Skip to main content
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary National Marine Sanctuaries Home Page National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Home Page

Ed Ricketts Memorial Award and Lecture

History of Ed Ricketts Memorial Award and Lecture

Ed Ricketts was born in Chicago in 1897 and studied ecology at the University of Chicago. He moved to the Monterey Peninsula in 1923 and opened Pacific Biological Laboratories, providing specimens and slides to research institutions. Ricketts met John Steinbeck in 1930 and became a major influence on the author writing and philosophy, serving as the inspiration for many notable Steinbeck characters. On their famous trip aboard the Western Flyer, Ricketts and Steinbeck explored the Gulf of California and collaborated on the book The Sea of Cortez. Ricketts also wrote Between Pacific Tides, an ecological handbook of intertidal marine life that is still used as a textbook at many universities. The scientific catalogue of organisms documented by Ricketts, both aboard the Western Flyer and during his other studies, has been invaluable to marine scientists. His work and unconventionally holistic approach to science has inspired generations of researchers.

The Ed Ricketts Memorial Lecture was created to honor people who have exhibited exemplary work throughout their career and advanced the status of knowledge in the field of marine science. The first award was presented in March 1986 at a conference at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Recipients are selected by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Research Activity Panel.


Year Recipient Title of Lecture
2014 Francisco Chavez The Oceanography of the MBNMS Today and in the Future
2013 Mark Carr What Would Ed Do? Innovations in Science and Management of Kelp Forest Ecosystems in the 21st Century
2012 Ken Johnson What Does $4,000,000,000/Year in Agriculture Mean to Our Coastal Ocean? Lessons from LOBO (the Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory)
2011 Michael S. Foster The Biology of Giant Kelp: Implications for Kelp Forests and Beyond
2010 Rikk Kvitek From "You've Got to be Kidding!" To "Ah-Ha!" Hope for Our Oceans Through Insight and Innovation
2009 Bruce Robison Heroes of Future Past: Deep Pelagic Research in Monterey Bay
2008 James P. Barry Changing the World One Breath at at Time: Humans, Climate, and Ocean Ecosystems
2007 Gary Griggs California's Central Coast: Observations, Changes and Human Impacts
2006 David Epel Lessons Learned: How Worldwide Pollution Happened in the Past, How it's Happening Again and a Solution for the Future
2005 Barbara A. Block Hot Tuna: Electronic Tagging of Highly Migratory Fish Reveal New Inisghts fo Fisheries Management and Oceanography
2004 John Pearse The Health of the Ocean's Intertidal: Then, Now, and in the Future
2003 James Estes Defaunated Food Webs: Vertebrate Consumers and Nature's Balance
2002 Jane Lubchenco Seas the Day - Navigating Uncharted Waters in Ricketts' Backyard
2001 Mary Silver A Local Story: Harmful Algae in Monterey Bay
2000 Paul K. Dayton Long-Term Changes in Kelp Forests and Their Assemblages
1999 Joseph Connell Long-Term Dynamics of Corals on Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef
1998 George Somero Faunal Changes in Monterey Bay: Is Global Warming Starting to "Hurt"?
1997 Greg Cailliet Below Pacific Tides: The Predictability, Diversity and Importance of Habitats for Marine Fishes
1996 Steve Webster Ed Ricketts, Where Are You When We Need You?
1995 Dick Parrish Sardines
1994 Wayne Sousa Mudsnails in Space: the Metapopulation Dynamics of Cerithidea
1992 Jim Childress Deep Stuff
1991 Walter Munk Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate, in Gestation
1990 Gene Haderlie Historical Perspectives on Research in Monterey Bay
1989 John Martin Iron in the Ocean
1988 Sandy Lydon History of Peoples of Monterey Bay
1987 Dick Barber Recruitment of Eastern pacific by Larvae Riding El Niño Currents
1986 Joel Hedgepeth History of Natural History Exploration Hereabouts


TOP

2014 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Francisco Chavez

Senior Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

The Oceanography of the MBNMS Today and in the Future

Debris is defined as the remains of something broken down or destroyed. In keeping with the theme of the conference I use the definition liberally to include carbon dioxide (CO2) resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere resulting from the burning of fossil fuels leads to changes in climate as well as an increase in ocean acidity. I use historical records to describe variations in the oceanography and ecosystems of the Pacific and in the waters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Past variations allow for speculation about what might occur in the future.

About Francisco Chavez

Francisco Chavez is a biological oceanographer with interests in how climate variability and change regulate ocean ecosystems on local and basin scales. He was born and raised in Peru, has a BS from Humboldt State and a PhD from Duke University. He was one of the founding members of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) where he has pioneered time series research and the development of new instruments and systems to make this type of research sustainable. Chavez has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers with 10 in Nature and Science. He is past member of the National Science Foundation Geosciences Advisory Committee, has been heavily involved in the development of the US Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), is a member of the Governing Board of the Central and Northern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and the Science Advisory Team for the California Ocean Protection Council. Chavez is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences; honored for distinguished research on the impact of climate variability on oceanic ecosystems and global carbon cycling. He was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad Pedro Ruiz Gallo in Peru in recognition of his distinguished scientific career and for contributing to elevate academic and cultural levels of university communities in particular and society in general.


