Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici Selected as 2017 ESA Regional Policy Award Winner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Contact: Alison Mize, 202-833-8773 ext. 205 (work) or 703-625-3628 (mobile), gro.asenull@nosila

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present its tenth annual Regional Policy Award to U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), representative of Oregon’s 1st congressional district, during the Society’s Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon in August. The award recognizes an elected or appointed local policymaker with an outstanding record of informing policy decisions with ecological science.

A member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the top Democratic member on the Subcommittee on Environment, Congresswoman Bonamici is dedicated to ensuring that policy decisions are informed by science. She works to address the causes and risks of global climate change and takes particular interest in issues affecting coastal Oregon. She is also a champion for strengthening public education and is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, which integrates the arts and design with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education.

“Congresswoman Bonamici is a powerful voice for Oregon and a model for how policymakers should incorporate ecological science into their decisions,” said ESA President David Lodge. “Her record on ecologically important topics – from ocean acidification to coral reef sustainability to STEM education – is admirable. Through her role on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, she is drawing attention to issues that affect Oregon’s communities and reflect global environmental changes. The Society is pleased to celebrate her work.”  

Congresswoman Bonamici’s legislative record demonstrates consistent support of science-based policies, environmental considerations, and involving local communities in decision-making. Notably, in the 115th Congress, she introduced legislation designed to help prepare coastal communities for tsunamis and update the country’s tsunami warning system. Provisions similar to this legislation were later included as an amendment to the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, which Congresswoman Bonamici cosponsored, that was enacted into law in April (Public Law 115-25). Additionally, in this Congress she cosponsored the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, a bill designed to improve federal support for women entrepreneurs in STEM fields. This legislation passed Congress and became law in February (Public Law 115-6).

First elected to the House of Representatives in a special election in 2012, Congresswoman Bonamici was elected to her first full term in November 2012 and was reelected in 2014 and 2016. Before serving in the U.S. Congress, she was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2007 and was appointed and then elected to the Oregon Senate in 2008. Previously, she worked as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in Washington, D.C. before practicing law at a Portland law firm.

“Our children, grandchildren, and future generations are counting on us to protect the environment and do everything we can to address climate change,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “As a policymaker, I’m committed to defending and expanding federal investments in science and research, and I will keep working on common sense, effective solutions to the environmental challenges we face. It’s an honor to receive the ESA’s Regional Policy Award, and I will continue to champion ecological science and values in Congress.”

ESA President Lodge will present Congresswoman Bonamici with the 2017 ESA Regional Policy Award at the Special Policy Forum on Monday, August 7 at 7:15 pm in the Oregon Ballroom of the Oregon Convention Center. This forum, a new event at the Society’s Annual Meeting, will examine the current national political landscape from an ecologist’s perspective. Congresswoman Bonamici will give remarks and be featured on a panel of speakers that will explore ways for ecologists to constructively engage with the administration and with Congress to support science-based policy. The forum will be open to the public.


Regional Policy Award and Special Policy Forum ESA Annual Meeting, Monday, August 7, 2017, 7:15 PM – 8:45 PM, Oregon Ballroom, Oregon Convention Center.

Journalists and public information officers can gain access to the Annual Meeting by contacting the public information manager, gro.asenull@retsell. Visit the newsroom page for more information.

The Ecological Society of America, founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000-member Society publishes five journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at