Planetary Boundaries author accepts Woods Hole Research Center’s environmental prize

NY, NY. – The Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) awarded Dr. Johan Rockström, Director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, the Lawrence S. Huntington Environmental Prize at an award ceremony held at the New York Yacht Club. The award recognizes leaders in the public or private sector who advance or promote research and communication on climate, earth sciences, and conservation. Dr. Rockström is a sustainability expert widely recognized for leading an international team of scientists who identified nine planetary boundaries and evaluated how close we are to crossing them as a result of human activities.

Huntington Prize 2015

Following the presentation of the award, Dr. Rockström addressed a crowd, which included foreign dignitaries, scientists, conservationists and business leaders; “It is a great honor to receive recognition for the new integrated thinking around planetary boundaries by such a prestigious organization as the Woods Hole Research Center.” He went on to describe a new epoch of human prosperity within planetary boundaries, which takes into account the four planetary pressures of population growth, climate change, loss of natural ecosystems, and inevitable surprises. From those pressures, he outlined nine planetary boundaries, which, if crossed, could lead to irreversible environmental change.

According to Acting President of WHRC, Richard Houghton, “Johan Rockström is one of those rare individuals who has both an encyclopedic understanding of environmental issues and a conscientious resolve to communicate the extent to which economic and political systems are dependent on that environment.”

Dr. Rockström is the third recipient of the Lawrence S. Huntington Environmental Prize, which was created to honor longtime WHRC Board member and former Chairman, Lawrence S. Huntington. Mr. Huntington previously served as Chairman of World Wildlife Fund and is currently the Chairman Emeritus of the Fiduciary Trust Company. The 2013 prize was awarded to Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway.


WHRC is an independent research institute where scientists investigate the causes and effects of climate change to identify and implement opportunities for conservation, restoration and economic development around the globe.