Biologists Jacqueline Grebmeier and Lee Cooper received an Alaska Ocean Leadership Award from the Alaska SeaLife Center in January. The awards are given annually to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the awareness and sustainability of the state’s marine resources.
The Marine Research Award is given to a scientist, team of scientists, or an institution that is acknowledged by peers to have made an original breakthrough contribution to any field of scientific knowledge about Alaska’s oceans.
Grebmeier and Cooper, whose home base is the Cheseapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons have shown major leadership in Pacific Arctic marine research over the past several decades. Both conducted their Ph.D. work at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and are now Research Professors at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
Spending most of their past 30 summers at sea in Alaska’s arctic, both have participated in dozens of research cruises, many as chief scientists.
Through involvement in high level national committees, strong management skills, and deep knowledge of the Pacific Arctic, they have provided important leadership in large research programs, such as BEST- BSIERP, the Pacific Arctic Marine Regional Synthesis, and the Distributed Biological Observatory, a project that brings scientists from around the world together to systematically track the biological response to sea ice retreat and the resulting environmental changes in the North American Arctic.