BROOKFIELD – Randall Wells, a senior conservation scientist for the Chicago Zoological Society, was nominated for the biennial Indianapolis Prize, the society announced recently.
The Indianapolis Prize is given every other year to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to conservation efforts for animal species. It is considered to be the world’s leading award for conservation, the society said.
Wells also serves as director of the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, based at Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory. Wells has dedicated his life to studying dolphins, and has led the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population.
Over the course of the study, Wells has watched over five generations of bottlenose dolphins that reside in Sarasota Bay year-round.
In addition to Wells, 38 other conservationists were nominated for the prize by an international nominating committee comprised of renowned professional conservationists. The nominating committee will select six finalists for the prize, which will be revealed in spring 2014. The prize jury will then select a winner to be announced in mid-2014 and honored at the next Indianapolis Prize Gala in September 2014.
The winner will receive an unrestricted $250,000 cash award. Five other finalists will receive $10,000.
The Chicago Zoological Society manages the Brookfield Zoo.