On January 3, the American History Association held its 127th anniversary in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Professor Donald Worster, an overseas high-level cultural and educational expert and professor at the School of History, Renmin University of China, won the Award for Scholarly Distinction to senior historians for lifetime achievement.
Established in 1884, the American History Association is the biggest and oldest organization for the promotion of historical studies. Considered to be the highest honor in the field of American History, the lifetime achievement award was founded in 1984, on the basis of commending senior historians who made great contributions to the field. To this day, there are more than sixty famous American Historians who have been presented with this award.
Being the Hall Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of Kansas, Donald Worster is regarded as one of the founders of, and leading figures in the field of environmental history. He was presented with numerous prestigious awards in the field of American history — The Bancroft Prize, the National Outdoor Book Award and many other international and local honors. He is the former president of the American Society for Environmental History and now the president of the Western History Association. Throughout his career, he has lectured extensively in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as throughout North America.
The China State Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs launched a Key support plan to introduce overseas high-level cultural and educational experts, through which Donald Worster was hired as the honorary director of Ecological History Research Center by the School of History, Renmin University of China. Professor Worster taught graduate courses, lectured, and led meetings held by the Ecological History Research Center, as well as producing publications of environmental history translation works.
In his acceptance speech, Professor Worster specifically mentioned China’s focus on present ecological problems, the rise and development of environmental history in China and the establishment and progress of the Ecological History Research Center, RUC. At the same time, he urged the American historians to be open-minded and reflect the common history between human beings and nature from an international perspective.