[Coral-List] USCRTF Awards

Jim Hendee Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov
Fri May 19 11:43:02 EDT 2006


    It is my pleasure to bring to you the list of awards presented to
our colleagues at the recent U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Meeting in
Washington, DC.  Please join me in congratulating them!


U.S. Coral Reef Task Force
Award Recipients
Washington, D.C.
May 2006

Outstanding Scientific Advancement of Knowledge

Dr. Joseph H. Connell 
....For advancing scientific understanding of coral reef community
dynamics and the mechanisms that maintain, harm and facilitate coral
reef recovery through outstanding long-term observations, research, and
the development of ground-breaking ecological theories.
Dr. Joseph Connell is a Research Professor in the Ecology, Evolution &
Marine Biology Department at the University of California, Santa
Barbara. Connell's research has contributed to effective management of
coral reefs through the development of invaluable ecological theories
and empirical knowledge. His research was designed to increase the
understanding of the mechanisms that maintain, harm, and facilitate
recovery in coral reef ecosystems. Connell has spent over four decades
studying the processes that influence community structure and species
patterning in the coral reefs and rain forests of Australia, as well as
the California coastal marine environment. Long-term observation and
sampling by Connell of ecological communities of corals and algae on the
Great Barrier Reef has arguably produced the single most valuable data
set available for coral reef communities. Connell has been continuously
funded (since 1962) by the National Science Foundation's Division of
Ocean Sciences and Division of Environmental Biology.

Dr. John C. Ogden
....For outstanding efforts to promote scientific understanding of coral
reefs, from advancing undersea research to facilitating the application
of science in organizations undertaking coral reef research, management
and conservation throughout the world.

Dr. John Ogden has been a Professor of Biology at the University of
South Florida and Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography
since 1988. Ogden also helped to build the West Indies Laboratory in St.
Croix (USVI), operate the saturation diving facility Hydrolab for the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and direct the
construction and initial operations of Hydrolab's successor, Aquarius.
He was a member of the founding Advisory Council of the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary and is the former President of the
International Society for Reef Studies. Ogden serves on the national
boards of The Ocean Conservancy, SeaWeb, and the Florida Ocean Alliance
of business and academia. He is a former national board member of the
World Wildlife Fund and currently serves on its National Council. In
addition, he is an appointee of the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior
to the Marine Protected Area Federal Advisory Committee.

Outstanding Public Awareness and Education

Paul Humann and Ned Deloach 
....For outstanding efforts to advance public awareness and education
through the creation of the authoritative guides to the identification
of corals and coral reef organizations, and for founding an educational
organization dedicated to enhancing scientific and public understanding
of reef fish through volunteer monitoring.

Mr. Humann and Mr. DeLoach are a team of individuals that have made
extraordinary contributions to increasing public awareness,
appreciation, and understanding of coral reefs. They have published
numerous field guides for the identification of corals, coral reef
fishes, and other coral reef organisms, as well as described the
behavior of coral reef organisms through books and video. Their
authoritative guides are thoroughly researched and cover coral reefs in
the Caribbean, tropical Atlantic, tropical Eastern Pacific and tropical
Indo-Pacific regions. As a result of their work, the level of public
awareness, appreciation, and knowledge about the diversity, beauty, and
richness of coral reefs has been significantly enhanced.  One of their
important lasting contributions is the creation of the non-profit and
non-advocacy organization, Reef Environmental Education Foundation
(REEF). Through their efforts and vision for REEF, over 90,000 volunteer
diver fish surveys have been conducted by the public over the last
decade for use by scientists and managers. As coral reefs face
increasing stress, community stewardship will play an increasingly
critical role in promoting wise management decisions. REEF and the
groundbreaking materials developed by Mr. Humann and Mr. DeLoach are
playing a critical role in educating and inspiring innumerable divers,
snorkelers, and other citizens about the splendors of the coral reefs
and the need to protect and wisely manage them. Their combined efforts
have done for coral reef fishes in particular, what Audubon has done for

Outstanding Management

Dr. Alan E. Strong
....For the innovative development and application of technology to
create tools that advance effective management of coral bleaching, a
major threat to coral reef ecosystems worldwide.