TOP

2013 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Mark Carr

Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

What Would Ed Do? Innovations in Science and Management of Kelp Forest Ecosystems in the 21st Century

Edward Ricketts was among the exceptional marine natural historians of the 20th century. His creative and diligent observations of species and communities through time generated insights into the environmental processes and species interactions that shape rocky intertidal ecosystems. Today we emulate these approaches by combining long-term observations with emerging technologies to generate insights into the processes that determine geographic patterns of community structure, population replenishment and productivity of kelp forest ecosystems. By combining remotely sensed oceanographic and seafloor features with advanced diving technology and large scale, long-term surveys we reveal the processes that drive the structure of coastal marine communities and provide insights into their conservation and management.

About Mark Carr

Dr. Mark Carr is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz (http://research.pbsci.ucsc.edu/eeb/rclab/). He received his BA in Biology at UC Santa Cruz, his MS at San Francisco State University and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and his PhD at UC Santa Barbara. Before coming to UCSC, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Zoology Department at Oregon State University and a faculty researcher at UC Santa Barbara.

Mark's research focuses on the population and community ecology of tropical and temperate coastal marine fishes, and coastal marine ecosystems. Much of his research has focused on the oceanographic processes and habitat features (e.g. giant kelp forests) that influence patterns of fish recruitment and population replenishment; interactions within and between species that regulate marine populations; and biotic and abiotic processes that influence the structure and functions of kelp forest ecosystems. To explore each of these, he combines long-term, large scale monitoring studies and field experiments. His ecological research informs management and conservation topics including artificial reefs, ecosystem-based management of kelp forest ecosystems, the design and evaluation of marine protected areas, collaborative fisheries research, ecosystem-based fisheries management, and large-scale, long-term monitoring studies. He is a principal investigator with the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), a multi-university consortium designed to conduct interdisciplinary research that informs coastal marine management and policy.

Mark teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in ecology, marine ecology, and marine conservation. His graduate students study the ecology of coastal marine fishes, freshwater salmonids, and kelp forest ecosystems. He is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow. He served as Co-chair of the Science Advisory Team to California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) and California's Ocean Protection Council (OPC). He sits on the steering committee for CAMEO, a funding program for marine ecosystem research jointly sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the National Marine Fisheries Service.


TOP

2012 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Ken Johnson

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

What Does $4,000,000,000/Year in Agriculture Mean to Our Coastal Ocean? Lessons from LOBO (the Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory)

Monterey Bay sits at the end of the Salinas Valley, one of the most productive and intensely farmed systems in the country. The value of Monterey County crop sales exceeded $4,000,000,000 in 2010 and agriculture is the largest element of Monterey County's economy. The runoff from this system flows in to Monterey Bay and presents a variety of potential impacts on the ecosystem, including stimulation of algal blooms due to excess nutrients. A delicate balance is required to maintain a sustainable food supply and to protect the ocean environment, which is a focal point of tourism, the second largest element of the County's economy. Managing such an ecosystem requires a timely flow of reliable information about the state of environment; just as running a business requires timely information on expenditures, revenues and projections of future opportunities. In modern business, the information must flow in real time, with up-to-date information on current market conditions, variable production costs and a multitude of other parameters required to remain competitive.

The focus of this talk will be on the benefits and opportunities that arise from using real time information systems in the environment. The Land-Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory (LOBO) is a network of chemical and biological sensors that have been operated in the waters of Elkhorn Slough, the Old Salinas River Channel and in Monterey Bay since 2003. Data flows directly to the Internet, where it is available to the public at www.mbari.org/lobo. The lessons learned in tracking nitrate concentrations as they flow through this system, and their impacts on the environment will be the main emphasis.

About Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson is a Senior Scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, where his work focuses on development of novel chemical sensors for seawater and their use throughout the world ocean. He received his BS degrees in Chemistry and Oceanography from the University of Washington in 1975 and his Ph.D. from Oregon State University in 1979. After 10 years at UC Santa Barbara, Ken moved to the Monterey Bay area with joint appointments at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in 1988. He moved to MBARI full time in 1999. Ken's interest in agriculture stems both from participating in ocean iron fertilization experiments during the 1990's and from working in the fields picking strawberries as a young teenager.


TOP

2011 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Michael S. Foster

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

The Biology of Giant Kelp: Implications for Kelp Forests and Beyond

The distribution and abundance of organisms is the dynamic outcome of interactions between their life histories and biological requirements, and the environment. This is especially obvious in plants that cannot pull up their holdfasts and swim away to avoid unfavorable conditions. Thus plant population dynamics, combined with knowledge of their biology, can be used to understand environmental change from the inside out. Giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is an especially good indicator of conditions in the nearshore ecosystem as it samples from the bottom to the surface at scales from microns to kilometers, responds relatively rapidly to variation in substrate, sedimentation, light, nutrients and wave forces, and the responses can be assessed remotely.

The efficacy of using giant kelp as an indicator is shown by a re-analysis of the extent and causes of kelp forest declines in southern California beginning in the 1940s. Declines were primarily in two large, mainland kelp forests and the patterns of decline reflected increases in sedimentation, reduction in benthic light, and increases in toxic chemicals from sewage discharge and coastal development. Low nutrients and high temperatures during the 1957-9 El Niño caused additional losses. The forests began to recover in the 1960s - 1970s with improvements in sewage management but complete recovery has not occurred due to habitat loss and likely continued sedimentation and impaired water quality. This and other examples illustrate how giant kelp populations can inform about past and present environmental change. They also show that from giant kelp's point of view marine reserves with more and bigger fish are fine, but successful management largely depends on maintaining benthic and water quality.

About Michael S. Foster

Mike Foster's interest in marine science began in 1964 while an undergraduate in the Spring Course at Hopkins Marine Station. This led to a Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in 1972, and 30 years as a professor at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. His primary research interest is the population and community ecology of macroalgae. His research has ranged across many habitats and themes, including the causes of intertidal zonation, the structure and organization of kelp and rhodolith communities, and the impacts of oil spills and thermal discharges from power plants on temperate reefs.

