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Dr. Daniel B. Botkin, Professor Emeritus of Biology for UC Santa Barbara, previous Faculty for Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Former Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami, and former Chairman for the University of California’s Environmental Studies Program, has recently been selected as Male Visionary of the Year for 2021 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP).

Inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals is an honor in itself, only one man and one woman are selected as Visionary of the Year.

These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, longevity in the field, other affiliations, contributions to their communities and have consistently added visionary leadership to their industries. All honorees are invited to attend IAOTP’s Annual Awards Gala at the end of this year for a night to honor their achievements. 

Dr. Botkin is being honored with this recognition for having over 5 decades of professional experience in Biology and researching the possible effects of climate change on biodiversity. He was also selected as Top Environmental Scientist of the Decade and will be awarded for his merits at the 2020 Annual Award Gala being held at the magnificent Plaza Hotel in New York City later this year. Dr. Botkin was honored last year in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel for his selection as Top Environmental Scientist of the Year and for the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Botkin has certainly proven himself as an extraordinary professional, pioneer and expert in the field.  Dr. Botkin is a dynamic, results-driven leader who has demonstrated success not only as a Biologist and Ecologist, but with every position he has ever held.  His impressive repertoire of other roles have included serving as the previous Chairman of the English Department of the newly formed Mindanao State University (among seven faculty members in the department, all American Peace Corps Volunteers), Dr. Botkin taught English and introductory physics. He is credited for writing and creating the first successful multispecies computer ecology called JABOWA, with two scientists from IBM Thomas J. Watson Laboratories back in 1970.  Dr. Botkin helped establish and has led the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Program and he initiated NASA’s use of satellite remote sensing to study ecology from space.  As an international voice in the scientific community, Dr. Botkin has also advised the government of Taiwan in solving environmental problems. For his studies on endangered species, Dr. Botkin has traveled the globe in order to complete his extensive field research in various wilderness areas including Alaska, California, Michigan, as well as in other nations including the Soviet Union’s Siberia and the African Plains in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and South Africa. This research involved helping to save endangered species, ranging from California condors to African Elephants and to Bowhead Whales.  He used historical information to recover wildlife population sizes and sea ice changes.  He is regarded by his peers as one of the world’s most influential and best Ecologists and Biologists of his time. 

Dr. Botkin received his BA in Physics from the University of Rochester, his Master’s in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin, and his Ph.D. in Biology from Rutgers University. Stephanie Cirami, President of IAOTP stated, “Choosing Dr. Botkin for this honor was a simple decision for our panel to make.  Dr. Botkin is a strategic thinker who is resilient and innovative. His long list of achievements display the amount of impact Dr. Botkin has contributed to his industry over the past 5 decades. IAOTP is thrilled to be able to recognize Dr. Botkin as a visionary leader of his time. We are looking forward to celebrating with him when he returns to the Annual Awards Gala this December at the Plaza Hotel in NYC.” 

 Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Botkin has received numerous awards and accolades and has been recognized worldwide for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the profession. For this year he will be broadcasted on the Reuters Building in Times Square, NYC and is being considered for induction into the notable IAOTP Hall of Fame. In 2019 he graced the front cover of TIP (Top Industry Professional) Magazine and was interviewed on TIP Radio. He was chosen as Top Environmental Scientist of the Decade, Top Environmental Scientist of the Year and for the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) and was featured in the Wall Street Journal. In 2019 he was the recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award given by Marquis Who’s Who and has been featured in numerous publications including Marquis Who’s Who. He is a recognized Fellow of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and Teachers and Academic Textbook Association.  In 2012, he received the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, John C. Pritzlaff Conservation Award and in 2004 selected to receive the Texty Award for Best Biological Sciences Textbook from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association. He was also the recipient of the Bernhard Eduard Fernow Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Forestry; Mitchell International Prize for Sustainable Development; and inducted into the Environmental Hall of Fame. Dr. Botkin founded a nonprofit corporation named, “The Center for the Study of the Environment,” and he is an esteemed member of several prominent organizations including the Explorers Club, Cosmos Club, AAAS, Sigma Xi, American Institute of Biological Sciences, Ecological Society of America, Advisory Council to the Urban Ecosystems Journal, Trustee of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, and Commissioner for the US National Commission for UNESCO, just to name a few. 

Aside from his successful career, Dr. Botkin is a sought-after speaker, presenter, lecturer, journalist, and published author.  Some of his most recent publications include his first novel “Tsavo: Oddball Researchers Use Data and Guns to Save African Elephants”; and 17 nonfiction books, including: “Twenty-five Myths that are Destroying the Environment,” “Environment Science: Earth as a Living Planet, (9 editions),” “Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the 21st Century;  Strange Encounters, Adventures of a Renegade Naturalist;  “Powering the Future: A Scientist’s Guide to Energy Independence”, “Strange Encounters: Tales of a Renegade Naturalist  (2020)” and “Essential Environmental Science, 1st Edition.” As an invited speaker at numerous conferences and institutions, he was named a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Green Mountain College, Annual Distinguished Visiting Scientist with the Long Beach Aquarium, and Astor Lecturer at Oxford University, Great Britain. Dr. Botkin has been continually praised for his unique perspective to his subject.  His books and lectures examine the effects our cultural legacy has had on determining what we believe to be scientific solutions and in addition he discusses the roles of scientists, businessmen, stakeholders and government agencies have when reaching new approaches to environmental issues. 

 Looking back, Dr. Botkin attributes his success to his education, mentors he has had along the way, and his endless passion for helping the environment. He says his work is very gratifying and hopes that others will consider a career in Biology and Environmental Science.  When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, photography, and playing folk music guitar. For the future, he hopes that his research and continuous efforts will enlighten and inspire people to serve and protect the environment and animals. 

For more information on Dr. Botkin please visit: