ASLO Award Talks
ASLO President, Sybil Seitzinger, will present the following ASLO awards, Monday-Thursday, from 4:15-5:15pm in the Delta Hotel, Salon A
The citations below have been previously published in the March 2008 L&O: Bulletin, Vol. 17 (1).
Award presentations may be viewed by clicking on the dates shown below, or refer to the 2008 Award Presentations page.
Monday, 9 June: A. C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, MA USA
The Study of Microorganisms In Situ: Great Progress Yet Gaps In Understanding Fundamental Questions
Estimates of bacterial numbers in lakes and oceans began when fluorescent labeling of DNA/RNA, epifluorescence, and black polycarbonate filtration came together. Today microscopic sensors can measure a single fluorophore and many taxa-specific fluorophores in a single microscope field. Unanswered questions include the dynamics of communities and physiologic states as well as factors that regulate activation and inactivation of bacteria. The dynamics of microbial activity in situ are often studied through kinetic analysis of incorporation and respiration of radioisotope-labeled organics. Parsons and Strickland introduced the key idea in 1962 albeit their experimental concentrations were too high. It was soon realized that nM concentrations of labeled organics had to be used; this later led to the methods of measuring bacterial production. A certain percent of the added substrate is respired. Why is the percent respired of each type of amino acid the same in freshwaters, coastal waters, and terrestrial soils and ranges from <10 to ~ 50%? Why does this percent correlate with the number of steps in the biochemical pathway leading to glutamate, deamination, and the citric acid cycle?
John Hobbie is a limnologist cut from the Hutchinsonian cloth, where individual scientists learned the physics, chemistry, and biology of a system and then synthesized it into a vibrant picture of the whole. This system approach has always governed John’s thinking, and has been most prominent in his research on estuaries and arctic lakes. Fortunately for us, Hobbie developed a keen curiosity for microbes within this ecosystem framework, which has not only driven his research for almost 50 years but has forced us to change the way we do our science. His first of two seminal breakthroughs in aquatic ecology was to use radioisotopes to study microbial activity in lakes and oceans. Along with Dick Wright, a fellow post-doc at Uppsala, he used these techniques to carve out from the classic field of microbiology the pioneer field of microbial ecology. Before that time we knew what microbes did in the laboratory, but only with these careful studies and experiments did we, for the first time, understand what microbes really do in nature. Although this helped spawn the field of microbial ecology, we still lacked the ability to combine measures of natural rates of activity with the information about populations so easily found on an agar plate. In his second seminal contribution to the field, Hobbie, along with Daley and Jasper, solved that problem as well by developing the “Use of Nuclepore filters for counting bacteria by fluorescence microscopy” (currently at 3,200+ citations). Ecologists now had the breakthrough to study both the population dynamics and the ecosystem function of the most diverse and abundant group of organisms on Earth. These approaches, coupled with others’ ideas about the “microbial loop,” stimulated our progress for the next 20 years. And beyond that, John has kept abreast of newer molecular techniques and insists that his colleagues and students use them, assuring his continuing presence and importance in ecology. In fact, he just published a paper with his son on the role of soil microbes in fueling plant nutrient uptake – some reviews judge it to be just the kind of novel paper that foreshadows the next great science advance.
Hobbie’s contributions and service to our society and the scientific community are as stellar as his research. He served as ASLO president and president of the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers, and as a member of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (appointed by the President), the Board of Directors of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S., and the Ocean Studies Board and Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. His indispensable leadership in scientific programs started with his role in the International Biological Programme (IBP) of the 1960s (led the aquatic Tundra Biome), and continued with the directorship of the Ecosystem Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory starting in 1984, the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research program developed in the 1980s (directs the Arctic LTER site), the inclusion of coastal research (he managed the NSF Land-Margin Ecosystems Research (LMER) program) into the LTER program in the 1990s, and still today with the development of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) site in the Arctic. John has served on countless regional, national, and international committees, and through it all his tireless effort has been driven by a commitment to promote science at all levels, and in all forms.
