Charlie Kennel, former director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, was named an "Ambassador for the Planet" on April 20 by the Wyland Foundation for his efforts in promoting conservation awareness and protecting the planet.
Kennel, who served from 1997-2006 as Scripps' ninth director and vice chancellor of marine sciences, was among nine recipients recognized with the inaugural award during a special ceremony at Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Other honorees included former Vice President Al Gore, pioneering oceanographer Sylvia Earle and actress and environmental activist Hayden Panettiere. Earle was present at the ceremony.
A distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences at Scripps, Kennel recognized the importance of water issues and was instrumental in creating and supporting the Wyland Clean Water Challenge, an art and science program aimed at inspiring conservation. Established in 1998, the program is co-sponsored by Birch Aquarium at Scripps and reaches millions of U.S. schoolchildren each year.
Best known for its massive Whaling Wall campaign, a series of 100 life-size murals of marine life, the Wyland Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to inspire others to care about the oceans and related aquatic ecosystems. Founded in 1993 by marine life artist Wyland, the foundation encourages involvement in conservation through classroom education programs, community service and art in public places.
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