The Herbert E. Gregory Medal for Distinguished Service to Science in the Pacific Region was established by the Board of Trustees of The Bishop Museum in 1961 to honor the memory of the Museum’s second Director (1919 – 1936) and his role as founder of the Pacific Science Association. The medal is awarded quadrennially at Pacific Science Congresses to outstanding and distinguished leaders in Pacific science.

Selection of medalists by the Board of Directors of Bishop Museum is based on distinguished research contributions in the Pacific region in one or more of the scientific disciplines in which the Museum is active, and on distinguished contributions to the development ofinstitutions and organizations sponsoring and supportingPacific research. The award is symbolized by a bronzemedal specifically designed by Joseph Feher, and is suspended by a “Yale blue” ribbon to recognize Dr. Gregory’s and the Museum’s historic links toYale University.

The 2011 Gregory Medal was awarded to Dr. Patrick V. Kirch (Univ. of California, Berkeley) at the 22nd Pacific Science Congress in Kuala Lumpur in June 2011. The next Gregory Medal will be announced and presented at the 23rd Pacific Science Congress in Taipei in 2016.

Past recipients of the Herbert E. Gregory Medal are:

Prof. A.P. Elkin (Australia), 1961

Prof. George P. Murdock (USA), 1966

Dr. F. Raymond Fosberg (USA), 1971

Dr. J. Linsley Gressitt (USA), 1975

Sir Charles Fleming (New Zealand), 1979

Dr. Kenneth P. Emory (USA), 1983

Dr. David R. Stoddart (UK), 1987

Dr. Peter H. Raven (USA), 1991

Dr. Elwood C. Zimmerman (Australia), 1995

Dr. Patrick D. Nunn (UK), 2003
Patrick Nunn received his PhD in Geography from the University of London in 1983 and, shortly afterwards, began a 25-year stint teaching and researching at the international University of the South Pacific, based at its main teaching campus in Suva, Fiji.  He is currently Professor and Head of the School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences at the University of New England.

Patrick Nunn’s current research interests include geography, geology, geoarchaeology, geohazards and climate change.  He has carried out research in most Pacific Island countries, has collaborated with many Pacific scholars, and supervised numerous Pacific Island student researchers. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications including several books such as Oceanic Islands (Blackwell, 1994), Environmental Change in the Pacific Basin (Wiley, 1999), Climate, Environment and Society in the Pacific during the Last Millennium (Elsevier, 2007), and the popular Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents of the Pacific (University of Hawai’i Press, 2009), which was named by the American Library Association in June 2009 as one of the Best of the Best from the University Presses.

Click here for the full text of the Bishop Museum’s resolution awarding the Gregory Medal to Patrick D. Nunn.

Dr. Dieter Mueller-Dombois (USA/Germany), 2007
Dr. Mueller-Dombois received his Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from the University of British Columbia in 1960, and was awarded an Honorable Doctor’s Degree in Engineering (Dr. h.c.) from Brandenburg Technical University, Cottbus, Germany in 2004. In 43 years of study, learning, and teaching at the University of Hawaii, and in collaboration with a number of colleagues, his studies of the vegetational ecology of the Pacific Islands resulted in over 200 published articles and books on basic and applied Pacific science. Among these are four major synthesis books and textbooks including entitled “Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology” (1974) co-authored with Heinz Ellenberg, “Island Ecosystems: Biological Organization in Selected Hawaiian Communities” (1981) with K.W. Bridges, and H. L. Carson, “Vegetation of the Tropical Pacific Islands” (1998) with F.R. Fosberg; “PABITRA Methods Book: Biodiversity Assessment of Tropical Island Ecosystems” (published online in 2005) with K.W. Bridges and C. Daehler, and “Hawaii, the Fires of Life: Five Decades of Vegetation Development in Volcanoland” (2007).

Dr. Mueller-Dombois established the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect Network (PABITRA), a collaborative program established under the auspices of the Pacific Science Association for investigating the function of biodiversity and the health of ecosystems in the tropical Pacific Islands. PABITRA has generated a wealth of new data on biodiversity in the region, provided a critical venue for training local scientists and building the scientific capacity in the countries of the participating sites, and provided significant support for conservation and sustainability efforts. Dr. Mueller-Dombois has been dedicated to mentoring new generations of scientists, and has supervised eighteen Ph.D. and seventeen Masters students since his academic tenure began.

Click here for the full text of the Bishop Museum’s Resolution awarding the Gregory Medal to Dr. Mueller-Dombois.

Dr. Patrick Vinton Kirch (USA), 2011
Dr. Kirch was born and raised in Hawai’i, and studied Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania before moving to Yale University where he received his Ph.D. in 1975. He served on the staff of the Bishop Museum from 1975-1984, and while there he led expeditions to the Solomon Islands and Tonga and carried out field research in the Hawaiian Islands. He became Director of the Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington, and Associate Professor at the University of Washington in 1984. He was appointed Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989, and since 1995 has held the endowed Class of 1954 Chair at Berkeley. In twenty-two years of research and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, and in collaboration with a number of colleagues at other institutions, Dr. Kirch’s studies have focused on the evolution of complex sociopolitical formations (especially “chiefdoms”), on prehistoric as well as ethnographic subsistence systems (in particular those involving some form of intensification), and on the reciprocal interactions between indigenous peoples and the island ecosystems of the Pacific. He has authored over 230 published articles, papers and books on the origins and diversification of the cultures and peoples of the Pacific.

Dr. Kirch has received several other major professional recognitions, including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and as a Trustee at the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is also an Honorary (life) member of the Prehistoric Society of Great Britain and Ireland, a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, a Miller Institute Professor at Berkeley, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. His research accomplishments were honored with the awarding of the John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science by the National Academy of Sciences, and the J. I. Staley Prize of the School of American Research (the latter jointly with Marshall Sahlins).

Click here for the full text of the Bishop Museum’s Resolution awarding the Gregory Medal to Dr. Kirch.