Candidate for President-Elect: Craig Carlson

Craig Carlson

Ph.D. 1994 (Marine-Estuarine Environmental Sciences, University of Maryland College Park, MD, USA)


Biographical Information

I earned my B.A. in biology at Colby College, my Ph. D. in marine microbial ecology at the University of Maryland's Horn Point Laboratory, and my Postdoc investigating the biogeochemistry of marine dissolved organic matter at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS). I joined the BIOS faculty in the mid-1990's and served as PI or Co-PI of several projects, including the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study. I moved to the University of California Santa Barbara in 2001, where I have been a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology ever since. My microbial oceanographic research interests are an interdisciplinary blend of marine microbiology and organic biogeochemistry. My group strives to make quantitative links between microbial community dynamics and dissolved organic matter biogeochemistry in various coastal and open ocean systems. Over the past decade, I have served as Chair of my academic department, Chair of the U.S. Ocean, Carbon and Biogeochemistry SSC, and as Science Director of an international microbial oceanography program (BIOS-SCOPE). I am a US GO-SHIP executive committee member and serve on several editorial boards. I am honored to have received AGU's Ocean Science Early Career Award (2002), ASLO's G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award (2015), and was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2018).

Candidate Statement

I am running for ASLO president because I deeply value the Association's mission and guiding principles and am excited about the possibility of further serving the community that has been so instrumental in shaping my career as a scientist and educator.

ASLO is critically important to our science and societal needs. The 2005 National Academy Report on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research describes the mission of professional societies as one that educates and informs its members, sets the standards of their field(s), develops professional excellence, and raises public awareness of discipline relevant issues. ASLO does all that …and more! It sets the highest bar for aquatic scientists across the globe with its journals, international meetings, professional development programs, educational and mentoring resources, and awards programs. The rigorous interdisciplinary science published in Limnology and Oceanography (L&O), L&O Methods, and L&O Letters feeds scientific curiosity and stimulates new ideas while attracting new readers. The impact factors of these premiere journals continue to increase, with L&O letters and L&O now ranking within the top five of all journals published in the respective fields of limnology and oceanography. ASLO's far-reaching international network of diverse expertise provides a unique forum that promotes basic science discussion and debate. However, in the face of great environmental change, it is the collective apolitical scientific voice that advises policymakers and informs the general public on pressing issues affecting the aquatic ecosystems that is perhaps a more important role - especially at a time of increased scientific cynicism and misinformation.

Essential to the continued success of ASLO is retaining the excellence of its existing membership while actively engaging and recruiting new members. Continuing to build upon efforts that promote diversity and inclusivity, such as the open-access discussions in the Diverse Voices issue (L&O Bulletin) and activities like the student exchange program (LOREX) and Multicultural program, will help to advance further a structure that engages and attracts historically underrepresented groups to the aquatic sciences; thereby enriching ASLO's diverse expertise. ASLO has a strong record of developing innovative programs and resources to support its members. The professional development programs (i.e., meeting mentoring program, Eco-DAS symposium, career workshops), the pedagogy and mentorship resources (i.e., L&O e-Lectures series, online media library, and teaching and mentoring resources), and DEIJ online forum are just some examples. Continuing to survey and respond to the ASLO community's needs will also help attract and retain members.

I have been committed to service throughout my professional career, including ASLO. I have been a member of ASLO since entering graduate school in the late 1980s. Over the years, I have chaired numerous special sessions at the Aquatic and Ocean Science meetings and participated as a steering committee member for an Aquatic Science Meeting. I served on the Nominations Committee and the Awards Committee. Service to the aquatic science community is important. It would be an honor, if elected, to serve as president of ASLO.

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