President Obama has named 102 scientists and researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Lincoln Park resident, Pankaj Lal, PhD, is one of the recipients of this year's award. Dr. Lal is an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Studies and associate director of the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies at Montclair State University.
"I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work," President Obama said. "These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that Federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy."
The Presidential Early Career Awards highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow our economy and tackle our greatest challenges. This year's recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Institution, and the Intelligence Community. These departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America's preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.
The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.
Dr. Lal undertakes integrative, interdisciplinary research that explores interconnections among society and the environment. As Associate Director, he is in charge of grants, funding and research. He integrates research activities of faculty into a broader and more meaningful framework with multiple outcomes. Along with his research team, he has been working in the United States, Caribbean islands, Africa and South Asia focusing on environmental economics and economic geography, human dimensions of ecosystem management, natural resource conservation and policy, and climate change. His ongoing research projects involve aspects of renewable energy, water, natural resources, and economies that collectively impact communities around the world.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Lal on this prodigious recognition.
Mayor, Borough of Lincoln Park