As with many human endeavors, some of our most important accomplishments are poorly recorded on paper. Although John’s exposure to students has been limited due to his non-academic position, to all who’ve met him he is a pillar of clear thinking and an inspiration for achieving excellence in science. John loves the competition of intellectual challenge, and if he listens and then agrees with your ideas you’ve really won a battle. My favorite example that reflects on Hobbie’s rare combination of intellectual competitiveness and personal understatement, was at an ASLO meeting when sitting with me and another colleague on a bench outside during a break, Hobbie was approached by a well-known and ambitious younger scientist, who, trailed by a gaggle of students from his lab, confronted John by loudly announcing that his newest paper “will blow your Citation Classic out of the water!”. Quite nonchalantly and with gentlemanly aplomb, Hobbie paused for a second then simply replied “which one?”
Despite the fact that John eschews publicity he has received great honors, including the Hutchinson Award from our society and the Odum Award from the Estuarine Research Federation. Last year John was named “Distinguished Scientist” at the Marine Biological Laboratory, a special recognition bestowed for outstanding research accomplishments and service to the scientific community – only one other person has achieved this status in the 120-year history of this Institution. John Hobbie is most deserving of this Redfield Award, and we are indeed fortunate to have him among our ranks.
Cited by George Kling, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Monday, 9 June: Citation For Scientific Excellence Award
Thomas M. Frost
for Dr. Frost:
University of Wisconsin Trout Lake Station, Boulder Junction, WI USA
This award is given periodically to recognize ASLO members who could not fulfill their career potential because of early death or disability. Tom Frost was one of the world’s leading experts in freshwater sponges, a group of invertebrates that are poorly known yet may in some cases be the dominant benthic invertebrates in freshwater streams and lakes. Early in his career he examined the importance of algal symbiosis in sponges and developed novel methods for assessing the feeding rates of these benthic filter-feeders in situ that were published in Limnology and Oceanography in 1978. Later in his career he worked with both neo-ecological and paleo-ecological aspects of freshwater sponges.
Tom also worked extensively with the effects of acidification on lakes. He led the project on the whole-lake experimental acidification of Little Rock Lake. He and his students worked in particular on the response of rotifers and other zooplankton to acidification. Tom worked at several different experimental scales ranging from short-term laboratory and field experiments to long-term, whole-lake-basin manipulation. This range of experience gave him a strong interest in the role of scale in interpreting ecological processes. He also worked on questions of species compensation and complementarity in ecosystem function.
Perhaps Tom’s greatest contribution was the unselfish attention that he devoted to helping others in science and his role in creating productive interactions at scales ranging from the field station that he directed, to large-scale research projects such as the Little Rock Lake Acidification, to projects he worked on at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. As the Director of the Trout Lake Station he provided advice, encouragement, and guidance that greatly enhanced the research efforts there and led to a doubling of the size of the facilities at the station. Tom was also one of the leaders in the North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research Program and he served as a program director in ecology at the National Science Foundation. Even later in his career as an established scientist, Tom would always take time to talk with and encourage early-career students who may be attending their first professional scientific meeting. At the age of 50, Tom Frost passed away in a tragic swimming accident after saving his son from drowning in strong currents in Lake Superior. His contributions to science continue to this day through the activities of his successful students and through the establishment of The Aquatic Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America’s Thomas M. Frost Award for Excellence in Graduate Research.
Cited by Craig Williamson, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA
Tuesday, 10 June: Raymond L. Lindeman Award
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, MA USA
Wuchter C., Abbas B., Coolen M.J.L., Herfort L., Timmers P., Strous M., Van Bleijswijk J., Teira E., Herndl G.J., Middelburg J.J., Schouten S. and J. S. Sinninghe Damsté. 2006. Archaeal nitrification in the ocean. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 103:12317-12322.
