The A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement award honors major, long-term achievements in the fields of limnology and oceanography, including research, education, and service to the community and society. Sybil P. Seitzinger is the 2020 recipient of the A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her critical research on the nutrient biogeochemistry of coastal and freshwater ecosystems spanning from molecular organic chemical characterization to global scale models and the application of new knowledge. The award was presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, California in February 2020.
Sybil Seitzinger’s research has provided the cornerstone for much of what we know about nutrient biogeochemistry in aquatic systems. With studies spanning molecular to global scales, her 130+ papers on biogeochemistry are well-cited and include 7 with more than 1000 citations, a testament to the impact of her research. Her contributions include watershed syntheses, cutting edge regional and global analyses, and the development of novel methods that have opened up entirely new fields of study or facilitated the quantification of previously unquantified (or poorly quantified) processes. For instance, Seitzinger demonstrated that dissolved organic nitrogen, previously overlooked, was bioavailable and therefore needed to be taken into account in nutrient reduction plans meant to curtail eutrophication.
Seitzinger is a distinguished scholar and leader in the global scientific community. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected Fellow of the America Geophysical Union, and served as President of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography from 2006-2008. Seitzinger has worked tirelessly, as her colleagues wrote, to ‘guide society onto a sustainable pathway during our current era of rapid global change.’ As Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) in Stockholm, she helped coordinate more than 10,000 scientists from 77 countries, on global environmental change. She continues this work as Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions at the University of Victoria.
“Sybil Seitzinger has throughout her career continually deepened and broadened her scientific perspective to make progress on key problems in research and in the application of research to pressing environmental issues. Her work is a testament to how scientists can both make great advances and have great impact,” said ASLO President Michael Pace.