GIBS Medals
ANOUNCEMENT OF 2015 Sir. GEORGE DEACON MEDAL AT 14th DSBS IN AVEIRO, PORTUGAL


Dr. DAVID BILLETT, NOC, UK & Dr. MYRIAM SIBUET, IFREMER, FRANCE



DR. & MRS. BILLETT WALKING BESIDES HMS VICTORY IN PORTSMOUTH,  UK DURING 11th DSBS IN SOUTHAMPTON, UK



Dr. David Billett served 38 years as deep-sea scientist at the National Oceanographic Center (NOC) in UK (Southampton). Author or co-author of numerous papers on deep-sea ecology. He has worked on seamounts, abyssal plains, continental slope, submarine canyons and coral mounds, He currents heads the “DEEP-SEA SOLUTIONS, an organization devoted to conservation of abyssal biodiversity. Dr. Billet is an active member of the advisory group on ‘Legal and Technological Commission’ of the UN International Sea-Bed Authority. Dr. Billet works on deep-sea holothurians, his pet group of abyssal critters. Dr. Billet is co-chairman with the proposed SEAFOAM SCOR WG with Dr. Bob George for the next 3 years focusing on mitigation against seamount mining and Ocean Acidification.



Myriam Sibuet at the Galway DSBS in Ireland listening to a talk while Bob George and John Gage having fun!!



Dr. Myriam Sibuet is currently with the Institut Oceanographique in Paris, France. She led the French deep-sea bilgy group at IFREMER for many years. Dr. Sibuet led many deep-sea expeditions aboard R/V Jeanne Charcot. Her research interest is abyssal echinoderms. Dr. Sibuet was vice-chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of ‘Census of Marine Life’. Dr. Sibuet. She has published extensively and her most recent paper with Prof. Lisa Levin of Scripps on “Understanding Continental Marine Biodiversity: A New Imperative, published in Annual Reviews of Marine Science is one such exemplary contribution to deep-sea ecology. Dr. Sibuet is recognized by GIBS with Deacon Medal for bridging deep-sea biodiversity and conservation in the abyss. One of her Ph.D. scholars Dr. Karina Olu will accept the Deacon Medal at the symposium dinner on Sept. 2, 2-15 on behalf of Dr. Myriam Sibuet.





Dr. Subuet (2nd from right) was unable to come to Portugal because of a family vacation in Madagascar (See Myriam’s family photo above)


While our deep-sea biology symposium is in progress here in Aveiro, Portugal, Dr. Sibuet is having her family vacation off South Africa in Madagascar. I also wish to inform the participants of the Deep-Sea Conference that off South Africa on the western side Storthyngura myriamae, a new abyssal isopod name in her honor (see below) is swimming in Angola Basin west of Walvis Ridge in the type locality at 5220 meters (Latitude 27 N and Longitude 7 E). Biodiversity in Abyssal basins is very high and let us save these unique high diversity habitats from human abuses.

DR. DONALD McAllister MEDAL
Prof. Lisa Levin of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. La Jolla, California will be awarded the McAllister medal by George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (www.GIBSconservation.org) at the 14th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in the University of Aveiro in Portugal on Sept. 2, 2015 at the Symposium Dinner.

I met Don first at the First International Deep-Sea Coral Symposium in the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (July 30 to August3, 2010). He impressed me as a polite and affable gentleman. He was a dedicated conservation biologist with his expertise in fishes as a world-renowned Ichthyologist for decades. He worked at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. He also served as chief-editor of the journal “Global Biodiversity”, published by the ‘Tropical Conservancy Organization’ (www.synapse.net/-Tropical). Don also founded the “Ocean Voice International.” Since 1987, Don played an active role in the the production and promotion of the conservation journal “SEA WIND.” His conservation theme emphasized the slogan: “Toward Harmony of Humankind, the Sea and Its life.” I will never forget his simplicity, his honesty and a genuine passion for conservation of marine biodiversity. We both discussed the need to raise the awakenings of deep-sea coral reef conservation, just as important as the conservation of tropical shallow coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef. On June 17, 2001, Dr. Do0nasld McAllister passed away prematurely within a year after the first deep-sea coral symposium. I have asked GIBS board of directors to establish the Don McAllister Medal in his honor. Thus far, the two recipients of the McAllister Medal are (1) Dr. J. H. Martin Williston of Dalhousie University, awarded y Dr. Robert Y. George at the AAAS annual meeting in Seattle and (2) Dr. Anthony Koslow of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the 3rd International deep-Sea Coral Symposium at the University of Miami in December, 2005. Third recipient of the medal is Prof. Lisa Levin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the 14th deep-Sea Biology Symposium in the university of Portugal (August 30 to Sept. 4, 2015).



