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March 20, 2014

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The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville hosted the 27th Annual Thomas Jefferson Awards ceremony on Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the museum. The VMNH Foundation Thomas Jefferson Awards ceremony is a statewide event that honors individuals and corporations for outstanding contributions to natural science and natural science education.

Dr. Bruce Latimer, professor of anthropology, anatomy, and cognitive science, and director of the Center for Human Origins at Case Western Reserve University, served as keynote speaker at the event.  Dr. Latimer is an internationally recognized expert on the evolution of human locomotion, whose research has helped shape our present understanding of the evolutionary processes that led to the ability of humans to walk upright on two feet. Latimer is among a group of scientists who analyzed the famous 3.2 million-year-old "Lucy" fossil skeleton.

2014 Jefferson Award Recipients

The Thomas Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Natural Science was presented to J. James Murray, Jr., D. Phil (Oxon.). This award is presented to an individual who has consistently made outstanding contributions to natural history.

The Thomas Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Natural Science Education was presented to Donald W. Linzey, Ph.D., professor of biology at Wytheville Community College. This award is presented to a Virginia educator who has made significant contributions to natural history or natural science education at any academic level.

The William Barton Rogers Corporate Award was presented to Bassett Furniture Industries. This award is given to a corporation that has shown significant support for the natural sciences in Virginia, through contributions to: Research, science education, or other relevant programs of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

The Thomas Jefferson Award for Conservation was presented to the botanical and editorial team responsible for the creation of the “Flora of Virginia” publication. The team includes Alan S. Weakley, Ph.D., James C. Ludwig, John F. Townsend, and Bland Crowder. This award is presented by the VMNH Foundation in recognition of significant conservation efforts in Virginia.

Jefferson Awards 2014The Noel T. Boaz Director’s Award was presented to Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation.

The 27th annual Thomas Jefferson Awards were sponsored by Bassett Furniture Industries, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville & Henry County, the Marjorie Sutton Memorial Fund, Bruce Wingo, and Patrick Henry Community College.

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