The National Wildlife Federation recognized Dr. Nina McClelland, executive in residence at the College of Business and Innovation, dean emerita and professor of chemistry, for her accomplishments in protecting clean water across the world, promoting clean energy, and preserving wildlife and habitats in Ohio through her conservation efforts with the 2016 Women in Conservation Award.
This honor was presented in March to women across the nation who have shown exceptional leadership and dedicated their time to conservation and climate action.“It is an honor and a privilege for me to receive this award from the National Wildlife Foundation because of what it represents and because of the well-earned distinction of the National Wildlife Foundation. We share concern for the safety of our environment and the future of our planet,” McClelland said.
Throughout her career, McClelland has held a number of influential positions. She was chair of the American Chemical Society, and her contributions earned her recognition as the American Chemical Society’s Legend of Environmental Chemistry.
For 15 years, McClelland served as president, chief executive officer and chair of the board of trustees of National Sanitation Foundation International, during which time she developed a widely used water quality index to report the condition of lakes, rivers and streams.
McClelland was a principal and consultant with the International Clean Water program, dedicated to providing health care, safe drinking water and food, education, disease control, and other essential needs to those in developing countries. She also served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Water Treatment Chemicals and for three terms on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council.
In 2010, McClelland was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. The University of Toledo also has recognized her with the Outstanding Alumna Award from the Department of Chemistry and the Gold T from the UT Alumni Association, and she was featured in the 2004 book titled Nine UT Alumni Who Changed the World. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1951 and a master’s in chemistry in 1963.
“I am deeply concerned about the state of climate science, climate change and climate intervention. I am convinced that we have both the structure and the competence at the federal level to do much more and accept and respond to the urgency of our need to act,” McClelland said.
While her work has impacted people all over the globe, McClelland also has dedicated much attention to the Toledo area, specifically to maintaining and improving the health of Lake Erie. Safe drinking water is an issue that continues to draw her efforts.
“I am trying to be retired — for the fifth time,” she said. “But safe drinking water from an adequate source through treatment and distribution has always been my strength and passion. That will not change.”