In 2005 the Commission for the Bernese Award for Environmental Research awarded the Main Prize to Silvia Ulli-Beer, for her outstanding dissertation, Citizens’ Choice and Public Policy.
The author developed a dynamic model showing the opportunities and limits of different public interventions in waste management (policy analysis) and complementing traditional management tools such as statistical indicators. The model serves as a virtual laboratory in which various political and scenario analyses can be carried out under clearly defined conditions. The findings on “compliance”, the actions of individuals in accordance with the objectives of the community, can also be useful for other areas in which sustainable development is desirable.
The Commission for the Bernese Award for Environmental Research recognizes the excellent dissertations by This Rutishauser and Simone Schmid, each of whom receive a Recognition Award.
This Rutishauser wrote a thesis on the phenology of cherry blossoms. With a time-series spanning 280 years, he manages to make the progressive change in climate visible. He integrated climatological, historical, and plant-phenological methods into his work, and initiated a continuous scientific exchange among the disciplines concerned.
Simone Schmid presented a paper on tropical-forest hydrology. To determine fog water deposition, she used a possibly world-first method comparison. Schmid supplemented her work with an impressive DVD about fog rainforests, making this research about a unique ecosystem accessible to a wider audience.