This is an alternating award given every 3 years to a faculty member who has excelled in teaching, research, or advisory service.
The winner of the Outstanding Researcher Award for 2011 is Dr. Robert "JJ" Orth.
Robert—JJ as he is known to his students, colleagues, and friends—is an internationally recognized leader in the field of seagrass and estuarine ecology who has clearly distinguished himself in his career. The 100+ peer-reviewed publications he has authored or co-authored have garnered more than 900 citations in the scientific literature during the last 5 years alone. His research has been published in numerous prestigious journals and in 2006 he co-edited a book that is widely regarded as essential for seagrass biologists.
One hallmark of JJ’s career has been his ability to use cutting-edge research to solve real-world problems. VIMS’ Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Mapping program, which JJ created in 1978, has for decades played a key role in measuring progress toward the Chesapeake Bay Program’s restoration goals, and has served as a model for the development of similar programs around the world. His research and monitoring efforts, and experience in their application for effective management and restoration, have been instrumental in the creation of legislative actions to protect submerged aquatic vegetation habitats in Virginia and Maryland.
Dr. Orth is a scientist and teacher of the highest caliber, one who has elevated the stature of VIMS through his long and distinguished career. He is most highly deserving of the VIMS Outstanding Researcher Award.
Thank you, JJ—you are an excellent role model for research scientists at VIMS and elsewhere, and we all are grateful for your contributions.