National Hispanic Scientist of the Year
Award Given to Dr. Alejandro Acevedo-Gutiérrez
California Academy of Sciences Educator & Researcher
First Ever to Win Award
Scientist Seeks to Remedy Under-Representation of Hispanics
San Francisco (October 15, 2001) - Dr. Alejandro Acevedo-Gutiérrez,
an educator and researcher at the California Academy of Sciences, has
been named the National Hispanic Scientist of the Year. The award, which
recognizes the Hispanic scientist who has made the greatest contribution
toward public understanding of science and motivating Hispanic youths'
interest in science, was offered for the first time this year by The Museum
of Science and Industry in Tampa, Florida.
"I am truly honored to receive this award," said Dr. Acevedo-Gutiérrez,
senior aquatic educator and research associate at the California Academy
of Sciences. "Great strides have been made in bringing Hispanics
and other minorities into the sciences, but there is still so much to
Dr. Acevedo-Gutiérrez was recently featured in the Academy Award
nominated IMAX documentary Dolphins. His research focuses on the ecology
and conservation of marine life and the behavioral ecology of marine mammals
like dolphins. An accomplished speaker, he has traveled across the country
teaching and encouraging students to get involved in science and conservation.
In 2000, he visited over 50 public schools in nearly 20 states.
The need for scientists and educators who can motivate Hispanic youths'
interest in science is reflected in the findings of a National Science
Foundation report* which shows that despite significant gains, Hispanics
continue to pursue careers and education in science at lower levels than
many other groups. According to the report, during the nineties, less
than 1% of Hispanics aged 20-24 earned bachelor's degrees in science and
engineering. In contrast, approximately 4% of Asians and 2.5% of whites
of the same age earned such degrees.
Dr. Acevedo-Gutiérrez, a native of Mexico, received his Ph.D. from
Texas A&M University and completed post-graduate work at the University
of California, Santa Cruz where he is currently a research fellow.
The California Academy of Sciences is an international center for scientific
and environmental research and education and is at the forefront of efforts
to understand and protect the diversity of the earth's living things.
The Academy has a research staff of 30 Ph.D.-level scientists - supported
by more than 100 research and field associates and over 300 fellows -
who launch dozens of expeditions each year to explore the natural world
and discover more about our planet. It has eight scientific research departments
in the fields of anthropology, aquatic biology, botany, entomology, geology,
herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, mammalogy and ornithology.
*The National Science Foundations report is titled: Women, Minorities,
and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2000
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