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Honorary Degree

John F. Turner

John F. Turner's reputation as a champion of conservation and a leader with genuine collaborative spirit proceeds him. A Wyoming native, Turner is a third-generation rancher and outfitter from Jackson. He began his political career as both a Representative and Senator in the Wyoming State Legislature, where he served for 19 years, including a term as president of the Senate. Turner served on the national stage as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1989-1993, where he contributed significantly to wetland ecosystems protection and the establishment of numerous wildlife refuges. His ability to ensure that the voices of all stakeholders are valued greatly expanded collaborative approaches for implementing the Endangered Species Act, and he was instrumental in supporting the protections for endangered species. As President of The Conservation Fund from 1993 to 2001, Turner worked to conserve millions of acres of working landscapes across the United States. In 2001, Turner was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, where he led programs and activities concerning HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, the environment, climate change, ocean affairs, and sciences and technology.

Turner's considerable contributions to the state, the nation, and the global community have made him one of Wyoming's finest. He recently returned to Wyoming where he continues to serve as chairman of UW's Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) board. In this capacity, he guides the Institute's efforts to advance discussions regarding some of Wyoming and the West's most challenging natural resource issues. In 2006, he was named the first Beverly and Eldon Spicer Visiting Professor in Environmental and Natural Resources.

John Turner is a public servant of the highest integrity, dedicated to ensuring Wyoming's natural resource legacy for generations to come, and always sincere in his positive outlook and down-to-earth approach.

For all of your contributions, John Turner, we are honored to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.


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