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Ethnobotanist honored for contributions to wilderness medicine

Ethnobotanist honored for contributions to wilderness medicine

Ethnobotanist honored for contributions to wilderness medicine
August 8, 2007

Renowned ethnobotanist and conservationist Dr. Mark Plotkin of the Amazon Conservation Team was honored Wednesday with the 2007 Paul S. Auerbach Award, a distinction awarded by the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS).

In selecting Plotkin, WMS recognized his “sustained significant service to wilderness medicine and scientific achievement in the field.”

Dr. Plotkin’s two decades of work in the Amazon includes research and collaboration with Amazon shamans. In 1996 he co-founded the Amazon Conservation Team, a group that seeks to “preserve and pass on the ancient shamanic wisdom to present and future generations, both in the Amazon and around the world,” according to WMS. Plotkin has also authored two influential books, Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice (1993) and Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature’s Healing Secrets (2000), and has been honored as a “Hero for the Planet” by Time Magazine (1999).

Plotkin with Amasina, a shaman of the Trio tribe in Suriname. Photo courtesy of the Amazon Conservation Team.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award from the Wilderness Medical Society,” Dr. Plotkin said. “My work with the many wise shamans and indigenous peoples I have met over the years has been intellectually and spiritually rewarding beyond any accounting. But an honor such as the Auerbach Award means the work of myself and all of us at the Amazon Conservation Team has had a meaningful impact, on my colleagues in the medical community and on the wider populace, and that is truly gratifying.”

Founded in 1983, the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) is the world’s leading organization devoted to wilderness medical challenges. Wilderness medicine topics include expedition and disaster medicine, dive medicine, search and rescue, altitude illness, cold- and heat-related illness, wilderness trauma,
and wild animal attacks. WMS explores health risks and safety issues in extreme situations such as mountains, jungles, deserts, caves, marine environments, and space.

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Wilderness Medical Society

Amazon Conservation Team

This article is based on a news release from WMS

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