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Jerry Prezioso
Jerry Prezioso displays the Award of Excellence from the Southern New England Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.  Photo credit: NEFSC/NOAA

July 8, 2013
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

NOAA Narragansett Laboratory Oceanographer Honored by American Fisheries Society

The Southern New England Chapter of the American Fisheries Society presented its Award of Excellence to NEFSC’s Jerry Prezioso for his “outstanding contributions to fisheries science and service to the society” at the chapter’s 2013 summer science meeting June 19 at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI.

Prezioso is an oceanographer at the NEFSC’s Narragansett Laboratory. He joined the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, predecessor to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, at the Boothbay Harbor, Maine laboratory in 1968, collecting and identifying plankton samples while a cooperative education student at Northeastern University. He received his B.A. degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry, from Northeastern in 1974 and joined the Narragansett Laboratory the same year. In 1991 he received a master’s degree in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.

The Award of Excellence recognizes a Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) member who has made “exceptional contributions to the field(s) of fishery administration, education, management or research.  Criteria for the Award can include significant publications, exceptional service, outstanding teaching or training of students, important discoveries or inventions, or other major contributions to the advancement of fishery science.” 

Sean Lucey, Professionalism Chair of the Southern New England Chapter, presented the award to Prezioso, who spoke about some of his work on the Ecosystems Monitoring (EcoMon) program during the science meeting. 

His award nomination reads in part:  “Jerry has made exceptional contributions to fishery science through educating and mentoring teachers, students, and the community at large.  Considering both the duration and breadth of Jerry’s education and outreach endeavors, the impact he has made to fisheries science is immense... He has created several presentations, tailored to the age and background of his audience, describing marine environments and at-sea sampling to schools (grades K-12), libraries, universities, and community groups – bringing awareness of the efforts of fisheries scientists to adults and children throughout the region.”

Prezioso is a strong advocate for using research cruises as a teaching tool, having made more than 40 surveys as chief scientist of the NEFSC’s Ecosystems Monitoring program since the 1990s. EcoMon continues the environmental monitoring started during the MARMAP (Marine Assessment, Monitoring and Prediction) Program from 1977 to 1988.  Prezioso has been a regular contributor to the NEFSC’s Field Science blog, posting images and descriptions of life and work at sea on many of the EcoMon surveys (http://nefsc.wordpress.com/).

“During these cruises, Jerry has introduced numerous volunteers, students, and teachers to the science being conducted at sea.  He has been actively involved in the NOAA Teachers at Sea program and the URI Armada program, which provide the opportunity for K-12 teachers to participate on cruises,” the nomination states. “These volunteers, teachers, and students gain the type of experiences and instruction that are impossible to get in a classroom.  Many of the students continued on to fisheries science careers, themselves. The teachers bring the information and experiences they learned on these cruises back to their classrooms. In recent years, he has coordinated drifter releases with the NOAA Global Drifter Program allowing teachers and their students to follow their adopted drifter during the school year and work this information into their science learning.”

Previous recipients of the Award of Excellence include Carolyn Griswold in 2008 and Kenneth Sherman in 2009, both at NEFSC‘s Narragansett Laboratory in Rhode Island. 

William Duffy at the NEFSC’s Woods Hole Laboratory is the 2012-2013 President of the SNEC. Established in 1968, SNEC provides regional support in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for the American Fisheries Society (AFS). AFS was founded in 1870 and is the world’s oldest and largest scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of fisheries science and the conservation of renewable aquatic resources.

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