Nalini Nadkarni, professor emerita in the School of Biological Sciences, received the 2021 NAT Award from the Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona in Spain.
The award citation states that Nadkarni was selected “for her enthusiastic work in research and dissemination of biodiversity and the environment, focused on the study and defense of forests around the world; and for the creation of original communication and educational tools aimed at all areas of society that also address gender issues and groups at risk of exclusion.”
Established in 2018, the NAT Award “rewards individuals or institutions that have brought a new approach to the dissemination of natural sciences that has contributed to the creation of scientific vocations and to the conservation of nature.”
In addition to Nadkarni’s work studying the ecology of the forest canopy, she is an accomplished science communicator and has led the U’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education, which promotes equitable math and science education in K-12 schools and at the U, the STEM Ambassador Program, which teaches scientists how to connect with communities, and the STEM Community Alliance Program, bringing STEM education to youth in custody. She also organized an ecology fashion show and designed clothing and accessories for a forest ecology Barbie.
Read a conversation with Nadkarni touching on many aspects of her scientific and science communication endeavors here.