Dr. Donald McAllister examining a new species of a fish at the Museum in Ottawa


Young McAllister examining a new species of fish at the Museum in Ottawa

McAllister in his Library

Recipient of Dr. McAllister Medal in 2015 at the 14th DSBS : Prof. Lisa Levin



Dr. Lisa Levin seated at the left extreme during the R/V Hatterras Cruise led by
Dr. Robert Y. George, Chief Scientist in 1985




Prof. Lisa Levin, 2015 Recipient of McAllister Medal
This article/announcement is written by:

Dr. Robert Yesudian George M.Sc., Ph.D. ,F.L.S.
Editor-In-Chief, Theoecology Journal (ONLINE)
Professor of Biological Oceanography at UNCW (1973-2003)
Science Advisor and Fellow (Hon.), CFC, Southeastern Theological Seminary
President, George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (501-C-3 organization)
www.GIBSconservation.org
www.theoecologyjournal.com
Office: 919-435-6582 Cell: 919-602-8423
E-mail: georgeryt@cs.com
Snail Mail Address: 1320, Vanagrif Ct., Wake Forest, NC 27587
 
“Whoever we are, wherever we live, we need the Sea”, Deborah Cramer, Author of the ‘Great waters: The Atlantic Passage’, 2001).

“A man who does not like to see, hunt, photograph or otherwise outwit birds and animals is hardly normal. He is supercivilized, and I for one do not know how to deal with him."  Aldo Leopold, 1922

 

 







GIBS awards the “George Deacon Medal” in honor and memory of Sir. George Deacon. 

Sir George Deacon Medal AWARDED TO GERMAN MARINE SCIENTIST DR. HJALMAR THIEL ABOARD HMS Warrior AT THE 11th DEEP SEA BIOLOGY SYMPOSIUM IN THE UK (JULY 9 – 15, 2006)
Robert Y. George
George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (GIBS) 305 Yorkshire Lane, Wilmington, North Carolina 28409, USA georgeryt@cs.com
“I first met Sir George Deacon during the ‘Challenger’ centenary in Edinburgh in
1972 and he introduced me to such eminent ocean scientists like Alister Hardy, C. M. Yonge and Roger Revelle. These four prominent men sat in the front row when I (a young and emerging American scientist at age 35) presented two papers, one on deep-sea zonation in the Northwest Atlantic and another on hydrostatic pressure as a factor in deep-sea adaptations. I also met George with his daughter Margaret Deacon at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) during the auspicious occasion of the celebration of 50 years of history of WHOI. We became friends. I met George again when Max Dunbar hosted the "“Polar Oceans” symposium in Montreal where I sought his support in my plans to hold an international symposium on the Antarctic Krill Euphausia superba, George readily offered his help and promised to participate. His enthusiasm was apparent since he described the ‘Southern Ocean’, as you all know, in his famous Discovery Report on the water masses and currents prevailing south of the Antarctic Convergence.”
“In 1982 Sir George Deacon came as my guest to North Carolina for the ‘First International Symposium on the Antarctic Krill” (see Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol. No. 4 No 1, Symposium proceedings, edited by George, 1984). Deacon gave the symposium keynote address on the link between Antarctic winds and currents and the distribution of krill. He told the audience about the ruthless slaughter of whales around South Georgia. In this evening gathering in the Morton Auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Chancellor Dr. William Wagoner awarded him the Nathaniel Palmer Medal and introduced George to the faculty, students, symposium participants and the public (Figure 1).”
“ In 1983 I went to Cape Town, South Africa for the SCAR (Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research) symposium and from there I went to see George in Wormley where the British National Institute for Oceanography (NIO), which he founded and directed. Sir George died the following year. Today we are so pleased to have in our midst his daughter Margaret Deacon (Figure 2) to award the ‘Sir George Deacon Medal’ to an eminent deep ocean scientist Prof. Hjalmar Thiel of the University of Hamburg, Germany. Let us all give a round of applause for Margaret who wrote the book on the History of Oceanography”.
NEWSLETTER of the COMMISSION of the HISTORY of OCEANOGRAPHY DIVISION of HISTORY of SCIENCE
INTERNATIONAL UNION of the HISTORY and PHILOSOPHY of SCIENCE

