Society of Wetland Scientists honors VIMS prof

  • Perry SWS Award
    SWS President's Service Award  VIMS professor Jim Perry (L) accepts the President’s Service Award from Dr. Gillian Davies during the 2017 annual meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists.  © SWS
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Perry receives President’s Service Award

The Society of Wetland Scientists has honored Dr. Jim Perry of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science with its President's Service Award for his significant contributions to its mission and members. He was one of four individuals so honored during the Society’s recent annual meeting.

With more than 3,000 members in 63 countries, SWS provides a global collaborative forum for wetland scientists and managers, publishes the journal Wetlands, and offers a Professional Certification Program that trains scientists, educators, consultants, and others to assess and manage wetland resources worldwide.

VIMS professor Jim Perry.Perry says, “I was greatly honored to be recognized by my SWS peers with this award, particularly given my deep appreciation for the Society’s mission. He describes that mission as “emphasizing applied research in wetlands with an eye toward the positive role they play in supporting our society.”

In announcing the award winners, Dr. Gillian Davies—immediate SWS past president—said “Recipients of the Service Award have promoted the goals of the Society in efforts that extend above and beyond their duties as teachers, researchers, and administrators.” She added, “they have given selflessly of their time and creativity year after year, serving in one leadership position after another. Their energy and devotion to SWS seem endless, as they are always taking up a new task or a new leadership position.”

Perry served SWS as president during the 2014-2015 fiscal year; previously chaired its Nominations and Bylaws committees; co-chaired the Society’s most recent annual meeting; and has served or is serving on the Past Presidents Advisory Committee, Membership and Sections subcommittees, and a number of ad hoc committees. He recently began serving as president of the SWS Professional Certification Program, which he helped establish in the early 1990s.

The award also recognizes Perry for his efforts to promote the development of wetland science in Taiwan and Asia, where rapid economic growth has placed unprecedented stresses on wetland habitats.

VIMS professor Jim Perry (R) engages in saltmarsh research with two William & Mary undergrads. © S. Salpukas/W&M.In his service to SWS, Perry has helped develop numerous position papers describing the important role that wetlands play in mitigating climate change, reducing flood impacts, delivering clean water, and providing habitat for wildlife, among many other ecosystem services.

VIMS Dean and Director John Wells says, “Jim has long been on the front lines of wetland science and conservation, and is highly deserving of this award. We’re proud to have him as a member of the VIMS faculty.”