Mike has been a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico, and is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. His interests in understanding nature continue to be inspired by his early mentors and friends Michael Neushul and Isabella A. Abbott, the enthusiasm and abilities of his students and colleagues, and the magnificence of seaweeds.


TOP

2010 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Rikk Kvitek

Professor, California State University Monterey Bay

From "You've Got to be Kidding!" To "Ah-Ha!"
Hope for Our Oceans Through Insight and Innovation

Need, frustration, breakthrough and surprise is a trajectory common to many enterprises, especially science, where answers are often sought beyond the "You've Got to Be Kidding!" edge of what seems possible. Indeed, it is often frustration-induced lateral thinking that brings us to those Ah-Ha! moments of insight, innovation and breakthrough. Choosing or being forced to see things differently can make all the difference. Now, with our coastal oceans and communities facing the unprecedented threats of global warming, climate change, sea level rise, acidification, pollution, storm intensification, fishery declines, coastal erosion, harmful algal blooms, and more, we are in need of Ah-Ha! insights and solutions more than ever before. Not the least of which being ways to enhance public environmental literacy. Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) has been championed for over a decade as the pursuit and use of deeper ecosystem understanding to drive effective adaptive management solutions for the sustainable use of environmental goods and services. But it is difficult to understand, let alone agree upon and manage what you cannot see. Recent advances in our ability to collect and utilize spatially explicit data for the visualization of California's marine ecosystems have sprung from and lead to surprising insights that are making EBM both possible and personal. Here I use the ambitious, multi-institutional California Seafloor Mapping Project as a case in point for how transformational technology and data are changing for the better the way the public, agencies and scientists see, manage and interact with the marine environment. Stunning imagery, basic and applied scientific collaborations and breakthroughs, enhanced public environmental literacy, critical work force development, innovative resource utilization, and effective policy and management decisions are all now flowing from this type of strategic investment in state-of-the-art marine environmental data.

About Rikk Kvitek

Rikk Kvitek is an outstanding marine scientist, educator, and public servant who has focused most of his work over the last 20+ years on applied projects in Monterey Bay and Elkhorn Slough. He received his M.S. in invertebrate zoology at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and then his Ph.D. at the University of Washington. Upon graduation, he spent many years as a benthic ecologist working in polar and coastal systems. He finally accepted a faculty position as a professor at CSUMB, where he has created and now oversees that university's very successful geospatial curriculum (GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing) and also created and directs CSUMB's Seafloor Mapping Lab (SFML), which is within the Spatial Information, Visualization and Analysis (SIVA) Center. He served as interim dean of Science, Media Arts, and Technology, but is now back to teaching and research full time.

Dr. Kvitek and his students have provided detailed, timely, and accurate information about seafloor terrain, habitats, and ecology to a variety of government agencies around the Monterey Bay including the MBNMS, the California Coastal Commission, and the California Department of Fish and Game. He is an accomplished teacher and uses the Seafloor Mapping Lab with its two research vessels, side scan sonar, multibeam bathymetry unit, and ROV as a real-world, hands-on "classroom" for dozens of undergraduate students each semester. Thus, he provides unprecedented opportunities for these students to gain first hand experience with state-of-the-art marine technologies for seafloor mapping and habitat characterization, as well as the processes of analyzing data and preparing it for publication.

The majority of the dozens of projects that Dr. Kvitek has completed with his students directly benefit the Sanctuary and other stakeholders around the bay (as well as elsewhere in California, the Pacific Northwest, and even Antarctica). For example, his students have done multibeam mapping of SIMoN priority habitat areas within the MBNMS. They have characterized the benthic and planktonic communities of Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve and mapped underwater erosion rates and locations in the Slough. They have conducted extensive seafloor mapping and habitat characterization projects for MBNMS, as well as other Sanctuaries including Channel Islands, Cordell Banks, and Olympic Coast. The experiences students have gained through these projects have enabled them to move right into excellent jobs with local agencies (e.g., California Department of Fish and Game) and to get into some of the most competitive graduate school programs in the country. In summary, Rikk Kvitek has contributed in substantial ways to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, many local agencies, and hundreds of students, many of whom are now, as graduates, assuming leadership roles related to the management of ocean resources in our communities.


TOP

2009 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Bruce Robison

Senior Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Heroes of Future Past: Deep Pelagic Research in Monterey Bay

Henry Bryant Bigelow, Tage Skogsberg, Rolf Bolin and Eric Barham are names we seldom hear these days but each man played an important role in the development of our understanding of the animals that live in the deep waters of Monterey Bay. In 1928 Bigelow conducted a reconnaissance survey of the waters and plankton of Monterey Bay. Skogsberg initiated the first long-term hydrobiological survey of Monterey Bay that ran from 1929 to 1937. Bolin surveyed deep waters over the Monterey Submarine Canyon in the 1950s; and Barham brought new methods to bear on questions of animal distribution patterns over the Canyon. The legacy of these four scientists is a historical record of oceanographic conditions and biological patterns in the water column of Monterey Bay that reaches back eighty years.

In 1995 MBARI began a new time-series of pelagic measurements using technologies that could only have been dreamed of in 1928. This time series is the only data set of its kind and because of it, Monterey Bay is becoming the world's reference community for deep pelagic ecology. When we compare data from the historic surveys with the current one we find both similarities and differences in the species composition, relative abundance, and vertical distribution of animals in the deep water column - patterns that tell us how the midwater community has changed over the long term. The modern data set has also revealed significant short-term variations that may reflect an accelerated rate of change due to human influence. Ed Ricketts contributed directly to the surveys of Bigelow and Skogsberg; he was a friend to Bolin; and an inspiration to Barham and all who follow.