Nitrification, the oxidation of ammonium to nitrite/nitrate, is a key process in the marine nitrogen cycle. Until recently, certain groups of bacteria were thought responsible for this process. With her paper, Cornelia Wuchter has provided substantial evidence that Crenarchaeota, organisms from the domain of Archaea, play an important role in the marine nitrogen cycle. Her data from an enrichment culture and field studies of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean showed that Crenarchaeota are, in fact, the dominant group responsible for nitrification. These are significant findings that have had a large impact on the fields of microbiology, biogeochemistry, oceanography, and earth sciences. The significance of her paper is clear from the fact that it was published in PNAS (edited by Carl Woese, who was instrumental for the recognition of Archaea as the third domain of life) and has already been cited 39 times in the 18 months after its appearance on 15 August 2006.
The key to this success? As usual, some coincidence was involved. Wuchter, after completing an MSc in Biology at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in Germany, accompanied her partner, Marco Coolen who began a post-doc in our group at NIOZ, to the Netherlands. After two weeks in the lab, he had to leave for extensive fieldwork in Antarctica. Luckily, we were able to send Wuchter as a field assistant and the two happily disappeared for almost half a year to the southern hemisphere. When they returned, Wuchter apparently had decided to become a scientist, ignorant of the hard work that is often required, and asked us if there would be a PhD studentship in our group.
At that time, we were still struggling with a major question: the role of archaea in the ocean. As organic biogeochemists, we found that archaeal membrane lipids, apparently derived from hyperthermophiles, were ubiquitous in the ocean. This fitted observations made by molecular ecologists, for example, Ed DeLong and Jed Fuhrman. In the beginning of 2001 a landmark paper on this topic appeared: Karner et al. in Nature showing that crenarchaeota (one of the groups of archaea in the ocean) represent one of the ocean’s single most abundant cell types. However, at that time, we did not have a clue as to what they were doing out there. We also observed that the composition of archaeal membrane lipids, apparently derived from pelagic crenarchaeota, changed with temperature of the ocean and that we could use fossil sedimentary crenarchaeotal membrane lipids to reconstruct past sea water temperatures. However, these findings needed confirmation by proper microbiological experiments.
Wuchter enthusiastically took up these research questions but was facing one major problem: although mesophilic crenarchaeota seemed to be omnipresent, no cultured strains were available at that time. She solved this problem by using large mesocosm tanks filled with North Sea water. Her first success came from an experiment using labeled bicarbonate: after a week in the dark, 70% of incorporated label was found back in the membrane lipids of the crenarchaeota showing that they are autotrophs that do not need light (Wuchter et al. 2003 in FEMS Microbiology Letters). Their source of energy remained unclear, however. Wuchter’s experiments aiming at a biological validation of the observed temperature dependence of crenarchaeotal membrane lipids serendipitously led her in the right direction. By using mesocosm tanks that were gently heated, Wuchter provided the first biological evidence for temperature adjustment of the membrane composition (Wuchter et al., 2004 in Paleoceanography). Much to her and our surprise, however, these experiments also resulted in an uni-archaeal enrichment culture as reported in her PNAS paper. She demonstrated that the enrichment culture consumed ammonium and produced nitrite, similar to the well-known nitrifying members of the bacterial genera Nitrosomonas, Nitrosospira and Nitrosococcus and was able to show the presence of an archaeal ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) gene, encoding for the first step in ammonium oxidation.
Wuchter, however, had an additional important set of data. In 2002 and 2003 she sampled North Sea water on a biweekly basis from the NIOZ jetty and studied crenarchaeotal abundance using molecular biology techniques like FISH and Q-PCR, under the initial guidance of Gerhard Herndl and Marco Coolen. Her results gave remarkable results: the crenarchaeota were abundant in the winter season but absent in other periods and this coincided with the period in which ammonium is transferred into nitrite/nitrate. Q-PCR of the amoA gene of both bacteria and crenarchaeota indicated that these latter organisms were probably primarily responsible for nitrification, in good agreement with results from Wuchter’s enrichment culture.
Based on these important findings, Wuchter submitted a manuscript to Nature in May 2005. Unfortunately for her, the referees simply did not believe the astonishing story that not bacteria but archaea were the most important nitrifiers in the North Sea. Archaeal nitrification became more acceptable when Martin Könneke and co-workers published a paper based on a crenarchaeote isolated from a marine aquarium finding in Nature in September 2005. Nevertheless, it was only after three other submissions (one more at Nature, one at Science) and extensive rounds of reviews that the paper was finally published in August 2006 in PNAS.
