A Brigham Young University scientist who has fought air pollution for the past 20 years is a 1991 recipient of the prestigious Chevron Conservation Award.
Samuel R. Rushforth, professor in the botany and range science department, will travel to Washington, D.C., May 15 to receive a bronze medallion and $1,000 honorarium. One of 10 winners in the professional category, he also joins winners in volunteer and organization divisions from throughout North America.Ed Zern, an outdoor writer, columnist and editor-at-large for Field and Stream magazine, established the awards 37 years ago as a way to recognize people and organizations actively promoting conservation, says Bill Roper, Chevron program director. Zern, still active in the program as a director and consultant, will present the award to Rushforth.
"I decided to accept the award on behalf of the Clean Air Coalition, because the clean air issue in Utah is exceedingly important," says Rushforth. "In the early days of speaking on behalf of clean air, I emphasized the pollution as a nuisance, but as knowledge and testing expanded I realized it's really more of a life-and-death issue. When an issue leaves the nuisance realm and moves into areas of public health, people have a responsibility to speak up."
Rushforth's focus extends beyond Utah Valley, however. As an environmental biologist, he says he looks at the impacts of humans on the environment and attempts to improve it. He is preparing a class to work on building a childhood health crisis center in Bolivia.