Students, faculty, and staff of the University of Delaware College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES) were recognized for their accomplishments at Honors Day ceremonies held Friday, May 4, at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.
College alumnus Dr. Gerhard Kuska was guest speaker for the event. Dr. Kuska is associate director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He delivered a presentation entitled, “An Ocean Roadmap for the Beltway and Beyond.”
Now in its 37th year, the College of Marine and Earth Studies is dedicated to advancing the knowledge, use, and conservation of the Earth, its oceans, and its other resources. The college produces well-rounded scientists and policy specialists who have the broad vision and interdisciplinary background necessary to address the sweeping, interrelated issues that are part of the study of ocean and earth systems.
Dr. Nancy M. Targett is dean of the college and Dr. Charles E. Epifanio is associate dean.
The college also serves as home to the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, a partnership among federal and state governments, universities, industry, and the public. Delaware Sea Grant focuses on the wise use, conservation, and management of marine and coastal resources.
Paul N. Ulrich, who earned his doctorate in marine biosciences earlier this academic year, received the E. Sam Fitz Award, which recognizes the student who has displayed the greatest aptitude for professional development in marine studies.
Frances Severance Academic Council awards for the best thesis or dissertation within a program area were awarded to the following students: Cindi A. Hoover, dissertation in marine biosciences; Ryan K. Dale, thesis in oceanography; and Guarav Saxena, thesis in physical ocean science and engineering.
Marian R. Okie Fellowships, based on academic and research excellence and demonstrated leadership abilities, were awarded to Nathan S. Garcia, doctoral student in oceanography; Andrew S. Madison, master’s student in oceanography; David A. Martel and Emily S. Maung, doctoral students in marine biosciences; Margaret H. Miller, master’s student in marine biosciences; Katherine E. Semmens, master’s student in marine policy; and K. Caitlin Snyder, doctoral student in marine policy.
Glenn D. Christman, master’s student in marine biosciences; Haifeng Wang, doctoral student in marine policy; and Meenal V. Gogte, doctoral student in oceanography, received CMES Program Fellowships, awarded on the basis of academic accomplishments during the 2006–2007 academic year.
University Dissertation Fellows awards for the 2007-2008 academic year were granted to Lide Jiang and Mia K. Steinberg, doctoral students in oceanography and marine biosciences, respectively. The award is granted on the basis of academic achievement, the need to devote full-time effort to dissertation writing, and the likelihood of completing the dissertation within one academic year.
David A. Martel, doctoral student in marine biosciences, received a University Graduate Fellows Award on the basis of academic and research excellence and demonstrated leadership abilities. Dominique A. Cowart, master’s candidate in marine biosciences, was granted a University Graduate Scholars Award. This award is given on the basis of academic and research accomplishments.
Katernya M. Wowk, doctoral student in marine policy, received the Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy Award for the best student contribution to the center. Functioning within CMES, the center focuses on legal, political, and economic issues affecting the marine environment.
The DuPont Clear into the Future Graduate Student Fellowship was awarded to Kelley Appleman, doctoral student in marine policy. The award supports efforts to increase scientific understanding of the Delaware Estuary.
Additional awards were presented in memory of two friends of the college. Julie A. Anderson, doctoral student in marine biosciences, received the Joanne Currier Daiber Fellowship, named in honor of the first female marine scientist hired by the University. Five Barbara Prosser Research Grants, named in honor of a UD alumna who worked on Delaware Bay issues, went to the following students: Benjamin J. Ciotti, doctoral student in marine biosciences; Brian Dzwonkowski, doctoral student in oceanography; Philip A. Muscarella, master’s student in physical ocean science and engineering; Joana Flor Tavares, master’s student in marine policy; and Katherine J. Skalak, doctoral student in geological sciences.
A publication award was presented to Cindi A. Hoover, who earned her doctorate in marine biosciences. Hoover’s paper, “Profiling transcriptome complexity and secondary metabolite synthesis in a benthic soft coral, Sinularia polydactyla,” was co-authored by Adam Marsh, associate professor of biosciences, and Marc Slattery, associate professor with the University of Mississippi. The paper was published in Marine Biotechnology.
