preservation – environment was the most popular, with science and health a close second. Roughly half of the applicants submitted proposals for a new idea, while others submitted proposals to scale up existing projects.

Each Young Laureate will receive $50,000 in project funding over two years and gain access to the Rolex Awards’ international network of scientists, educators and explorers who will help them to develop their leadership skills and professional expertise.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise were established in 1976 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Oyster chronometer, the world’s first waterproof watch. The Awards were created to encourage individuals ready to take on major challenges to benefit humankind and the environment. Since 1976, 110 Awards for Enterprise have been presented to Laureates and Associate Laureates from 40 countries, implementing projects in more than 60 countries. For more information, visit www.rolexawards.com.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise: Young Laureates Programme jury members are:

Vijay Amritraj (India), a prominent philanthropist who founded the Vijay Amritraj Foundation and served as a U.N. Messenger of Peace; formerly a tennis champion and actor;

Rodrigo Baggio (Brazil), a social entrepreneur who founded the Center for Digital Inclusion, whose mission is to bridge the digital divide between rich and poor;

Vicente Guallart (Spain), an architect whose innovative work connects architecture, nature and new technologies;

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka (Uganda), Uganda’s first wildlife veterinary officer who established Conservation Through Public Health, an organization that links public health with the preservation of the country’s endangered gorillas;

Tayeb A. Kamali (United Arab Emirates), an engineer and educator who is Vice Chancellor of UAE’s Higher Colleges of Technology, a system of 16 campuses across the UAE;

Khoo Swee Chiow (Singapore), an author, motivational speaker and prominent adventurer, who is the fourth person in the world to complete the “Adventure Grand Slam,” traversing the South Pole, North Pole and the Seven Summits;

Margaret Dalzell Lowman (U.S.), a world renowned forest canopy ecologist and professor of biology and environmental studies at the New College of Florida;

Gary Martin (U.S.), an internationally recognized pioneer of the field of ethnobotany, who established the Global Diversity Foundation to help indigenous people preserve their agricultural, biological and cultural heritage;

Nelly Robles García (Mexico), an archaeologist who has championed cultural resources management in Mexico and who is director of the Archaeological Zone of Monte Albán in Oaxaca, a World Heritage Site;

Paul Rose (U.K.), a professional diver and polar guide who served for 10 years as the base commander of Rothera Research Station in Antarctica and who is a popular BBC television presenter.

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