About Bruce Robison

Dr. Bruce Robison received his PhD from Stanford University in 1973. He spent two years conducting postdoctoral research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, before returning home to California, and to UC Santa Barbara. In 1987 he joined the newly formed Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Robison's research is focused on the biology and ecology of deep sea animals, particularly those that inhabit the oceanic water column. He pioneered the use of undersea vehicles for these studies and he led the first team of scientists trained as research submersible pilots. As pilot or observer, Robison has spent a good portion of his career in deep water, aboard more than a dozen different submersibles. At MBARI, his research team has focused on the development of remotely operated vehicles as research platforms for deep-sea research.

Bruce Robison is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. In 2002 he received the Marine Technology Society's Lockheed-Martin Award for Ocean Science and Engineering. In 2007 he was a Resident Scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center. His research in deep-sea ecology has carried him throughout the Pacific, to the Atlantic, and to the oceanic waters around Antarctica. He is the author of two books and more than ninety scientific publications on a wide range of organisms from fishes, squids and jellies to krill, dolphins and algae.


TOP

2008 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

James P. Barry

Senior Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Changing the World One Breath at a Time: Humans, Climate, and Ocean Ecosystems

Science and technology have improved human health and promoted the rapid growth of world population, while simultaneously accelerating our exploitation of fossil fuels to provide energy for modern life. This has led to a massive increase in emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and serious concern for our role in ongoing climate change. Rare 20 years ago, links between global warming and changes in terrestrial and marine ecosystems are now commonplace. Less widely known is the role played by the oceans in the climate system, the effects of CO2 emissions on ocean chemistry, and their potential consequences for ocean ecosystems. In only the past few years a new term, "ocean acidification" has been coined to describe the rapid increase in ocean acidity caused by the influx of waste CO2 from the atmosphere. Projections of future ocean chemistry driven by our rapidly rising CO2 emissions are startling, with increases in ocean acidity unseen for many millions of years. How will this event affect the health of ocean ecosystems? Oceanographers are now attempting to identify the possible consequences of changing ocean conditions on phytoplankton productivity, coral reef health, deep-sea animals, and marine food chains. The fossil record of analogous events in Earth's geologic history suggests that the future ocean ecosystems could be quite different. Should we care?

About James Barry

With degrees in biology, zoology and biological oceanography, James Barry is a Senior Scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), a non-profit research institute in Moss Landing, California. As an oceanographer and marine ecologist, Barry has pursued a number of research interests at MBARI, supported mainly through the use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) diving in the deep waters off Central California. His research program focuses principally on the biology and ecology of marine animals, with research themes that have spanned various topics, such as; 1) chemosynthetic biological communities in the eastern Pacific and Japan, 2) benthic-pelagic coupling in polar and temperate continental shelf and slope habitats, and 3) the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on marine ecosystems. For the past several years, Barry's research has centered on studies of the consequences of rising ocean acidity on marine organisms, from either the direct injection of waste CO2 into the deep-sea, or by the passive influx of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


TOP

2007 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Gary B. Griggs

Director, Institute of Marine Sciences and Professor of Earth Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz

California's Central Coast: Observations, Changes and Human Impacts

About Gary Griggs

Dr. Griggs received his B.A. in Geology in 1965 from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from Oregon State University in 1968. He has been a Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz since 1968 and has served as Chairman of the Department of Earth Sciences, Associate Dean of Natural Sciences, and has been the Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Long Marine Laboratory since 1991. He has served as Chair of the University of California Marine Council since its inception in 1999. He also serves on the executive committee of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) and on the California Sea Grant Advisory Board. In 1998 he was given the Outstanding Faculty Award in the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. In 2003 he was given the CSBPA Joe Johnson Coastal Research Award. The UCSC Alumni Association honored him with a Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007.

His research and teaching have been focused on the coast of California and include coastal processes, hazards, and coastal engineering. He was a senior Fulbright scholar in Greece, has also conducted collaborative marine research in Italy and New Zealand. Dr. Griggs has written over 140 articles for professional journals as well as co-authored several books: The Earth and Land Use Planning; Geologic Hazards, Resources and Environmental Planning; Living with the California Coast; Californiaís Coastal Hazards: A Critical Assessment of Existing Land Use Policies and Practices; Coastal Protection Structures and Their Effectiveness; Living with the Changing California Coast and The Santa Cruz Coast: Then and Now.


TOP

2006 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

David Epel

Professor, Marine Sciences, Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University

Lessons Learned: How Worldwide Pollution Happened in the Past, How it's Happeneing Again and a Solution For the Future

How is it possible to contaminate the entire globe with man-made chemicals? We saw this happen in the 1960's with DDT and the PCBs, and many of us were certain that the lessons learned then would prevent a similar occurrence ever happening again.

Well, we were wrong. One surprise was that new man-made chemicals called perfluorocarbons, were turning up in albatross and polar bears. We see these every day as stain repellants such as Scotchguards or non-stick cookware such as Teflons. Others, such as the synthetic fragrances put into detergents, have been found in fish and mussels. Somehow these chemicals got out of their bottles and into the world I will describe the detective work that led to these findings and the new insights that begin to explain how the seemingly solid stuff from frying pans and carpet coatings can escape into the environment and contaminate the globe.

