The Dean’s Prize for the Advancement of Women in Marine Science is awarded for outstanding contributions toward the promotion of women in science. The award for 2008 goes to Debbie Bronk.
Debbie Bronk has made significant contributions to fostering the successful advancement of women in Marine Sciences through her high-visibility research and leadership, and by being a supportive mentor and educator. Debbie is an active and exceptional member of the VIMS faculty, and is a nationally and internationally eminent woman scientist. She is an expert in the marine nitrogen cycle, in particular the cycling of dissolved organic nitrogen. Debbie’s research is innovative, and she has been a leader in developing new techniques to quantify important pathways and processes in N cycling. She has amassed an impressive publication list, and her papers are well recognized within the oceanographic community.
Debbie is also an enthusiastic and effective mentor and teacher, and students appreciate both her command of the material and her sense of humor. Debbie has taken on a number of significant leadership and advisory roles in the broader national and international community, giving women in the marine sciences greater visibility. She is President Elect, and formerly a Board member, of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography; a member of the Carbon Cycle Science Working Group, charged with deciding the nation’s strategy for carbon-cycle research in the coming decade; and was on the steering committee for the National Science Foundation Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry initiative.
It is important for young women in our field to see women in these leadership roles, as it encourages them to advance themselves. Debbie has served as an excellent role model for women in science, and for these contributions Debbie well deserves this award.