Dr. Ruth Patrick
2002 Mendel Medal Recipient

Ruth Patrick was born in Topeka, Kansas and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her Masters degree and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. She is presently Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia and she is occupant of the Francis Boyer Chair of Limnology. She founded the Limnology Department (now known as the Environmental Research Division) at the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1947 and remained its Chair until 1973. She is Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Patrick has held many positions in connection with her scientific work; for example, she was President of the Phycological Society of America, 1954-57 and President of the American Society of Naturalists, 1975-77. She has also received many awards, among the best known are the Merit Award of the Botanical Society of America, 1971; the Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America, 1972; the Philadelphia Award which she received in 1973; the John and Alice Tyler Ecology Award in 1975; the Gold Medal of the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Belgium, 1978; and the Governor of Pennsylvania Science Award, 1988. She also received the Award of Excellence of the North American Benthological Society, 1992; the Benjamin Franklin Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the American Philosophical Society, 1993; induction into the South Carolina Hall of Science 1996; and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. Most recently she was recipient of the National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton in 1996 and the Governor of South Carolina Award in 1999.

Dr. Patrick has received 25 honorary degrees. Among these are Doctor of Science degree from Princeton University, 1980; from Lehigh University, 1983; from the University of Pennsylvania, 1984; Temple University, 1985; University of South Carolina, 1989; and Glassboro College of New Jersey, 1992.

Dr. Patrick has served on a great many state and national committees. Among these she was a member of President Johnson's Science Advisory Committee on Algal Blooms, 1966; Chair of the Panel on Pollution Control of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 1966; a member of the Committee of Science and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences, 1973-75; Chairman of the Section on Population Biology, Evolution and Ecology, National Academy of Science, 1980-83; a member of President Reagan's Peer Review Committee on Acid Rain. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences together with many other scientific organizations.

Dr. Patrick has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of many institutions including the Academy of Natural Sciences where she was chairman of the Board and CEO. She has served on the Board of Trustees of E.I. DuPont Company and of Pennsylvania Power and Light Company. At present she is a member of the National Council of the World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C.; the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund/Conservation Foundation, Washington, D.C.; and the Board of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Washington, D.C. Her field of research is focused on biodiversity of rivers and how these ecosystems function under various natural and polluted conditions and on the ecology and systematics of diatoms.

Dr. Patrick is the author of numerous books and over 180 scientific journal publications.

Mendel Medal Presentation Program, January 19, 2002. Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania.

