National Hispanic Scientist of the Year
Award Given to Dr. Alejandro Acevedo-Gutiérrez

California Academy of Sciences Educator & Researcher is
First Ever to Win Award

Scientist Seeks to Remedy Under-Representation of Hispanics in Science


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 do."

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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