ISSN 1013-3917 Then the 300 participants of the 11th deep-sea biology symposium, standing on the middle deck
of Warrior, clapped to recognize Margaret Deacon.
These were the words (three paragraphs above) I used to set the stage for the Sir George Deacon Medal award. The sun was shinning and the atmosphere aboard HMS Warrior was warm with a gentle breeze blowing toward the bow of the ship.
Figure 1. Photo taken in 1982 during the Wilmington Krill symposium. Left – Prof. Bob George. Middle – Chancellor William Wagoner and right – Sir George Deacon.
NEWSLETTER of the COMMISSION of the HISTORY of OCEANOGRAPHY DIVISION of HISTORY of SCIENCE
INTERNATIONAL UNION of the HISTORY and PHILOSOPHY of SCIENCE
ISSN 1013-3917
Figure 2. Margaret Deacon, Bob George and Hjalmar Thiel aboard HMS Warrior.
Figure 3. Bob George announcing the 6th recipient of the Sir George Deacon Medal from the captain’s deck while participants learned about Prof. Hjalmar Thiel (2006 Deacon Medalist) from Germany.
NEWSLETTER of the COMMISSION of the HISTORY of OCEANOGRAPHY DIVISION of HISTORY of SCIENCE
INTERNATIONAL UNION of the HISTORY and PHILOSOPHY of SCIENCE
ISSN 1013-3917
Standing on the deck were the 300 participants from 28 nations (Figure 3) and Torben Wolff (Deputy leader of the Galathea Expedition, 1950 –52), the fifth recipient of the Sir George Deacon Medal in 2003 in Oregon at the 10th International Deep-Sea Biology Conference, was one of the participants. Torben was invited to the captain’s deck. Two members of the Deacon medal nomination committee, Prof. Craig Smith of the University of Hawaii and Dr. Peter Herring of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS -Host of the conference), joined Torben Wolff, Bob George, Hjalmar and Margaret on the top deck before the medal was presented (Figure 4).
Bob George Introduced Margaret Deacon who awarded the Sir George Deacon Medal to Prof. Hjalmar Thiel for building bridge between deep-ocean biology and marine conservation science. Prof. Thiel played a key role over the past decades in emphasizing the need for environmental impact studies in the deep-seas related to dumping of low-level radioactive waste products (1965-1968), manganese nodule mining (1972), and metaliferous mud mining in the Red Sea (1977-1981). Whereas these projects remained a standard investigation in biological oceanography, the break-through in environmental impact studies became the DISCOL (Disturbance and Re-colonization Experiment) project (1988 – 1998), experimentally disturbing 11 square kilometers in the Southeast Pacific Ocean to observe the re-establishment of the benthic community for a period of seven years. Prof. Hjalmar Thiel also worked with Prof. Robert George in 2003 to write to UN General Secretary Koffi Annan to take immediate initiatives to prevent human exploitation of the deep-sea environment such as using heavy trawls over the sea bottom, thereby threatening benthic life on seamounts as well as deep-sea corals. Prof. Thiel was GIBS guest of honor in 2005 at the 3rd International deep-sea coral symposium in Miami where he presented his proposal to establish “Science Priority Areas (SPAs)” on the ocean floor of the high seas.
Figure 4. Prof. Craig Smith and Dr. Peter Herring applaud aboard HMS Warrior.
NEWSLETTER of the COMMISSION of the HISTORY of OCEANOGRAPHY DIVISION of HISTORY of SCIENCE
INTERNATIONAL UNION of the HISTORY and PHILOSOPHY of SCIENCE

ISSN 1013-3917
Figure. 5 Prof. Hjalmar Thiel receiving the Sir George Deacon Medal from Margaret Deacon while Prof Bob George stands close to them (Photo by Dr. Thomas Ahlfeld, MMS).
Previous recipients of Sir George Deacon Medals include Prof. Leonard Pietrafessa of the North Carolina State University (1987), Prof. Robert Y. George of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (1993). Prof. Jarl-Ove Stromberg of the University of Göteborg, Sweden (1993), Prof. Edward O. Wilson of Harvard University (1999) and Dr. Torben Wolff of the Copenhagen University, Denmark (2003). Currently the Deacon medal award is administered by the George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (GIBS – www.GIBSconservation.org).
The Deacon Medal is awarded to an outstanding scholar who has made significant contributions to build bridges between two disciplines. The nominees for the award are reviewed by a committee of five members (one from GIBS board of Governors, two eminent scientists), one anonymous individual known for interdisciplinary and international approaches to the future, and Prof. Robert George of GIBS as chair). We are now in the process of revitalizing the Deacon Medal selection criteria to include clear definition of criteria for selection and calls for nominations. The guidelines will include the rationale for the award, the types of accomplishments expected in awardees, and the need for anyone who nominates to include a minimum of a one-page description of the worthiness of the nominee. The next Deacon Medal award is planned for 2009 and all those who wish to nominate should sent the nomination not later than December 31, 2008. Nominations may be submitted by snail mail to GIBS, 305 Yorkshire Lane, Wilmington, North Carolina 28409, USA or by e-mail with an attachment to georgeryt@cs.com