This news sounds grim, but there are solutions. One comes from our research that shows how these chemicals accumulate in organisms. This research suggests ways to modify these chemicals so that they can still have their good side but without the untoward consequences. But what if we are wrong, and we learn too late that other chemicals are contaminating the globe? Global monitoring can dtect such chemicals before they become problems. I will present ideas about such a worldwide surveillance system, how they are being better understood and followed as we progress into the 21st.

About David Epel

David Epel is the Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor of Marine Sciences at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley, and did post-doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania. His past research used the embryos of marine organisms to study fertilization and early development. His recent work focuses on how these embryos protect themselves and this new path led to his interest on how pollutants can become global contaminants that affect oceanic as well as human health.

Epel has been a Guggenheim Fellow and Overseas Fellow of Cambridge, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the California Academy of Sciences and the 2004 Distinguished Fellow in Science and Technology of California State University, Monterey Bay. He also was awarded the Allan A. Cox Medal for Fostering Excellence in Undergraduate Research at Stanford University.

He and his wife Lois have been residents of the Monterey Peninsula since 1965 except for seven years when he was a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Locally, Epel has served on the Board of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and recently the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club. He is one of the founders of the Coastal and Ocean Round Table, a venue where leaders in government, business and academe discuss issues of the marine environment.


TOP

2005 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Barbara A. Block

Tuna Research and Conservation Center, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA

Hot Tuna: Electronic Tagging of Highly Migratory Fish Reveal New Insights for Fisheries Management and Oceanography

Top marine predators such as tunas, sharks, billfishes, mammals and sea turtles have historically been difficult to study due to their size, speed and range over the vast oceanic habitat.The developement of small microprocessor-based data storage tags that are surgically implanted or satellite-linked provide marine researchers new technology for examining their movements, physiology and behaviors. When biological and physical data from the tags are combined with remote sensing, the relationship between the movements and behaviors of organisms can be linked to environment.Tag-bearing marine animals can function as autonomous ocean profilers providing oceanographic data wherever their migrations take them. These new animal-collected oceanic data complement more traditional methodologies for ocean observation. We have deployed over 1000 electronic tags on Northern bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The tagging data are providing new insights into their seasonal movements, habitat utilization, breeding behaviors and population structures in both oceans. In addition, the data are revealing migration cooridors, hot spots and physical oceanographic patterns that are key to understanding how Northern bluefin tunas use the open ocean environment. The data are critical for establishing new boundaries for domestic and international management. Similar data are now being obtained simultaneously for twenty pelagic species in the Tagging of Pacific Pelagics (TOPP) program. Animal tracks are simultaneously being mapped upon images from multiple satellites that provide information on ocean structure, circulation, and production, which collectively define the attributes of biological hot spots. The results provide important new data for conservation and management of pelagic ecosystems in the 21st century.

About Barbara A. Block

Professor Barbara Block, the Prothro Professor of Biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station and the Co-Director of the Tuna Research and Conservation Center, has made remarkably broad contributions to marine science. Her work ranges from molecular studies of heat-generating mechanisms in warm-bodied pelagic fish like tuna and swordfish, to the development of informed conservation policies for these highly exploited species. Her field studies have revealed the vast distances over which these species move, a finding that fisheries policy makers must take into account. Her tracking studies also seek to identify the breeding sites of tuna, to better enable protection of these species during critical stages of their life histories. For her extraordinary studies in molecular evolution, thermal physiology, field behavior and conservation, Dr. Block has been recognized with several major awards, including a McArthur Foundation Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigators Award, and a Pew Foundation Marine Conservation Fellowship. As one of the world's leading marine scientists in the areas of evolutionary physiology and conservation, Dr. Block is a most deserving recipient of the Ricketts Award.

George Somero
Director - Hopkins Marine Station


TOP

2004 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

John Pearse

Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory University of California, Santa Cruz

The Health of the Ocean's Intertidal: Then, Now, and in the Future

The intertidal region along the world's shorelines acts as a dynamic interface between land, air, and sea. Particles in the air fall onto the land and sea to be washed into the intertidal from both directions, and other materials of terrestrial and marine origins mix in the intertidal to become airborne in bursts of spray. The intertidal is most of all a zone of changes in space and time, and on many scales. Sites only a few meters or even centimeters apart differ dramatically in continually varying physical challenges from wave force or stagnation, sudden peaks or drops in temperature, and rain or desiccation. And both subtle and abrupt changes occur over time scales ranging from minute-to-minute variations to slow shifts over centuries and millennia. People are seizing an ever-increasing role in shaping the intertidal region, including the animals and plants found there. In turn, changes seen in the intertidal can serve people as a "miner's canary" of the health of the ocean. My talk will explore changes seen in the rocky intertidal of central California during the 20th century, and how they are being better understood and followed as we progress into the 21st.

About John Pearse

Dr. John Pearse is an institution in the Monterey Bay region. As one of the leading invertebrate zoologists and ecologists for several decades in his position at U.C.S.C., John has set a standard. He is best known for his work in the rocky intertidal, especially for his long-term survey approach and for including grade school students in his studies, something that was noted and supported by the California Sea Grant College Program and now is also supported by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He also has taught subtidal ecology courses and has influenced many students. His work on the reproduction of echinoderms is well respected. Even though John is retired from UCSC, he continues to be active, both at his research activities and at being involved in public issues relating to the Sanctuary and its remarkable marine resources.