Considering this difficult history, it is extremely gratifying and well deserved that Cornelia Wuchter has obtained the prestigious Lindeman Award for her paper. Although research is teamwork these days, as exemplified by the extenstive author list on the PNAS paper, Wuchter has played a key role and has been the main driving force in designing, setting-up, and performing the experiments and interpreting the results described in her paper. She currently holds a post-doc position at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Cited by Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté, NIOZ Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Marine Organic Biogeochemistry, Texel, The Netherlands
Tuesday, 10 June: John Martin Award to Eppley & Petersen 1979
San Diego, CA USA
Eppley, R. and B. Peterson. 1979. Particulate organic matter flux and planktonic new production in the deep ocean. Nature 282: 677-680.
This paper was published in 1978 by Dick Eppley (of Scripps) and Bruce Peterson (Marine Biology Lab. Woods Hole). It developed out of Dugdale and Goering’s New Production concept based on nitrate and ammonium uptake measurements and the ratio of new production to total primary production. We found a relation between this ratio and primary production that allowed Coblenz-Mishke’s and other summaries of global primary production to be used to estimate global new production. Over the years, such a simple idea has run into real world problems, of course, such as iron limitation regions and nitrification within the photic zone.
In this paper, Eppley and Peterson emphasized that the vertical flux of material out of the photic zone must be balanced globally by “new” production based on imported sources of N (cross-pycnocline mixing, N-fixation, etc.). Dugdale and Goering (L&O 1967, 12:196) had made the original distinction between ‘new’ and ‘regenerated’ production and discussed the implications of this concept for a steady-state ocean. Eppley and Peterson’s paper applied this idea in a geochemical context, provided the first estimate of global new production, and showed how the ratio of new to total production varies with depth and proximity to land. In a widely-ranging analysis, the authors discussed the implications of this balance for fisheries production, estimates of nitrogen fixation, carbon sequestration, and climate change. As more interest became focused on the biological carbon pump and the role of the oceans in the global carbon cycle, this concept became part of the biological oceanographic canon. It has been cited over 1100 times.
Cited by Cindy Lee, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA, and George McManus, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut, USA
Wednesday, 11 June: Ruth Patrick Award
Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin, LA USA
I WANT TO LIVE 100 YEARS
Dr. Ruth Patrick celebrated her 100th birthday in November 2007. I want to live that long to see how the contributions of my colleagues and I fare in the continuing effort to solve the environmental problems created by nutrient-driven eutrophication. Specifically, will nutrient load reductions be implemented and will the areas, severity and frequency of hypoxia in estuarine and marine environments diminish as a result? How will increased population, increased food and energy requirements, and climate change affect nutrients and hypoxia? We are now a quarter century into the research, publications, and efforts in the northern Gulf of Mexico to ward off the second largest zone of human-caused hypoxia in the coastal ocean. The evidence is clear that Mississippi River increases in nitrogen (and probably phosphorus) have led to the formation and expansion of hypoxia off the coast of Louisiana, and sometimes Texas and Mississippi. There is an Action Plan on paper calling for the reduction of the size of the Dead Zone to 5,000 km2 (5-year running average) by 2015. The 5-year average is currently near 15,000 km2. So, the road is long, and the social or political will to get to its end needs more and alternative energy.
Professor Nancy Rabalais has embodied the spirit of Dr. Ruth Patrick who recently celebrated her 100th birthday last November. Nancy has devoted her energies in the tradition of Ruth Patrick, achieving outstanding accomplishments in the application of diverse scientific principles toward the identification, analysis, and solution of one of the most significant environmental problems in aquatic environments—the dramatic expansion of hypoxia in coastal waters during the latter part of the 20th century.
