Nav: Home

Protecting the ocean

January 12, 2017

UC Santa Barbara marine biologist and conservation ecologist Benjamin Halpern is among 10 recipients of a 2017 Peter Benchley Ocean Award.

Often referred to as the "Academy Awards for the Ocean," the honor recognizes a diverse group of marine leaders whose collective efforts cover a range of important global conservation solutions. Among them are creating and vastly expanding marine protected areas, mitigating overfishing, reducing marine pollution and addressing climate change.

Halpern, director of UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and a professor at the campus's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, is recognized for his work to provide cutting-edge marine science that has advanced the understanding of ocean processes, marine ecology and conservation biology.

"With a campus surrounded by the ocean, UCSB takes the health of our marine environments very seriously, and that's part of why I am so proud to call Ben Halpern one of our esteemed faculty members," said Steve Gaines, dean of the Bren School. "He has been a tireless leader in many areas of marine science, so I am extremely pleased that he is receiving national recognition for his groundbreaking research and global efforts to improve the health of our oceans."

Halpern is renowned for research that analyzes a broad range of complex questions spanning local to global scales, spatial population dynamics, food web interactions and conservation planning for ocean and freshwater ecosystems, with the primary goal of informing and facilitating effective ocean conservation and resource management. Specifically, he has led and participated in several groundbreaking research projects that have increased our knowledge regarding the state of the world's oceans and the potential for marine reserves to improve ocean conditions, including the development and mapping of cumulative impact assessments and as the lead scientist for the Ocean Health Index project.

"It's really exciting and a great honor to receive this award," said Halpern. "It's also humbling to be in the company of the other awards winners, who have all done really amazing work on behalf of the ocean."

Among the 2017 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards winners are an Indonesian leader who is the driving force behind Asia's fierce crackdown on illegal fishing activity and slavery; two U.S. senators who have actively championed the creation and expansion of huge marine wilderness parks; three innovative regional teams whose collaborations are finding new ways to use and protect our public seas; a brother and sister duo who have dedicated half of their young lives to helping save the seas from oil, plastic and other forms of pollution; and a grassroots leader whose pioneering use of local fishing knowledge is transforming Maine's fisheries.

Halpern is the third Bren faculty member to receive a Peter Benchley Ocean Award. Last year, professor Chris Costello was recognized with the Excellence in Solutions award, and Gaines was honored for Excellence in Science in 2014.

Cofounded by ocean conservation and policy advocate Wendy Benchley and author and Blue Frontier Executive Director David Helvarg, the awards are named in honor of "Jaws" author Peter Benchley, who worked for 40 years educating the public on shark and ocean conservation issues through his numerous books, films, documentary programs, articles for National Geographic and public appearances. Founded in 2003, Blue Frontier is a U.S.-based marine conservation activist organization that works to establish a nationwide network of grassroots lobbyists.

The awards will be presented May 11 in Washington, D.C.
-end-


University of California - Santa Barbara

Related Health Articles:

Public health guidelines aim to lower health risks of cannabis use
Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, released today with the endorsement of key medical and public health organizations, provide 10 science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risks.
Generous health insurance plans encourage overtreatment, but may not improve health
Offering comprehensive health insurance plans with low deductibles and co-pay in exchange for higher annual premiums seems like a good value for the risk averse, and a profitable product for insurance companies.
The Lancet Planetary Health: Food, climate, greenhouse gas emissions and health
Increasing temperatures, water scarcity, availability of agricultural land, biodiversity loss and climate change threaten to reverse health gains seen over the last century.
With health insurance at risk, community health centers face cut-backs
Repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, combined with a failure to renew critical funding streams, would result in catastrophic funding losses for community health centers-forcing these safety net providers to cut back on services, lay off staff or shut down clinical sites, according to a report published today.
Study clusters health behavior groups to broaden public health interventions
A new study led by a University of Kansas researcher has used national health statistics and identified how to cluster seven health behavior groups based on smoking status, alcohol use, physical activity, physician visits and flu vaccination are associated with mortality.
Tailored preventive oral health intervention improves dental health among elderly
A tailored preventive oral health intervention significantly improved the cleanliness of teeth and dentures among elderly home care clients.
Study finds that people are attracted to outward signs of health, not actual health
Findings published in the journal Behavioral Ecology reveal that skin with yellow and red pigments is perceived as more attractive in Caucasian males, but this skin coloring does not necessarily signal actual good health.
In the January Health Affairs: Brazil's primary health care expansion
The January issue of Health Affairs includes a study that explores a much-discussed issue in global health: the role of governance in improving health, which is widely recognized as necessary but is difficult to tie to actual outcomes.
University of Rochester and West Health Collaborate on d.health Summit 2017
In collaboration with West Health, the University of Rochester is hosting the third annual d.health Summit, a forum for health care and technology leaders, entrepreneurs, senior care advocates and policymakers to exchange ideas, create new partnerships, and foster disruptive technological and process innovations to improve the lives of the nation's aging population.
Study links health literacy to higher levels of health insurance coverage
The federal Affordable Care Act is intended to make it easier for individuals to buy health insurance, but are the uninsured equipped to navigate the choices faced in the insurance marketplace?

Related Health Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...