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UNCW Professor Lawrence Cahoon Receives Green Tie Award from N.C. League of Conservation Voters

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

UNCW Biological Oceanography Professor Lawrence Cahoon was honored by the N.C. League of Conservation Voters for his research on emerging contaminants in the Cape Fear River.

Cahoon and N.C. State professor Detlef Knappe received the organization’s Catalyst Award, which is presented to individuals who have taken exceptional action to create change or bring attention to an important environmental issue. The scientists were recognized for their GenX research.

“The GenX story is a big one and has lots of players, some of them more heroic than I am,” said Cahoon. “I was just doing my job. I’m a teacher. I’ve been in the classroom for 43 years, 36 of them at UNCW. My research on aquatic ecology and water quality issues informs my teaching. I want my students to know what’s really going on and how they can contribute as they start their careers.”

Cahoon noted that the GenX story is a complicated one, blending some very complex science (the chemistry of fluoro-polymers, toxicology, hydrology and other fields) with environmental regulation and law. “Fortunately, my path as a teacher has enabled me to grasp enough of those diverse subject areas to be able to contribute,” he added.

Cahoon and Knappe received the award during the N.C. League of Conservation Voters’ 2018 Green Tie Awards banquet held May 23 in Raleigh. 

“Throughout his career, Dr. Cahoon has been a champion for environmental issues and coastal health,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Aswani Volety. “His continued research will help ensure the health and safety of our community by determining how emerging contaminants like GenX affect the environment.”

-- Venita Jenkins

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Larry Cahoon

N.C. State professor Detlef Knappe, left, and UNCW Biological Oceanography Professor Lawrence Cahoon were honored by the N.C. League of Conservation Voters for their research on contaminants in the Cape Fear River.