Nancy Rabalais came to the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium as a post-doc, where she is now the Executive Director. After initially working on oil pollution issues, she assumed the leadership of nascent research efforts to describe and understand hypoxia in bottom waters of the vast Louisiana continental shelf, a phenomenon for which only scant information was previously available. The obstacles Nancy faced were enormous: logistics, funding, dynamic complexity, and, particularly, skepticism and denial. By the late 1980s she and her collaborators were able to demonstrate that hypoxia was extensive not patchy, seasonally continuous not ephemeral, and closely linked with the delivery of fresh water and anthropogenic nutrients from the Mississippi-Atchafalaya river system.
Through long-term and highly productive collaborations with a number of investigators, Nancy Rabalais has described the dynamics of Gulf of Mexico hypoxia, its history, its relationship to increased delivery of nutrients by the rivers, its effects on benthic biota and living resources, nutrient cycling, underlying changes in the Mississippi River basin, and requirements for the alleviation of hypoxia. This work has embraced physical oceanography, hydrology, geochemistry, paleontology, modeling, and ecology.
The work of Rabalais et al. has had a major effect on national policies and programs. Concern generated about the scale of Gulf hypoxia contributed directly to the enactment of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998. Their findings provided the foundation for the Integrated Assessment of Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico in 2000 and the Action Plan for Reducing, Mitigating, and Controlling Hypoxia in 2001—the draft update of which reaffirms the earlier goals and requirements for abatement. Nancy has courageously appeared in the Midwest heartland to explain why nutrient runoff from farms was the principal cause of hypoxia to disbelieving and often angry agriculturalists. And, she has extended her work and influence beyond the region of her principal research.
Prof. Nancy Rabalais is a tireless scientific citizen and leader, giving freely of her time, abilities, and insights. She served on National Research Council committees dealing with oil and the sea, USGS coastal programs, and water quality in the Mississippi River basin. She was appointed to the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council in 2000 and served as its chair from 2002 to 2005—the first woman chair and the first chair not from a major oceanographic institution. In the Ruth Patrick tradition she has broken glass ceilings based not only on gender, but also on geography, institutional status, and salinity. She served as a member of the U.S. Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel that has advised the Federal government on the President’s Ocean Action Plan and, internationally, serves on the Scientific Steering Committee for the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone Programme (IGBP).
Cited by Don Boesch, University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, Maryland, USA
Thursday, 12 June: G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award
Department of Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology, University of California- Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA USA
THE ROLE OF MARINE SNOW AND GELS IN THE ECOLOGY OF THE SEA
Most of the organic carbon sequestered in the deep ocean sediments as relatively rare, large detrital aggregates known as marine snow. Because they are enriched in organic matter, microbes, and nutrients, these large particles are hot spots for biological and chemical process in the water column and important food sources for pelagic organisms. Recent evidence also reveals the existence of abundant carbohydrate gel particles in the ocean that are intricately involved in the formation of marine snow. These discoveries are changing the way we conceptualize the pelagic zone on small scales. We no longer imagine seawater as a relatively homogeneous fluid in which float a spectrum of dispersed molecules, particles, and organisms, but instead see it as a rich hydrated matrix of transparent organic gels, detritus, and cob-web like surfaces which provide microscale physical, chemical, and biological structure. This talk will focus on the origins, fate, and significance of marine snow and gels in the sea, including their role in carbon cycling, particle flux, food webs, and chemical and biological transformation.
Each year, the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award is given to a beacon of excellence, a researcher who, through innovative scientific activities that have deeply advanced our knowledge, serves as a model for the rest of us. Given her broad, significant, and ongoing impact on oceanography, there could be few people more deserving of this award than Dr. Alice Alldredge.
Early in her career, Alice carried out ground-breaking studies on the ecology of appendicularians, overcoming the difficulties of sampling fragile, gelatinous organisms to describe their house morphology, feeding behavior, and grazing impact. More recently, she has picked this work back up, demonstrating that appendicularians contribute sizably to particle flux via the sinking of their discarded feeding structures. Alice also discovered the existence of demersal zooplankton on coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and temperate sand flats, and described their vertical migration and dispersal patterns. Most notably, however, her work on marine snow has revolutionized our understanding of particle flux and carbon cycling within the sea.