TOP

2003 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

James Estes

Adjunct Professor of Biology U.S. Geological Survey and Institute of Marine Sciences Long Marine Lab U.C. Santa Cruz

Defaunated Food Webs: Vertebrate Consumers and Nature's Balance

Food webs are defined by who eats whom, thus establishing a complex network of pathways by which species may be connected with one another in nature. While this dimension to food web complexity has been well studied in many ecosystems, little is known about how food webs work. For example, ecologists are still struggling to understand such fundamental questions as the relative importance of bottom-up vs. top-down control, and the effects of direct vs. indirect food web linkages in population regulation. My lecture will explore these questions as they relate to large vertebrates, especially apex or high trophic-level predators. The progressive loss of global biodiversity has been disproportionately great for large vertebrates, in part because these animals are intrinsically rare and in part because people selectively exploit them. This pattern is well known for prehistoric, historic, and modern times. But the consequences of these losses to ecosystem function are poorly known, and in truth they have been a matter of minor concern to resource managers and policy makers in the larger scheme of things. I will argue that the selective defaunation of large vertebrates from the world?s ecosystems has been instrumental in a wide array of indirect effects, most of which are undesirable to human welfare. Three examples (two from terrestrial ecosystems, one from the marine realm) will be used to illustrate how changes in the abundance and distribution of large vertebrates may have caused ripple effects?ecological chain reactions?to spread across their associated food webs, sometimes with important yet unforeseeable consequences. These examples, like many others, contain elements of uncertainty. I will conclude with a discussion of the implications of this uncertainty to science and policy, focusing in particular on ocean ecosystems.

About James A. Estes

Jim Estes received a B.A from the University of Minnesota in 1967, a M.S. from Washington State University in 1969, and a Ph.D from the University of Arizona in 1974. Following completion of his graduate studies, Dr. Estes moved to Alaska where he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a variety of issues concerning arctic marine wildlife until 1978. In 1979 he moved to Santa Cruz. He is currently a research scientist with the US Geological Survey and holds adjunct faculty positions in biology and marine sciences at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Dr. Estes' primary research interest concerns the nature and importance of species interactions, especially those resulting from the influence of apex predators. He has employed a wide range of experimental, comparative, and historical approaches to understanding the dynamics of species interactions in coastal marine ecosystems. Much of his field research has focused on the direct and indirect influences of sea otter predation in kelp forest ecosystems. This work now provides one of the better-known examples of the keystone species concept, indirect species interactions, and trophic cascades. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and supervised the training of 27 graduate students. He is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Arizona. He has served on the editorial boards of Ecology/Ecological Monographs, Animal Conservation, Marine Ecology Progress Series, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment; on the Science Advisory Board for the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis; on the Southern Sea Otter Recovery Team; and as a National Research Council Study Panel member.


TOP

2002 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Jane Lubchenco

Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology, Oregon State University

Seas the Day - Navigating Uncharted Waters in Ricketts' Backyard

A broad suite of ocean-based and land-based activities is changing the nearshore ecosystems of the California Current Systems (CCS) off the West Coast of Washington, Oregon and California, in unprecedented ways. These changes present formidable challenges to meeting the goals of protecting and restoring marine ecosystems. New scientific understanding about how these ecosystems function, how they are changing, and how they providethe goods and services people expect is providing critical new insight into how we can navigate the unchartered waters of ocean protection and restoration. PISCO (the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans) is a unique consortium of marine ecologists, oceanographers, physiologists, molecular biologists, biomechanics experts and other marine scientists dedicated to a more integrated understanding of the dynamics of the inner shelf region of the CCS. Among other approaches, PISCO utilizes and develops new technology to tackle long-standing, unresolved, and critical questions. Highlights of PISCO's new insights into Rickett's back yard will be presented.


TOP

2001 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Mary Silver

Professor of Ocean Sciences, Ocean Sciences Department, University of California, Santa Cruz

A Local Story: Harmful Algae in Monterey Bay?

In coastal waters worldwide, accounts of harmful algal blooms are on the rise. The Monterey Bay region has long been known as hosting toxic algae (phytoplankton) that can cause human illness. Indeed, the original connection between shellfish poisoning and algal toxins resulted from shrewd detective work by physicians and marine scientists investigating a shellfish poisoning event that affected individuals from Monterey Bay to San Francisco in the late 1920s. Since then, California has achieved the record of having the longest running monitoring program for paralytic shellfish toxins, the agent of poisoning in the 20's event and one of the most dangerous marine toxins. Since 1991, however, poisoning events involving seabirds and marine mammals have pointed to the presence of previously unknown algal toxins in the Monterey Bay region. At least 3 and possibly classes of algal toxins have now been found locally. Because of the animal kills, the Monterey Bay region has become a center for research on algal toxins, not so much due to potential dangers to humans, but to the opportunity the toxins have provided local scientists to examine physiological and ecological processes that these dramatic tracers highlight. Indeed, reports of medical problems caused by algal toxins are rare in Monterey Bay, whose coastal waters are still relatively clean. Fortunately, the unusually heightened state of awareness of these toxins provides a measure of local protection not found in many other regions of the world. Research on the patterns of occurrence of toxic species, the passage of the toxins through food chains, plus the development of powerful new technologies for their detection, suggest that the Monterey Bay research community will help protect regional fisheries as well as clarify the oceanographic and biological context of a phenomenon increasingly present in coastal regions around the world.

 


TOP

2000 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Paul K. Dayton

Professor, Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Long-Term Changes in Kelp Forests and Their Assemblages

This lecture will discuss the importance of long-term data with examples from southern California kelp forests and the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) program. In addition, once there are long-term data over large areas, it is possible to expand the synthesis with satellites. So, with good time series data one can vary the scales of interest and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the systems in question. Some such data are available in the Monterey area, but considering the highdensity of marine biologists and the keen public interest, one might have expected more baseline studies. While many are now underway, an argument can be made for a larger CalCOFI analog with several transects across the shelf. Remote stations and buoys can offer important physical insights, but it takes a real shipboard program to collect the biological samples so necessary to our future understanding of these large scale patterns.

