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Shelley Dawicki
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July 28, 2009
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Local Fisheries Biologist Receives First Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Mentoring Award

Bipartisan Commission Recognizes NOAA’s Steven Cadrin for Instilling a Passion for Oceans in Students and Young Professionals

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Steve Cadrin with student at sea
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Steve Cadrin and grad student Jess Melgey tag yellowtail flounder aboard the Fishing Vessel Blue Seas II . (Credit: Fiona Hogan)

Steve with students holds fish, students at tank
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Steve Cadrin examines a spiny dogfish at the SMAST seawater lab. Grad students (left to right) are Jess Melgey, Talia Bigelow, Adam Barkley and Dan Goethel. (Credit: SMAST)
Related Links
Joint Ocean Commission Initiative
Biography of Marc J. Hershman
Hershman Award

Steven Cadrin of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) lab in Woods Hole, Mass. is one of the first recipients of the Marc J. Hershman Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a national bipartisan organization working toward ocean policy reform. The award was presented July 20 at the Coastal Zone ’09 conference in Boston, Mass.

Cadrin and fellow recipient Steven Gaines of the University of California, Santa Barbara, were chosen to receive the inaugural award because they “best exemplify the legacy of Professor Hershman by educating, training, and inspiring students and young professionals to pursue careers in ocean and coastal science, policy and management.”

Marc Hershman was the director of the University of Washington’s School of Marine Affairs and an internationally recognized expert on coastal zone management and ocean policy. He served on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy from 2001 to 2004. He died in 2008 at age 65.

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a collaborative effort of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission, established the award in memory of Hershman, who was a leader in the field of ocean and coastal policy for more than 30 years and served as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. Although widely respected for his work in ocean and coastal management, Professor Hershman was also known for his devotion to mentoring and inspiring young people. His dedication and enthusiasm for mentoring students, as well as his continued facilitation of their professional development in their early careers, has helped to cultivate the next generation of ocean and coastal managers and scientists.

“The Joint Initiative is proud to present this award to Dr. Steven Gaines and Dr. Steven Cadrin as they truly exemplify Professor Hershman’s legacy and are working enthusiastically to inspire future leaders in the field of ocean and coastal management and science,” said Admiral James Watkins (U.S. Navy, Ret.), co-chair of the Joint Initiative.  Joint Ocean Commissioners Dr. Andrew Rosenberg and Dr. Paul Sandifer presented the award.

Steven Cadrin is a research fishery biologist in the Population Dynamics Branch at the Woods Hole Laboratory of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center of NOAA Fisheries Service. He also is a Professor of Fisheries Oceanography at the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He currently serves as the Chair of the New England Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee.

"Steve is true scholar whose intensity and enjoyment of fisheries sciences is an inspiration to his colleagues,” said Paul Rago, chief of the Population Dynamics branch at NEFSC.  “He has an exceptional ability to convey complex ideas to the scientific community, and he has not lost the common touch of conveying these same principles to fishermen and managers.”

As an advisor to over a dozen graduate students and post-doctoral researchers at UMass-Dartmouth and NEFSC and a mentor to other young professionals, Cadrin is affectionately referred to by his students as a “national treasure.” He is a hands-on advisor and regularly joins his students aboard fishing and research vessels at the front lines of fisheries science. Cadrin’s colleagues remark that he goes above and beyond to support and encourage not only the individuals who study or work with him, but also his peers of equal standing. As one colleague wrote, “It has been recognized that there exists a great need for more highly trained fisheries researchers in order to address the challenges we are facing in fisheries resource management. All on his own, Steve is making great strides in closing the gap.”

Fellow recipient Steven Gaines is Director of the Marine Science Institute and Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is a marine ecologist who studies marine conservation, the design of marine reserves, the impact of climate change on oceans, and sustainable fisheries.

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