It has been long appreciated that the biological pump, or transport to depth of POC initially produced by phytoplankton, maintains dissolved CO2 in surface waters (and by extension, the atmosphere) at relatively low concentrations, helping regulate global temperatures on geologically short time scales. Only a minute fraction of the POC reaches the deep sea, making it somewhat of a climatically critical mystery how any of it gets there at all. Through her work on marine snow, Alice Alldredge has identified and begun quantifying pelagic processes, such as the aggregation, zooplankton consumption, microbial decomposition, and fragmentation of marine snow, which control the flux of POC to depth.
Shortly after it was realized that POC is generally exported as large, rapidly sinking particles, Alice was pioneering techniques for the in situ observation, quantification, and collection of marine snow via blue water SCUBA diving, submersibles, and the deployment of cameras. Her resulting body of work covers the biological and chemical composition of marine snow, its pathways of formation and destruction, its abundance in the upper water column, and its roles in the ecology and microbial ecology of the ocean. Among other things, she made the first (and indeed some of the only) determinations of in situ sinking rates of marine snow, showing that marine snow sinks rapidly enough to deliver significant amounts of organic carbon to the deep. She also determined that, since marine snow is too strong to be disaggregated at typical energy dissipation rates found in the water column, it must be biological processes that consume sinking POC and reduce carbon flux with depth.
Alice’s more recent work on marine snow has also been fundamentally important, showing, for example, that aggregates accumulate at density discontinuities, contributing to formation of “thin-layers” and to the heterogeneous distribution of organisms in the water column. She has helped show that marine snow is vigorously consumed by zooplankton and is likely a major food source for pelagic animals. Such work has also shown that zooplankton may impact carbon fluxes without actually consuming carbon, as swimming zooplankton leave in their wake marine snow fragmented into smaller, more numerous, and more slowly sinking particles. Alice also helped to discover transparent exopolymer particles (TEP), the polysaccharide “glue” that binds marine aggregates together and is critical for the formation of many types of marine snow.
That Alice Alldredge’s research has been keenly important to the thinking and research of a large community of investigators is demonstrated by her status, since 2003, as one of ISI Web of Knowledge’s most highly cited researchers (top 0.1%). In addition to pioneering new techniques and opening up new fields of research throughout her career, it is in no small part due to her work that we now accept marine snow to be the major transport vehicle of particulate matter to the ocean interior. Most impressively, all of this she has accomplished while being a fair and genial colleague, a wise and trusted counselor, and a builder of formal and informal frameworks within which students, post-docs, and even more advanced researchers can learn and grow into better, more successful scientists. And she has never lost the sense of wicked fun it is to be a scientist out there in her SCUBA gear, or on deck in great big rubber boots, exploring the marvels of the sea.
In short, Dr. Alice Alldredge is exactly the sort of scientist we ought to all want to grow up to be. That makes her an exemplary recipient of ASLO’s G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award.
Cited by Christina De La Rocha, Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
Thursday, 12 June: Distinguished Service Award
Peter A. Jumars
Darling Marine Center, University of Maine, Walpole, ME USA
SERVICE AS A MEMBER BENEFIT: CHOOSING SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES ACCORDINGLY
Service is generally viewed as a sacrifice on the part of the server. Two functions have endured in scientific societies from the outset: meeting of people with common interests and publishing of peer-reviewed research results. Even these core society functions have ample room for service that empowers the server as well as the society. As I can attest, nothing hones editorial skills like suddenly being Editor-in-Chief of a major journal and nothing hones leadership skills like running an ASLO Board Meeting. Societies now offer a much wider array of standing and ad hoc committee service than was available even a decade ago. From the individual perspective, these activities allow tremendous opportunities to amplify a single person’s efforts and to engage with like-minded colleagues toward worthy goals. One way to choose where among the panoply of scientific societies to put one’s efforts is to match the fit of your own aspirations with service opportunities in that organization. Both precision of fit and scale of the enterprise matter.
