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ASU faculty member named 2013 Leopold Fellow

February 25, 2013

John Sabo, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and director of Research Development at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, has been named a 2013 Leopold Leadership Fellow.

This year's fellows come from 17 institutions in Canada, Mexico and the United States. They will receive intensive leadership and communications training to help them engage effectively with leaders in the public and private sectors who face complex decisions about sustainability and the environment.

Sabo's research is geared towards understanding the sustainable management of water resources for humans and biodiversity. He employs large-scale field experiments, stable isotopic tracers and lab physiology to understand links between the water cycle and animal performance, abundance and species diversity. Most of his work focuses on riparian and river ecology. Sabo also has projects that examine the effects of dams on energy flow through aquatic food webs.

“I’m hoping that the Leopold training will allow me to develop a new repertoire of research that has greater policy relevance including solutions-oriented analyses about how water shortage and scarcity can be alleviated in both developed and developing nations,” Sabo said. “I’m specifically interested in understanding how to balance water needs for farms, cities and the environment. A key aspect of this is understanding how to most effectively feed growing populations with limited water supplies.”

Sabo is the fifth ASU faculty member to go through the Leopold program. The other four are Leah Gerber, Marco Janssen, Ann Kinzig and Jianguo Wu.

Based at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, the Leopold Leadership Program provides leading academic environmental researchers with skills and approaches for communicating and working with partners in NGOs, business, government and communities to integrate science into decision‐making. The program is funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.