Dr. Alan Strong recently retired from NOAA after 36 years of service
developing ocean temperature technology for use in the management of
coral reefs. In the 1990s, Dr. Strong developed the "Coral Bleaching
HotSpot," a product that detects high temperatures likely to cause
corals to bleach. Subsequently, Dr. Strong created the "Degree Heating
Week" product which NOAA's Coral Reef Watch uses to "nowcast" coral reef
bleaching from space. Dr. Strong received the Department of Commerce's
Silver Medal and NOAA's Bronze Medal for this work. These products
helped provide advance warning to coral reef managers and scientists of
the record-setting 2005 Caribbean bleaching event. Moreover, these
products have had a significant impact on advancing management and
research on coral bleaching and raised public awareness of coral
bleaching. Dr. Strong's work created an invaluable tool for the
management of coral reefs, and a model upon which coral bleaching
products and services are being developed worldwide.

Atlantic Acropora Biological Review Team (BRT) 
....For excellent collaborative research and assessment of the status of
Caribbean Acroporids for potential listing under the Endangered Species
Act. This status assessment allowed NOAA to fulfill its regulatory
requirements in a timely fashion, and has proven invaluable in advancing
scientific understanding of and management planning for these key coral

Mr. Rafe Boulon 
National Parks Service, Virgin Island National Park
Mr. Mark Chiappone
National Undersea Research Center, Florida Keys Research Program
Dr. Bob Halley 
U.S. Geological Survey
Mr. Walt Jaap
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Dr. Bill Kruczynski 
S. Florida Office of Water Management, Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Brian Keller
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Dr. Margaret Miller 
Southeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Dr. Caroline Rogers
U.S. Geological Survey, Caribbean Field Station

In 2003, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) received a
petition to list three species of coral under the Endangered Species Act
(ESA). Pursuant to federal regulations, NMFS convened a Biological
Review Team (BRT) to review the status of the Caribbean Acroporids
(Acropora palmata, A. cervicornis, and A. prolifera) in order to provide
guidance to NOAA in determining if these species warranted protection
under the ESA. The status review, "Atlantic Acropora Status Review," is
a peer-reviewed compilation of scientific information and an assessment
of current threats to Acroporids. The review describes the life history,
abundance and distribution, long-term changes, and threats to
Acroporids. Each member of the BRT dedicated invaluable time and effort
in writing, editing and finalizing the review. The BRT's incredible
efforts helped NOAA to fulfill its regulatory requirements in a timely
fashion. The review has received many accolades from numerous peers on
its quality, thoroughness, and utility. Currently, the review is being
edited for submission as a NOAA Technical Memorandum; it is already
utilized as required reading in undergraduate marine science and policy
classes and as reference material at the graduate school level.

Coral Champion

Senator Daniel K. Inouye 
....For outstanding leadership and dedication to the conservation of our
nation's coral reef ecosystems for future generations by fostering a
culture of respect and stewardship, empowering coastal communities to
nurture their connections to the fragile reefs that lie beside them.

Daniel K. Inouye, the third most senior member of the U.S. Senate, is
known for his distinguished record as a legislative leader, and as a
World War II combat veteran who earned the nation's highest award for
military valor, the Medal of Honor.  Senator Inouye was first elected to
the U.S. Senate in 1962 and is now serving his eighth consecutive term.
When Hawaii became a state in 1959, he was elected the first Congressman
from the new state, and was re-elected to a full term in 1960.  As the
Co-Chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee,
Senator Inouye has been able to focus on ocean protection and
conservation issues that are crucial for Hawaii, given its location in
the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  His efforts in this arena benefit not
only the State of Hawaii, but enhance the quality of life for coastal
communities around the United States and its Territories, the Freely
Associated States and other Pacific Island neighbor nations.  Year after
year, the Senator has bolstered coral reef research, conservation and
protection efforts legislatively and through various appropriations. 
Senator Inouye has worked to create a robust, thriving and growing
portfolio of marine conservation legislation and programs that benefit
Hawaii and coral jurisdictions throughout the United States. 

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