The ASLO Distinguished Service Award is awarded “to recognize members who have displayed exceptional efforts that support the professional goals and enhance the stature of ASLO.” Pete Jumars is this year’s recipient of the ASLO Distinguished Service Award. For at least the past twenty-seven years, Pete has been intimately involved with ASLO on everything from publications to representing ASLO in national coalitions for professional societies. One would be hard pressed to find another individual who has volunteered so much time to so many different facets of ASLO.
Pete joined ASLO in 1969 at the suggestion of his undergraduate advisor. His formal service to the society began in 1980, when he served on the Board of Directors as a Member-at-Large. He was elected to the ASLO Board again in 2000, this time as President-Elect. Pete’s presidency came at a time of transition for ASLO. While Pete was President-Elect, ASLO moved its Executive Director’s Office to Washington, D.C., in response to the society becoming increasingly aware of the need for a greater involvement in science policy and public information. Throughout his six-year term on the Board, Pete was instrumental in determining a science policy role for ASLO that fit both the society’s comfort level and budget. As a result, he helped position ASLO as a key player in facilitating communication of aquatic science to decision makers.
At the same time, he led the society during difficult negotiations over the venue and operation of the jointly-sponsored Ocean Sciences Meeting. These negotiations literally lasted for more than a year, and many Presidents would have pulled the plug on the joint meeting. Knowing how important it was to bring the ocean science disciplines together, Pete encouraged continued negotiations, which eventually led to a successful outcome and no lasting liver damage for Pete.
A key guiding principle of Pete’s presidency was to listen to the membership. Perhaps the best illustration of Pete’s approach was the 2004 ASLO member survey. Although he was nearing the end of his Presidency, Pete led the design of the survey questionnaire, and as Past President, continued to take the lead in analyzing and reporting the results to both the Board and the ASLO membership.
While it is hard to pinpoint where Pete has had the most influence within ASLO, it is certain that he has been a key figure in the history of Limnology & Oceanography as well as ASLO’s other publishing activities. He served as Editor-in-Chief for L&O from 1986 to 1992. In about the middle of that term, in part to allow his escape, he oversaw transition from a sole editorship to a board of associate editors. Later, Pete served on the L&O Editorial Advisory Committee (1995 - 1997). Since 2005, Pete has served as the Associate Editor for Scholarly Reviews for L&O. Since 2006, he has chaired the ad hoc Committee on Open Access and has led a vigorous discussion of the pros and cons of the open-access movement, which inevitably will have enormous consequences for the society. As members of the open-access committee, we can attest to Pete’s commitment to helping ASLO make well-informed decisions regarding open-access publishing. Remarkably, Pete also serves on two other working groups considering new publications: the ad hoc committee to evaluate the proposed Limnology and Oceanography: Environments and Fluids journal, and the ad hoc committee on web books.
Pete has also helped build ASLO’s influence in the broader scientific community. Since 2003, Pete has participated in the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP), an umbrella organization for professional scientific societies. During the semi-annual meetings, presidents of societies from all disciplines of science discuss issues of common interest and concern, ranging from research funding to publications to new regulations for non profits. Pete served enthusiastically on the Council while he was President, and agreed to continue serving beyond his term. During that time, he was elected as Secretary, then Treasurer and for 2008 as Chair of the Council, an honor that attests to the respect our colleagues outside of limnology and oceanography have for Pete. Pete’s participation in CSSP benefits ASLO in terms of learning from the experiences of other societies and networking with high-ranking policy officials. Additionally, Pete has been able to move several issues of import to ASLO, such as freshwater research, to the CSSP’s priority list, thereby adding the weight of CSSP’s sixty member societies (and their 1.4 million members) to ASLO’s causes.
Eleven years ago, ASLO recognized Pete Jumars’ scientific achievements with the Hutchinson award. This year, ASLO is pleased to recognize Pete’s service to the society with the ASLO Distinguished Service Award.
Cited by Adrienne Sponberg, ASLO Public Affairs Office, Silver Spring Maryland, USA, and Paul Kemp, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA