RTÉ journalist, producer and presenter Derek Mooney has been awarded an honorary doctorate of science by UCC in recognition of his immense contribution to the field of natural history broadcasting.
Over a career spanning five decades, Mr Mooney has led the development of natural history broadcasting in Ireland, working with his team to bring to light crucial environmental topics such as climate changeplastic pollution and habitat destruction.
A pioneer in broadcasting environmental issues, Mr. Mooney’s work in the field of natural history includes, , and all for RTÉ Radio 1, , and for RTÉ television, for BBC television and for BBC Radio 4.
In his role as RTÉ’s executive producer for nature programming, he produced and presented the ever-popularas well as the historic annual broadcast event that is now the International Dawn Chorus and a myriad of wildlife documentaries.
Presenting the citation at Thursday’s honorary presentation, Professor Emer Rogan of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCC highlighted the many awards won by Mr Mooney and his team.
“Derek’s work and life’s mission aligns with our sustainability efforts at UCC, as we strive to find innovative and holistic solutions to the challenge of climate change while protecting the environment. biodiversity of our precious natural environment,” Professor Rogan said.
“In this context, I have the honor to present Derek Mooney for an honorary doctorate of science as a fitting recognition of his immense contribution to the field of the dissemination of natural history.”
Mr Mooney said he was delighted to accept the honor “both personally and on behalf of theteam of Éanna Ní Lamhna, Richard Collins, Terry Flanagan and Niall Hatch, as well as the contributors, listeners and viewers, without whom there would be no need for nature programming”.
“I would also like to thank all the scientists who contributed their knowledge so willingly and helped us better understand the natural world. Their generosity in sharing their time, expertise and passion is remarkable.
“The research work of Professor John O’Halloran and his colleagues at University College Cork has figured prominently in our output over the years, encompassing everything from DNA sampling of divers’ feathers to winter migration of whooper swans from Iceland to Ireland.
“John may be best known today as the president of the university, but we must never forget that he is also one of our nation’s foremost ornithologists and a brilliant advocate for learning. , conservation and the wonders of nature.
“I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to my colleagues at RTÉ for their continued support and commitment to nature programming across all platforms.
“Receiving this honor in Cork means the world to me and my family,” he said.
UCC President Professor John O’Halloran said Mr Mooney was the voice of nature and wildlife in Ireland.
“He has been a powerful voice for wildlife and wildlife researchers and citizen scientists who help collect data on our birds, butterflies, bees and plants across the country and has inspired generations of wildlife biologists. .
“Its impact extends beyond Ireland to Europe and North Africa in its extraordinary dawn marathon – involving citizens, scientists, multiple outreach teams and successfully do live in nature.
Sarah Cullotty, director of UCC’s College of Science, Engineering and Food Sciences, said it was fitting that Mr. Mooney’s work and life mission complements their sustainability efforts at the ‘UCC, as they strive to find innovative and holistic solutions to the challenge of climate change while protecting the biodiversity of the natural environment.