Patrick, Ruth (Mrs. Ruth Hodge Van Dusen), limnologist, diatom taxonomist, educator; b. Topeka, Kans.; d. Frank and Myrtle (Jetmore) P.; m. Charles Hodge, IV, July 10, 1931; 1 son, Charles, V. BS, Coker Coll., 1929, LLD, 1971; MA, U. Va., 1931, PhD, 1934; DSc, Beaver Coll., 1970, PMC Colls., 1971, Phila. Coll. Pharmacy and Sci., 1973, Wilkes Coll., 1974, Cedar Crest Coll., 1974, U. New Haven, 1975, Hood Coll., 1975, Med. Coll. of Pa., 1975, Drexel U., 1975, Swarthmore Coll., 1975, Bucknell U., 1976, Rensselaer Poly. Inst., 1976, St. Lawrence U., 1978; LHD, Chestnut Hill Coll., 1974; DSc, U. Mass., 1980, Princeton U., 1980, Lehigh U., 1983, U. Pa., 1984, Temple U., 1985, Emory U., 1986, Wake Forest U., 1986, U.S.C., 1989, Clemson, 1989, Glassboro State Coll., 1992. Asso. curator microscopy dept. Acad. Natural Scis., Phila., 1939-47; curator Leidy Micros. Soc., 1937-47, curator limnology dept., 1947--, chmn. limnology dept., 1947-73; occupant Francis Boyer Research Chair Acad. Natural Scis., Phila., 1973--; chmn. bd. trustees Acad. Natural Scis., 1973-76, hon. chmn. bd. trustees, 1976--; lectr. U. Pa. 1950-70, adj. prof., 1970--; guest Fellow of Saybrook Yale, 1975; participant Am. Philos. Soc. limnology expdn. to, Mexico, 1947; leader Catherwood Found. expdn. to, Peru and Brazil, 1955; del. Gen. Assembly, Internat. Union Biol. Scis., Bergen, Norway, 1973; Dir. E.I. duPont, Pa. Power and Light Co.; Chmn. algae com. Smithsonian Oceanographic Sorting Center, 1963-68; mem. panel on water blooms Pres.'s Sci. Adv. Com., 1966; mem. panel on water resources and water pollution Gov.'s Sci. Adv. Com., 1966; mem. nat. tech. adv. com. on water quality requirements for fish and other aquatic life and wildlife Dept. Interior, 1967-1968; mem. citizen's adv. council Pa. Dept. Environ. Resources, 1971-73; mem. hazardous materials adv. com. EPA, 1971-74, exec. adv. com., 1974-79, chmn. com.'s panel on ecology, 1974-76; mem. Pa. Gov.'s Sci. Adv. Coun.,1972-78; mem. exec. adv. com. nat. power survey FPC., 1972-75; mem. coun. Smithsonian Instn., 1973--; mem. Phila. Adv. Council, 1973-76; mem. energy R & D adv. coun. Pres.'s, Energy Policy Office, 1973-74; mem. adv. coun. Renewable Natural Resources Found., 1973-76, Electric Power Rsch. Found., 1973-77; mem. adv. com. for rsrch. NSF., 1973-74; mem. gen. adv. com. ERDA, 1975-77; adv. bd. sec. energy, 1975-89; mem. com. on human resources NRC, 1975-76; mem. adv. council dept. biology Princeton, 1975-80; mem. com. on sci. and arts Franklin Inst., 1978--; mem. univ. council com. Yale Sch. Forestry and Environ. Studies, 1978-80; mem. sci. adv. council World Wildlife Fund - U.S. 1978-80; trustee Aquarium Soc. Phila., 1951-58, Henry Found.; bd. dirs. Wissahickon Valley Watershed Assn.; bd. govs. Nature Conservancy; bd. mgrs. Wistar Inst. Anatomy and Biology. Author: Rivers of the United States, Vol. 1, 1994, Rivers of the United States, 1997, Vol. 2 - Chemical and Physical Characteristics, 1995, Vol. 3 Rivers of Atlantic and Eastern Gulf Drainage, Vol. 4 The Mississippi River and Major Tributaries, (with C. W. Reimer) Diatoms of the United States, Vol. 1, 1966, Vol. II, Part 1, 1975; author: (with others) Ground Water Contamination in the United States, 1983, 2d edit., 1987, Surface Water Quality: Have the Laws Been Successful?, 1992; mem. editorial bd. (with C. W. Reimer) Science, 1974-76. American Naturalist; trustee Biological Abstracts, 1974-76; contbr. over 150 articles to profl. jours. Recipient Disting. Dau. of Pa. award, 1952, Richard Hopper Day Meml. medal Acad. Natural Scis., 1969, Gimbel Phila. award, 1969; Gold medal YWCA, 1970, Lewis L. Dollinger Pure Environment award Franklin Inst., 1970, Pa. award for excellence in sci. and tech. 1970, Eminent Ecologist award Ecol. Soc. Am., 1972, Phila. award, 1973, Gold medal Pa. State Fish and Game Protective Assn., 1974, Internat. John and Alice Tyler Ecology award, 1975, Gold medal Phila. Soc. for Promoting Agr., 1975, Pub. Service award Dept. Interior, 1975, Iben award Am. Water Resources Assn., 1976, Outstanding Alumni award Coker Coll., 1977, Francis K. Hutchinson medal Garden Club of Am., 1977, Gold medal Royal Zool. Soc. Antwerp, 1978, Green World award N.Y. Bot. Garden, 1979, Hugo Black award U. Ala., 1979, Sci. award Gov. Pa., 1988, Founders award Soc. Environ. Toxicology and Chemistry, 1982, Environ. Regeneration award Rene Du Bois Ctr., 1985, Disting. Citizen award Pa., 1989, Excellence award N. Am. Benthological Soc., 1993; Sci. Edn. Ctr. named in her honor U. S.C., 1989; recipient Benjamin Franklin medal Am. Philosophical Society, 1993, U.S. medal of svc., Pres. Bill Clinton, 1996, Nat. Medal for Sci., 1997, Nat. Wetlands award, 2000. Fellow AAAS (com. environ. alternatives 1973-74); mem. Nat. Acad. Scis. (chmn. panel com. on pollution 1966, mem. com. sci. and pub. policy 1973-77, mem. environ. measurements panel of com. on remote sensing programs for earth resurce surveys 1973-74, mem. nominating com. 1973-75), Nat. Acad. Engring. (com. environ. engring.'s ad hoc study on explicit criteria for decisions in power plant siting 1973), Am. Philos. Soc. (Benjamin Franklin Outstanding Sci. Achivement award 1993), Assn. Metro. Sewage Agys. (Environ. award 1995), Am. Acad. Arts and Scis., Bot. Soc. Am. (mem. Darbarker prize com. 1956, Merit award 1971), Physcol. Sco. Am. (pres. 1954), Internat. Limnological Soc., Internat. Soc. Plant Taxonomists, Am. Soc. Plant Taxonomy, Am. Soc. Limnology and Oceanography (Lifetime Achievement award 1996), Water Pollution Control Fedn. (hon.), Soc. Study Evolution, Am. Soc. Naturalists (pres. 1975-76), Ecol. Soc. Am., Am. Inst. Biol. Scis. Internat. Phycol. Soc. Sigma Xi. Presbyterian. Office: Acad. Natural Scis. 19th at Benjamin Franklin Pkwy Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Who's Who in America, 2002, 56th Edition. New Providence, New Jersey: Marquis Who's Who, 2001, p. 4058

Web Links:

Ruth Patrick

Ruth Patrick (Environmental Leader)

Patrick Center for Environmental Research