Many students were the recipients of awards and fellowships from various local and national organizations. Elif Demir, doctoral student in oceanography, received the Center for the Inland Bays Award. This award is presented to the student who has demonstrated excellence in research that advances the resource management and educational mission of the center. Swaleha Bibi Hudaa Neetoo, doctoral student in animal science, received a Delaware Sea Grant student award in recognition of research excellence in the Delaware Sea Grant College Program.
The following students were 2006 recipients of National Science Foundation East-Asia Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship Awards: Hilary J. Stevens, doctoral student in geology; and Vanessa K. Michelou and Mia K. Steinberg, doctoral students in marine biosciences. Nicholas L. Venti, doctoral student in oceanography, was a 2007 recipient.
Jacquelyn M. Hess, master’s student in geology, and Susanne M. Moskalski, doctoral student in oceanography, received Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards in Geological Sciences. The University of Delaware/Delaware Biotechnology Institute awarded the first annual Preston C. Townsend Biotechnology Fellowship to Danielle M. Winget, doctoral student in oceanography. The American Fisheries Society presented Benjamin J. Ciotti, doctoral student in marine biosciences, with three awards—the Skinner Memorial Award (honorable mention), Marine Fisheries Section Student Travel Award, and Estuaries Section Student Travel Award.
Students were recognized for exemplary presentations and honors in other areas. Julie L. Smith, doctoral student in marine biosciences, was acknowledged for being invited to speak at Salisbury University. Her presentation was entitled, “Microbial Diversity in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.” Adam Skarke, master’s student in geology, received a Nortek Equipment Grant for his proposal, “Geologic Morphodynamics of an Inlet Associated Shoal: Hen and Chickens Shoal, Delaware.”
The Lighted Boat Parade at the annual Boast the Coast Festival in Lewes provides a unique opportunity for the college to showcase its creative skills. In October 2006, honorable mention for boats over 25 feet was awarded to the team of Jill Brown, doctoral student in marine biosciences; Julie A. Anderson, doctoral student in marine biosciences; Skye Schmidt, master’s student in marine biosciences; Emily L. Harrison, doctoral student in physical ocean science and engineering; Colleen D. Kernehan, 2006 master’s degree recipient; and Arthur J. Sundberg, assistant director of marine operations.
Faculty also were recognized for their teaching and research accomplishments. George W. Luther III, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies, received the Francis Alison Award—the University of Delaware’s highest faculty honor. Thomas M. Church was named E. I. du Pont Professor of Marine Studies. David L. Kirchman, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies, was elected chair and keynote speaker for the Gordon Conference on Marine Microbial Ecology. Science Spectrum magazine named Xiao-Hai Yan, Mary A. S. Lighthipe Professor of Marine Studies, as one of the “top minorities in science” for the second consecutive year. Yan was also named Honorary Zhijiang Chair Professor and Honorary Distinguished Chair Professor by East China Normal University and Xiamen University, respectively. Crawford H. Greenewalt Professor Pamela J. Green was named a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Lee G. Anderson, professor of marine policy, received the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade’s 2006 Distinguished Service Award.
Biliana Cicin-Sain, professor of marine policy and director of theGerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy, was appointed Visiting Professor of Ocean Policy at the United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies in Tokyo. Carolyn Thoroughgood, professor of marine studies and vice provost for research, was recognized for being named president-elect of The Oceanography Society. Nancy Targett, dean of CMES, was elected secretary of the National Sea Grant Association and co-chair of the National Research Council’s committee to review its Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy.
CMES also recognized the following participants in the CMES Docent Program, a corps of volunteer guides organized in 1992 to help inform the public of the college’s research and education activities: Gordon Blizard, Jr., Dorothy Daneggar, William Ebner, Charles Freed, Jerry Klavans, Russell Payne, and Rosalind Troupin.
In addition to the Honors Day event in Lewes, the college’s Department of Geological Sciences hosted a dinner and ceremony in Newark for students, their families, and faculty. The department recognized several outstanding undergraduate students. Jesse Fernandes received the Excellence in Geoscience Award, given annually to an outstanding junior or senior in geology, geophysics, or environmental science who has demonstrated academic excellence in the geosciences. Fernandes is a senior graduating in environmental science.
Earth science education major Trevor Metz received the department’s Outstanding Senior Award, given to a senior geology or earth science education major for demonstrated academic excellence. Livia Montone received the Special Merit Award, given to a junior or senior geology or earth science education major for outstanding contributions to the department. Montone is a senior majoring in geology with minors in chemistry and biology.