VIMS faculty trio selected for Plumeri Awards

  • Award Winners
    Award Winners  Professors Rob Latour, Carl Friedrichs, and Steve Kuehl were each awarded a prestigious Plumeri Award for 2010.  Photo by David Malmquist.
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Professors Carl Friedrichs, Rob Latour, and Steve Kuehl of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, have been selected to receive Plumeri Awards for Faculty Excellence in recognition of their exemplary achievements in teaching, research, and service.

"The College is well known for its accomplished faculty," says William & Mary Provost Michael Halleran. "To distinguish oneself among this group of peers, as recipients of the 2010 Plumeri Awards have done, speaks volumes to their talent and work ethic. They are truly deserving of this recognition."

Friedrichs, Latour, and Kuehl—professors of marine science in the School of Marine Science at VIMS—join 17 other W&M faculty members in receiving the 2010 awards.

"Carl, Rob, and Steve are wonderful examples of faculty excellence at VIMS," says VIMS Dean and Director John Wells. "These faculty have international reputations and excel in research-based solutions to the many challenges facing our coastal oceans."

Joseph J. Plumeri IIThe awards are named in recognition of Joseph J. Plumeri II '66, who in the spring of 2008 made a significant commitment to his alma mater to "honor and support" its faculty's efforts through creation of the Plumeri Awards for Faculty Excellence.

The awards, which include a $10,000 prize for each recipient, are to be given to 20 William & Mary faculty members every year for a decade, beginning in 2009. The funds are to be applied toward research, summer salaries, or other stipends associated with scholarly endeavor, with the ultimate intention of enhancing faculty interaction with students and, in Mr. Plumeri's own words, empowering the College's professors to continue to "work passionately to challenge the minds of our exceptional students."

Professor Carl FriedrichsCarl Friedrichs

Possessing the unusual ability to work across the traditional disciplines of marine, earth, and environmental sciences, Professor Friedrichs conducts cutting-edge research in physical oceanography, sedimentary geology, sediment transport, coastal morphodynamics, and marine ecology. He has authored or co-authored 71 peer-reviewed publications and has been the lead investigator on 22 federally funded research grants. In the classroom, Friedrichs has proven himself an exceptional communicator who possesses the ability to make complex ideas and concepts understandable to students. He has been involved at a high level in many national and international panels, working groups, and steering committees. He served on the National Science Foundation's Coastal Ocean Processes Scientific Steering Committee from 2002 to 2008, and has been on the steering committee for Physics of Estuaries and Coastal Seas International Biennial Conference Series since 1996. He holds a doctorate in oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program.

Professor Steve KuehlSteve Kuehl

A leading marine geologist, Professor Kuehl's work in sediment dynamics has taken him from Chesapeake Bay to the waters of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. His research, which involves both VIMS graduate students and William & Mary undergraduate geology students, has received international attention and support from the National Science Foundation, where Kuehl has provided key leadership with the MARGINS Source-to-Sink (S2S) and COOP programs. Currently head of the Academic Council at VIMS, Kuehl recently chaired the building committee for VIMS' new Andrews Hall and previously chaired his department, which is now highly collaborative and interdisciplinary largely because of his leadership. Prior to coming to VIMS in 1993, Kuehl's positions included summer appointments as a visiting scholar at the NASA Space Technology Laboratory. He holds a doctorate in geological oceanography from North Carolina State University.

Professor Rob LatourRob Latour

The Moses D. Nunnally Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Marine Science at VIMS, Latour has built a nationally recognized research program that is highly relevant to the societal needs of fisheries science and management. He has used his background in biomathematics and statistics to make novel inferences from tagging data, notably in development of diagnostic procedures, estimation of mortality rates, and characterization of fish-habitat utilization. His quantitative contributions, coupled with his leadership, have guided a large field, laboratory, and modeling program focused on multi-species interactions in fish communities and the impacts of these relationships on management. Latour routinely receives outstanding student reviews for all of his courses and has developed a reputation as an excellent instructor. He is also a devoted mentor, having advised four Master's and four doctoral students on a wide array of fisheries ecology research topics. Latour has made significant technical contributions to several working groups of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, most notably as chairman of the Atlantic Menhaden Technical Committee. He holds a doctorate in biomathematics from North Carolina State University.

Brief biographies of the 2010 Plumeri Awards recipients are available on the William and Mary website.