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March 26, 2012

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ABOUT US
The objective of the Assembly is to coordinate the activities of member Turkish American associations and individual members of the Assembly for the purpose of presenting a more balanced view of Turkey and of the Turkish people, and emphasizing the importance of enhanced understanding between Turkey and the United States. [more]

BECOME A MEMBER

By becoming a member you will be part of a network of Turkish-Americans and friends of Turkey who care about the historic relationship between the two peoples and who are aware of the crucial role each one of us plays in strengthening the relationship and promoting an accurate and fair picture of Turkey and Turks. [Join ATAA]

 

Çağan Şekercioğlu, Ph.D
University of Utah Department of Biology


Dr. Çağan Hakkı Şekercioğlu is a professor of conservation ecology and ornithology at the University of Utah Department of Biology.

He is also the president of the non-profit environmental organization KuzeyDoğa in Kars, Turkey. Born in İstanbul, Şekercioğlu is a conservation ecologist, ornithologist, and Turkey’s first tropical biologist. Also an award-winning photographer, Şekercioğlu’s photos have been published by National Geographic, BBC, and hundreds of magazines, newspapers, books, and other publications. After graduating from İstanbul’s Robert College in 1993, Şekercioğlu won a silver medal at the International Biology Olympics and started Harvard University. In 1997, he graduated with degrees in Biology and Anthropology, magna cum laude, receiving a summa cum laude for his honors thesis. Before starting his Ph.D. in ecology at Stanford University, he took a year off to work in Alaska for the USGS National Biological Survey, to climb, photograph, and explore in South America and Antarctica, and to travel in Africa for his first book “Vanishing Africa”. In 2001, he was chosen one of the 100 leading academics of Turkey by Aktuel magazine.

He received his Ph.D. in 2003 from Stanford University Department of Biology, with the thesis Causes and Consequences of Bird Extinctions. Same year, he was chosen the Outstanding Young Person of the Year in environmental and ethical leadership by Junior Chamber International of Turkey and he initiated his community-based conservation, biodiversity research, ecological restoration, and ecotourism projects in northeastern Turkey. As his projects expanded in scope, he founded the Kars-based environmental non-profit organization KuzeyDoğa in 2007.

He directed KuzeyDoğa pro-bono while working as a senior scientist at Stanford University. For his community-based conservation, research, restoration, and ecotourism work at Lake Kuyucuk of Kars, he received the Whitley Gold Award of the United Kingdom from Princess Anne in 2008. Following the award, Şekercioğlu succeeded in getting Kuyucuk declared eastern Turkey’s first Ramsar wetland, had the lake chosen the 2009 European Destination of Excellence, and helped create Turkey’s first bird-nesting island in the lake. As a result, Princess Anne invited Şekercioğlu to the Buckingham Palace for her 60. birthday party in 2010. Same year, Şekercioğlu joined the faculty of the University of Utah Department of Biology. Also in 2010, was chosen one of the 100 Hopes for the Future of Turkey by Newsweek Turkiye and Turkey’s Scientist of the Year by NTV, Radikal and MSNBC Turkey. In 2011, he was chosen a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and received Turkey’s two wetland conservation awards for his individual efforts and for the work of his NGO KuzeyDoğa. In 2011, Şekercioğlu and colleagues published the books "Conservation of Tropical Birds" and "Winged Sentinels: Birds and Climate Change".

Şekercioğlu’s achievements in ecological research and community-based conservation have been commended by Turkey’s president Abdullah Gül, the former prime minister Erdal İnönü, the European Union Minister Egemen Bağış, the Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs (formerly Environment and Forestry) Veysel Eroğlu, the Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertuğrul Günay, and the former president of Turkey’s National Science Council Tosun Terzioğlu. In addition to his long-term work in Turkey, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Utah, Şekercioğlu has visited over 70 countries on all continents for research and has seen over 57% of the world’s bird species in the wild. He is a Fellow International of the Explorers Club, Elective Member of the American Ornithologists Union, and a full member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Society.

His research and conservation efforts in Turkey have been covered the world's leading media, including BBC, CNN, National Geographic, Nature, Newsweek, New York Times, Science and The New Yorker. Şekercioğlu’s three books and over 50 scientific publications have received over 1600 citations, and globally, he is among the most cited 1% of the scientists of the past decade.

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As a part of the ATAA's  Community Information Service (CIS), the ATAA Executive Committee has decided to run the ATAA StarTURK program to recognize and commend successful Turkish Americans in the sciences, medicine, arts, business, literature, politics, sports and general vocations.  We invite the Turkish American community to participate in this program by writing to assembly@ataa.org regarding successful Turkish Americans in your communities.  


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