The A.G. Huntsman Foundation today announced that NCEAS Director, Ben Halpern, will receive the the 2016 A.G. Huntsman Award, presented by the Royal Society of Canada. The annual Huntsman award recognizes excellence in research and outstanding contributions to marine sciences by men and women of any nationality.
In their announcement, the Foundation lauded Halpern’s work on marine protected areas as having “transformed our understanding of where, why, and how protected areas affect marine species and systems and helped catalyze the explosion of MPA creation around the world in the past decade.”
“Receiving this award is really a great honor. Given the many and diverse disciplines within marine science that are recognized by the selection committee, the award is particularly meaningful.”
- Ben Halpern
The Foundation also made special note of Halpern’s role developing the Ocean Health Index (OHI) and its growing influence in assessing ocean health: “After the launch of this Index, governments and organizations from 28 different countries on every continent have developed or are developing regional OHI assessments; various United Nations assessment and reporting bodies include OHI as a main metric of ocean health; and many global conservation NGOs and Foundations are using the Index to track progress and inform investments.”
An independent selection committee of Canadian marine scientists selects recipients that have demonstrated a significant influence on the development of marine scientific thought and are anticipated to continue at the forefront of their field in the years to come. Previous American recipients include Scott Doney (2013), Katrina J. Edwards (2012), and Sallie (Penny) W. Chisolm (2005).
The award ceremony will take place at 2:00 pm on Thursday 17 November 2016 at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Following the ceremony, Dr. Halpern will present a distinguished lecture entitled “Opportunities and Challenges for Aquaculture to Feed the Planet.” The award, established in 1980, was created to honor the memory of Archibald Gowanlock Huntsman (1883–1972), pioneer Canadian oceanographer and fishery biologist.