Three UW Faculty Receive Palmes Académiques for Work on International Environmental Project


Contact: Masarah Van Eyck,, 608-262-5590.

Three University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty will be named Chevaliers de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques in a private ceremony with the French Consul General, Jean-Baptiste de Boissière, in Madison on March 27.

Dating from 1808 under Napoleonic rule, the L’Ordre des Palmes Académiques was established to distinguish university dignitaries and recognize service in the field of education. Today it is conferred on scholars, scientists, and those in literary and artistic fields.

The three will receive the Palmes Académiques for their efforts in building and running the intercultural program Environmental Policy, Land Use and Conservation Biology in Franco-American Perspective with the support of the New York-based French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) Foundation and the Cultural and Scientific Services of the French Embassy.

The Consul General will recognize their contribution in building strong research and education ties between the UW and the French school, l’École National Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier. In just three years, 13 U.S. and 12 French graduate students have participated in the program, developing their scientific and linguistic knowledge and cultural insight. The program has included faculty exchanges as well.

Consul General de Boissière will deliver a public talk, “The New Context of the French-American Relation,” at noon on March 27 in 206 Ingraham Hall. Introducing de Boissière will be Gilles Bousquet, dean of the Division of International Studies and himself a recipient of the Palms Académiques.

Award recipients are:

Caitilyn Allen, plant pathology and women’s studies, founding faculty director for the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) residential program and a Leadership Team Member of the UW–Madison NSF ADVANCE Women In Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (2002–2004). She currently serves as associate editor for the journal Molecular Plant Pathology.

Don Waller, botany and environmental sciences, member of the Board of Directors of the Natural Areas Association (1989–1991) and the Board of Directors of the Midwest Invasive Plant Network. He has also served as president of the Society for the Study of Evolution (2006–2007) and associate editor and, later, editor of the journal EVOLUTION.

Harvey Jacobs, urban and regional planning and environmental studies, has served as chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (1995–1998) and associate editor of the journal Society and Natural Resources (1994-1998). He was director of the Land Tenure Center (1999–2002) while also serving as associate editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research. In 2002 he was a Planning and Development Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts.