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Biology graduate named Scientist of the Year

Rich MacKenzieRichard MacKenzie ’93, a UW-Eau Claire biology graduate employed at the U.S. Forest Service in Hawaii, received the Pacific Southwest Research Station’s Scientist of the Year award in 2011.

MacKenzie is an aquatic ecologist currently working on several international projects assessing ecosystem function and carbon storage in mangrove forests in Vietnam, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and India. He also is leading a project using Hawaii Island as a model ecosystem to understand how climate change will impact Pacific island streams.

He holds a Ph.D. from UW-Milwaukee and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Wells, Maine.

MacKenzie said his work with UW-Eau Claire faculty during his undergraduate studies helped him to decide on his future career path.

“The turning point in my education came when I did an independent research project with the late Dr. Owen Marshall,” he said. “It was then that I realized that I loved doing research and that I loved working in aquatic ecosystems.”