 


TOP

1999 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Joseph Connell

Research Professor of Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Long-Term Dynamics of Corals on Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef

At Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, over a 30 year period, the abundance and recruitment of reef-building corals varied drastically, at several scales of space and time. At five of the six study areas, the abundance of corals declined nearly to zero at some time during the study period. Recurrent hurricanes were a major cause of coral mortality. Hurricane damage varied considerably among the different study areas. At different sites, both the degree of damage caused, and the rate and maximum extent of recovery thereafter, were influenced by the history of previous damage and recovery. Recruitment of corals also varied at different spatial and temporal scales. Recruitment varied substantially among years, but years of high rates were not consistent among the different study areas. Recruitment rate increased as free space increased, at 3 of the 4 shallow sites; free space was preempted by either corals or macroalgae. The spatial scales over which coral abundance varied gave evidence of the scales at which the underlying causal mechanisms operated. An individual hurricane usually caused about the same damage to all sites within a habitat, but its effects less often extended into another habitat. The temporal scales in which coral abundance varied also differed among habitats. The time scale between a trough and the next peak in abundance is at least 20 years, probably longer, in the shallower and deeper depths, while at intermediate depths, this time scale was about 10 years.


TOP

1998 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

George N. Somero

Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University

Faunal Changes in Monterey Bay: Is Global Warming Starting to Hurt?

Surveys of marine fauna at Cabrillo Point, near Hopkins Marine Station (HMS), have shown dramatic shifts in species composition over the past 60+ years (Barry et al. 1995, Science 267:672). Abundances of species with southern centers of distribution have increased whereas abundances of northern-occurring species have decreased. Correlated with these faunal changes are increases in water temperature (up to ~2.2 degrees C in maximal summer temperature). To elucidate whether these changes in faunal composition and habitat temperature might be causally linked, scientists at HMS are examining physiological systems that are of importance in establishing thermal tolerance. Data on crustaceans and molluscs suggest that key physiological systems, including heart function in crabs and protein synthetic capacity and ability to mount the heat shock response in molluscs (mussels and snails), may be "living on the edge" of their thermal tolerance ranges. Further increases in habitat temperature, especially in summer maxima, may have pronounced influences on species composition and the costs of living, e.g., energy demands for repair of heat-damaged proteins, of intertidal species.

About George Somero

The 1998 recipient of the Ricketts memorial Lecture Award is Dr. George N. Somero. George N. Somero received his Ph.D. from Stanford University. His group studies how changes in protein sequence, and in the intracellular milieu in which protein function occurs, enable organisms to succeed in diverse environments.

The abilities of organisms to thrive in environments with different physical and chemical properties depend on adaptive variations in proteins. By comparing homologous proteins from animals adapted to different temperatures, Professor Somero's group has shown that only minor differences in habitat temperature are sufficient to favor evolutionary changes. Comparisons of proteins from closely related congeneric species have shown that minor changes in protein sequence outside of active sites are adequate to effect adaptive change. These comparative studies of protein variants allow deduction of structure-function relationships in proteins (e.g., by revealing the types of amino acid substitutions that alter enzymes' kinetic properties and structural stabilities). Temperature effects on protein expression are also studied, e.g., seasonal shifts in isozyme expression patterns, and both seasonal and daily alterations in expression of heat shock proteins. All of these biochemical and molecular studies are considered in light of the role that adaptation to the environment plays in establishing biogeographical patterning in nature.

Although most emphasis in studies of molecular evolution has been on proteins and nucleic acids, Professor Somero's group has shown that adaptive variation in the "micromolecular" constituents of cells (e.g., protons, inorganic ions, and the low molecular weight organic solutes that comprise the largest share of osmotically active substances) is of great importance in ensuring satisfactory protein structure and function. Their studies of the evolution of the intracellular milieu have explained why many marine organisms contain within their cells unusual organic molecules at high concentrations (e.g., accumulation of urea in sharks and their relatives) and why intracellular pH varies with body temperature.

Professor Somero received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


TOP

1997 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Gregor M. Cailliet

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

Below Pacific Tides: The Predictability, Diversity and Importance of Habitats for Marine Fishes

Over the years, many studies have been done on assemblages of fishes in California's diverse marine habitats. In virtually every case, the assemblages have proven to be quite predictable in that similar groups of species co-occur. Indeed, one could argue that simply knowing an assemblage of fish species can allow one to predict the habitat from which they came. In addition, the high diversity of habitats in California probably generates the high species diversity of marine fishes associated with them. This predictability and diversity can be influenced, however, by long-term variations in environmental (climatic, oceanographic) conditions. Thus, the mobile (e.g. water column, sediment, drift algae, etc.) or fixed (e.g. reef, rocky outcrop, etc.) nature of habitats can also have an influence on the fishes that associate with them. Likewise, different life stages of fishes with different life styles can occupy different habitats, thus somewhat clouding the relationship between habitat and fish assemblage. Nevertheless, fish assemblages characteristically have a predictable structure in a given habitat.

The importance of habitats to their marine fish inhabitants is difficult to evaluate, but habitats can be defined as providing space and structure, shelter, food, reproductive habitat or nursery areas for marine fishes. Most of the work on marine fishes and their habitats has been in the shallow, more accessible areas such as the rocky intertidal and subtidal. The majority of the studies done in my laboratory by myself, my colleagues and my students has been in relatively deep water. In this talk, I will review the relationship between fishes and their marine habitats, ranging from shallow to deep.

