GSNZ member honoured
Paul Williams made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit
WILLIAMS, Emeritus Professor Paul Worthing
For services to geoscience and environmental science
Emeritus Professor Paul Williams has undertaken world-leading research in geomorphology, hydrology, karst and paleoclimatology for more than 50 years.
Professor Williams has held several roles at the University of Auckland since 1972, including Deputy Dean of Science and Head of the Geography Department. He led the establishment of Environmental Science teaching in 1975. He led the 1974 Waitomo Cave Research Project, creating sustainable management guidelines for the Waitomo Glow Worm Cave to operate as a tourist attraction. He directed the 1983 Upper Waitemata Harbour Study for the Auckland Regional Authority, providing guidelines for sustainable land and water management. He researched and assembled New Zealand stable isotopic data spanning the last 125,000 years, which is used to inform climate change models. He is a world-leading expert in karst landscapes, landforms and aquifers formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks that occur across 13 percent of the Earth’s continental area. He became a member of the World Commission for Protected Areas in 2001, an expert specialist since 2008 for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Councillor since 2018 of the IUCN Geoheritage Specialist Group. His input on international conservation has contributed to many sites being awarded natural World Heritage status. Professor Williams has authored books which remain foundational texts for geological and geographical research and teaching.