GIBS awards the ‘Donald McAllister Medal” in recognition and memory of Dr. Don McAllister of Ottawa, Canada who edited the “SEAWIND” magazine as a model marine conservation symbol. Don Mc Allister worked on marine biogenic structures such as coral reefs with a thrust on fishes associated with these submarine features. His devotion to help such work in developing nations is well-known. The GIBS McAllister medal is awarded to any marine scientist who made exemplary contribution to the conservation of biogenic structures in the world oceans. The first Donald McAllister medal was awarded to Prof. Martin Willison of the Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada who graciously hosted the first International Deep-Sea Coral Symposium in 2000. His work on cold coral biogenic structures as fish habitat off Nova Scotia is well known. Dr. Peter Rubec of the Florida Marine Research Institute at St. Petersburg (a former Associate of Don McAllister) presented the GIBS Mc Allister Medal in 2004 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle. Photo below shows Dr.Elliott Norse, President of Marine Conservation Biology Institute in Redmond, WA presenting the Medal certificate to Dr. Willison Whilte, Bob George and Pete Rubec watching on the stadium.
GIBS awards “Robert Avent Medal”: in honor and memory of Dr. Robert Avent who founded the deep-sea biology program with the submersible Johnson Sea-Link at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, Florida. Robert spent 25 years with the MMS (Mineral Management Service) office in New Orleans and devoted his work to study the Gulf of Mexico deep-sea environment where oil and gas explorations are in progress for many years. Robert discovered the Oculina Reefs off the central Atlantic coast of Florida. Dr. Avent died prematurely due to lung cancer at the age of 60 and at the peak f his professional career.  The first
GIBS Avent medal will be awarded during the upcoming International Deep-sea Coral Symposium in Miami (Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 2005). Photo below shows Dr. Avent entering the Joshnson Sea-Link during one of his dives over the Oculina Reefs off Florida.
 
6. Prof. Hjalmar Thiel, University of Hamburg, Germany was awarded the Sir George Deacon Medal in recognition of his role in bridging deep-ocean benthic ecology and marine conservation science. The Deacon Medal was presented during the 11 the International Deep-sea Biology Symposium (July 11, 2006) in Southampton UK. (See Article by Prof. Robert Y. George in the Sept. 2006 History of Science Newsletter No. 18: 25 –30 for a full description of the medal ceremony.

Photo below shows Ms. Margaret Deacon, presenting the medal to Prof. Thiel while Prof. George is standing close. Another photo shows Dr. George addressing during the medal ceremony the 300 symposium delegates from 32 nations aboard the Warship Warrior in Portsmouth, England.

‘Deacon Medal’ is awarded to an outstanding scholar who has made significant contributions to build bridges between two disciplines. The nominees for award are reviewed by a committee of five members (one from GIBS board of directors, two eminent scientists), one anonymous individual known for interdisciplinary approaches to the future, and Prof. Robert Y. George as chair. We are in the process of revitalizing the Deacon Medal selection criteria to include clear definition of criteria for selection and call for nomination.  The guidelines will include the rationale for the award, the types of accomplishments expected in awardees, and the need for anyone who nominates to include a minimum of one-page description of the worthiness of the nominee. The next Deacon medal will be awarded in 2009 and nominations must be sent no later than Dec. 31, 2008 by mail to GIBS, 305 Yorkshire Lane, Wilmington, North Carolina 28409, USA.


 

  Prof. George, GIBS President, addressing symposium delegates during medal ceremony.
 

 Prof. George, Russian deep-sea biologist Dr. Tina Moldsova and Prof. Thiel
 

                               GIBS “Robert Avent Medal”

John Reed of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) in Fort Pierce, Florida receiving first “AVENT” Medal during the 3rd International deep-sea coral symposium in Miami, Dec. 1, 2005. Dr. Tom Ahlfeld (MMS), a colleague of Avent,  is on the right side.

