David Fields (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science)
The Ramón Margalef Award is given to scientists and educators for excellence in teaching and mentoring in the fields of limnology and oceanography. David Fields of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has been awarded this distinguished honor for his enthusiastic leadership and effusive commitment to developing transformative, hands-on marine science education programs, and for creating opportunities for authentic science experiences for high school and college students from all backgrounds. The award will be presented at the ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico in February 2019.
For more than a dozen years, Fields has led innovative education programs at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, engaging students and educators of all ages through unique and transformative educational programs that focus on hands-on learning. Fields developed Bigelow’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Cohorts of this highly competitive program are highly diverse and engages students of all backgrounds, including students from community colleges and non-research institutions as well as underrepresented minorities. Fields leads the field component of the Keller BLOOM program, which has engaged nearly 200 high school students from rural areas of Maine in a week of hands-on experiential learning. In 2010, Fields spearheaded the creation of a BLOOM teachers program that has reached more than 70 rural high school teachers. Colleagues praise Fields’ impact on educators from training high school teachers through the BLOOM educator program, to supporting fellow faculty to improve their own education skills. Field’s influence in undergraduate research extends beyond Maine through his coordination of the undergraduate research session at ASLO meetings since 2014, which provides a venue for 30-60 students per year to present at a national conference.
“Former students and current colleagues consistently describe David Fields as a talented, dedicated educator. The number and diversity of students he has inspired through his tireless efforts is impressive. We are pleased to have him as the 2019 Margalef Awardee,” said ASLO President Michael Pace.