The Outstanding Staff awards are chosen by nominations received by the Awards Committee from all faculty, staff, and students at VIMS. They are awarded in the categories of Facilities/Safety/Trades, Technical Support, and Administrative Support.

Paul RichardsonThis year, we are pleased to present the Outstanding Employee in Facilities/Safety/Trades to Paul Richardson.

Paul has done a remarkable job with VIMS’ dive program since he took over as the Dive Safety Officer in 2018. He is enthusiastic about diving and ensures that our scientists are safe and well prepared for their research dives. Paul goes out of his way to meet the needs of our researchers. For instance, many VIMS’ divers work in shallow water like oyster reefs and seagrass beds. Some, however, dive in deeper waters. To learn more about these deeper dives, he dove with Kevin Weng in Florida as part of Kevin’s cobia research.


Those of you who know Paul know he has an easy laugh and is always willing to lend a hand, even when diving isn’t required. He once helped a graduate student haul 40 buckets of mud out of a salt marsh from Catlett Island. When he’s not diving or helping out his fellow scientists, you can find Paul kayaking with his wife from their backyard, which borders Chisman Creek in Seaford.

Paul is truly an asset to the VIMS community whose efforts deserve to be recognized with this award.