 

                     GIBS “Robert Avent Medal” was established in honor and memory of late Dr. Robert Avent who worked at HBOI when Johnson Sea Link program started. Avent was at Florida State University for his doctoral program and Dr. George served on his Ph. D. committee. Dr. Avent was the first American scientist who discovered the “Oculina Reefs” (First USA MPA in the offshore). Dr. Avent served in the Mineral Management Services (MMS) of the Interior Department for more than 2 decades. The medal recognizes an eminent marine scientist who combined management and science, with sound original research and exemplary administrative experience.
 

Dr. William Hogarth, NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, received the 2nd ‘Robert Avent Medal’ during the 2nd North Carolina Coast: You and your Ecosystems symposium on Dec. 1, 2006 at Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

 

Photo below shows Dr. Robert George (GIBS) awarding the ‘Avent Medal’ to Dr. Bill Hogarth (NOAA).

 

 


    Dr. George at the podium and Dr. Hogarth standing with  “Avent medal”
 

                             “GIBS Frankenberg Medal”

Mrs. Susan Frankenberg. Bob George and Frankenberg medal recipient B. J. Copeland
 

“GIBS Frankenberg Medal” was established in honor and memory of late Dr. Dirk Frankenberg who directed the UNC-Chapel Hill Marine Science Program and also served as director of Marine Science Institute in Morehead City, North Carolina. Dirk was also division director of the Oceanography Division of US National Science Foundation. The Frankenberg medal is given by GIBS to a North Carolina Scientist who made significant contributions to our knowledge of the natural resources of North Carolina Coast. The first recipient of the Frankenberg medal is Prof. B. J. Copeland who directed the North Carolina Sea Grant College for many years with distinction. Dr. B. J. Copeland is currently vice-chair of the North Carolina Fisheries Commission. Mrs. Susan Frankenberg presented the medal at the North Carolina Fort Fisher Aquarium on Dec. 1, 2006 during the 2nd North Carolina Coast symposium in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

       Bob, Susan and BJ (Frankenberg medalist 2006)
 

 


         Late Dr. Robert Avent aboard submersible Johnson-Sea Link
 
All four GIBS medals are selected by four separate committees, with all nominations carefully reviewed and then one individual for each medal selected. GIBS is also contemplating to establish “Robert Avent Endowment for Deep-Sea Biology Research” for a young student to fund his or her doctoral research on any aspect of deep-sea biology.  All those interested to make contribution to Avent endowment, please contact Dr. Robert George at georgeryt@cs.com.


MMS OCEANOGRAPHER DR. TOM AHLFELD RECEIVES

THE PRESTIGIOUS GIBS-ROBERT AVENT MEDAL

 

     On March 1-4, 2007 the Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology (FAST) held its 2007 annual conference in Panama City, Panama with the UN millennium goals as the central theme. At this international event, 122 scholars form 24 nations participated, including the Nobel laureate Sir Herold Kroto, winner of 1996 Nobel prize in chemistry.

 

    On March 1, 2007 the George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (GIBS) conducted an international workshop on “Marine Conservation” with eight speakers. Dr. Tom Ahlfeld of Mineral Management Services (MMS) of the US Interior Department was one of the speakers. Dr. Robert Y. George, President of GIBS, recognized Dr. Ahlfeld (Ph. D., Florida State University) for his dedicated work on conservation of chemosynthetic ecosystems and the deep-sea coral Lophelia reef ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Ahlfeld was awarded the 3rd Robert Avent Medal with standing ovation from the audience (see photos).

 

       The Robert Avent Medal was founded by the board of directors of GIBS in memory of the late Dr. Robert Avent (Ph. D., Florida State University) with solemn recognition of his outstanding research contributions on cold coral ecology (Oculina reefs off Florida) and dedicated service to MMS for 27 years, with focus on conservation of deep-water ecosystems in conjunction with oil and gas drilling and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico. The first ‘Avent Medal’ was awarded during the 2005 International Deep-Sea Coral Symposium in Miami to Dr. John Reed of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, Florida. The second ‘Avent Medal’. was presented by GIBS to Dr. William Hogarth, Assistant Secretary of NOAA for marine fisheries during the 2006 North Carolina Coastal Ecosystems Symposium at Carolina Beach, North Carolina. Dr. Tom Ahlfeld of MMS now joins the ranks of these two prominent American Oceanographers in accepting the 3rd ‘Avent Medal’.

 

Congratulations.

 

                Robert Y. George Ph. D.

                President and CEO of George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability