The Award for VIMS Excellence recognizes a staff member who continually goes above and beyond their assigned job duties to better the institution.
The winner of the inaugural award for VIMS Excellence is Dr. Sarah Huber.
Sarah Huber curates and manages the Nunnally Ichthyology Collection at VIMS. The Collection—the largest repository of freshwater, Chesapeake Bay, and Virginia coastal fishes—serves a broad community of scientists and is important in outreach.
Sarah has transformed the Collection by making it visible to the global research community through database aggregators. She has personally cataloged about 30,000 lots of fishes, each of which can be found through the online, searchable database she manages. She has also made the specimens—including fishes stored in alcohol, as skeletons, or genetic samples—readily available through loans that any researcher in the world can request.
Sarah reorganized the Collection to make room for growth, and has led efforts to secure funds from the National Science Foundation for stabilizing and CT-scanning specimens from our unique collection of larval fishes. She has also been instrumental in helping to enhance the Collection Endowment for long-term support.
Sarah trains our students in the Collection’s use, and brings roughly 1,000 members of the public through the facility each year. The energy and cheerfulness she brings to her position are unequaled—she has made the Collection a permanent and accessible resource, and because of her dedication, commitment, and vision, it will continue to reach wider and wider audiences.
Sarah is most deserving of the inaugural Award for VIMS Excellence.