About Gregor Cailliet

The 1997 recipient of the Ricketts Memorial Lecture Award is Dr. Gregor M. Cailliet. Dr. Cailliet has been trekking down to Pacific tidepools and depths beyond for at least three decades, always generating excitement and interest in those that accompany him. Greg grew up surfing with his father on the beaches of southern California, and brought this appreciation of the natural environment to his life-long studies of marine fishes. He has demonstrated sustained excellence as an outstanding educator, enthusiastic researcher, and concerned adviser to all members of our coastal community. His contributions on diverse topics of marine biology, ecology, and fisheries have made him a leader in ocean science at local, national, and international levels.

Greg Cailliet received his Bachelor and Doctorate degrees in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a professor at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories since 1972, he has been the major advisor of over 75 graduate students and has served on the committees of countless others. Many of Greg's students are now contributing to marine science as educators, federal and state biologists, and resource managers. Greg Cailliet's research interests range from shallow water fish assemblages of Elkhorn Slough to feeding habits, habitats, age and growth of deep-sea fishes in the Monterey Submarine Canyon and of pelagic sharks worldwide. His 75+ scientific papers, many co-authored with his graduate students, represent a lasting contribution to the fields of marine ichthyology, biology and ecology.

Greg was a founding member of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Advisory Committee and the founding chair of the Research Activity Panel for the Monterey Bay National marine Sanctuary. He is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and has been the President of the American Elasmobranch Society and the Western Society of Naturalists.


TOP

1996 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Steve Webster

Director of Education, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Ed Ricketts, Where Are You When We Need You?

On this Tenth Anniversary of the Ed Ricketts Memorial Lecture, it is appropriate that we take a moment to revisit the Cannery Row of the thirties and forties and remind ourselves who Ed Ricketts was and the legacy he has left with generations of marine scientists in the intervening half-century. The distinctions are considerable between the 'Doc' character in John Steinbeck's Cannery Row, and the Ed Ricketts who operated the Pacific Biological Laboratories, authored Between Pacific Tides and, with Steinbeck, co-authored The Sea of Cortez. We will retrace the voyage of the Western Flyer to the Sea of Cortez in 1940, and draw from that expedition the rich combination of science, philosophy and comraderie that it was. We will also consider the things to be learned by drawing parallels between of the Sea of Cortez and Monterey Bay, then and now.

As we plan for the future of our young Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and select the priority issues and challenges to be addressed in the evolution of the sanctuary's management, what would Ed Ricketts be saying and doing were he alive today? How would he view the current state of the Bay's living resources; the lively marine research and education enterprise; the advent of the ATOC projects and the return of the gray whales, elephant seals and sea otter? What would be Ed's view of the current state of the living resources of the sanctuary, and of the Sea of Cortez? What would Ed have to say about 'Building Community Connections in Science, Education and Conservation'? And what would he advise as the best, most effective ways to get there? And, finally, why DO we need Ed Ricketts now, more than ever?

About Steve Webster

The 1996 recipient of the Ricketts Memorial Lecture Award is Dr. Steven K. Webster. Dr. Webster has been the Director of Education for the Monterey Bay Aquarium since 1981, having been one of its four conceptual parents and the coordinator of the project from 1976. Dr. Webster studied biology at Stanford, receiving his A.B. degree in 1961, then taught at Northfield Mount Hermon School, in Massachusetts, for five years. In 1965 he returned to Stanford and Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, where he received a Masters degree in education and his Doctorate in Biological Sciences on the respiratory physiology of the purple sea urchin. From 1971 to 1977, he taught invertebrate zoology at San Jose State University and led several summer marine biology courses for divers in the Caribbean on Grand Cayman and St. Croix.

Over the years, Dr. Webster has served on the boards of many organizations, including the Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Cetacean Society, the Cannery Row Foundation, the Lyceum of the Monterey Peninsula, the State Underwater Parks Advisory Board, and the Friends of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. He is Vice Chair of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, Chairman of one of AMBAG's Technical Advisory Committees and was the organizer of the MBNMS Education Panel.

Dr. Webster has been a diving instructor and underwater photographer for 30 years. He is a popular speaker on natural history topics ranging from Monterey Bay to the Caribbean, the Sea of Cortez and the Galapagos Islands. His field guide to Caribbean Reef Invertebrates (Sea Challengers) is in its second printing.


TOP

1995 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Dick Parrish

National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Fisheries Environmental Group

Sardines


TOP

1994 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Wayne Sousa

University of California, Berkeley

Mudsnails in Space: The Metapopulation Dynamics of Cerithidea


TOP

1992 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Jim Childress

University of California, Santa Barbara

Deep Stuff


TOP

1991 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Walter Munk

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate, in Gestation


TOP

1990 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Gene Haderlie

Naval Postgraduate School

Historical Perspectives on Research in Monterey Bay


TOP

1989 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

John Martin

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

Iron in the Ocean


TOP

1988 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Sandy Lydon

Cabrillo College

History of Peoples of Monterey Bay


TOP

1987 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Dick Barber

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Recruitment of Eastern pacific by Larvae Riding El Niño Currents


TOP

1986 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award:

Joel Hedgepeth

History of Natural History Exploration Hereabouts


TOP

Other MBNMS Awards and Honorees
URL: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/research/ricketts.html    Reviewed: March 28, 2014
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

Privacy Statement | Site Disclaimer | User Survey
National Marine Sanctuaries | National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | USA.gov