...as 2018 International Alumni of the Year
University of Botswana Environmental Change Scientist and Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Professor Opha Pauline Dube, has been awarded the 2018 International Alumnus of the Year Award by the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia.
Professor Dube who has been recognised as a leader in climate change research is among a broad range of leaders recognised for their exemplary contributions in fields ranging from science to social enterprise. The awards acknowledged outstanding alumni who have created change. “The exceptional alumni honoured this year have driven social change through advocacy and journalism, pioneered new medical treatments, and steered game-changing companies and initiatives,” UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj is quoted in the University’s online contact magazine.
Professor Hoj said the work of the award recipients has had a profound impact both in Queensland and around the world. The UQ Alumni Awards will be presented at the annual Courting the Greats ceremony on October 17, 2018, where the UQ Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year will also be acknowledged.
The award recipients were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee led by Professor Høj. “This year’s recipients have contributed to the community not just through their work, but also through their generosity of spirit,” he said.
He said they had committed extensive resources to help society’s most vulnerable As well as to cultivate the next generation of students, researchers and advocates. In addition, most of them had pivoted on their careers to take advantage of emerging opportunities and trends.
“It’s something I do out of passion and out of my own drive, and I realise when you do these things you create an environment that leads to the growth of education and hence contributing towards a knowledge economy,” Professor Dube is quoted in the UQ online contact magazine.
Professor Dube is an environmental change scientist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science. She is recognised as a leader in global environmental change including climate change research internationally and completed her PhD in Geographical Science at The University of Queensland (UQ).
She served as one of the Vice Chairs of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) for five years where she introduced the Global Environmental Change and Least Developed Countries synthesis and capacity building work.
Professor Dube is the Founder and Chair of the Botswana Global Environmental Change Committee (BGCC) at the University of Botswana that laid a foundation for building capacity in climate change research.
In her role as Vice Chair of the Botswana Government National Climate Change Committee (NCCC), Professor Dube facilitates introduction of climate change into Botswana’s development agenda. She coordinated the Southern African Fire Network (SAFnet) for seven years and her work on wild fires contributed to the Botswana National Fire Strategy and led to the development of a regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) trans-boundary fire protocol.
Professor Dube, who is Co-Editor-in-Chief of environmental science journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, has a focus on global environmental change in the context of the Anthropocene.
She is a Co-Coordinating Lead Author in the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on “the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
Professor Dube has received many accolades for her research, including a Nobel Peace Prize Certificate awarded in 2007 as part of the IPCC authorship for significant contribution to the scientific understanding of climate change and its implications for society.