UNC researcher awarded top prize for oceanography, fresh water studies

June 06, 2003

CHAPEL HILL -- The American Society of Limnology and Oceanography has presented its top honor this year, the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award, to Dr. Hans Paerl, Kenan professor of marine and environmental sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Given annually since 1982 at the society's annual meeting, the award recognizes excellence in oceanography and limnology, the study of fresh water. It is intended to symbolize the quality and innovations toward which the society strives and reminds its members of those goals.

Paerl, a UNC faculty member since 1978, was recognized "for contributing to understanding of aquatic microbial processes, for documenting linkages among the atmospheric deposition of nitrogen, coastal eutrophication and harmful algal blooms, and for crossing traditional research boundaries ... within freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems."

Recipients are mid-career scientists who have made considerable contributions to knowledge and whose future work promises a continuing legacy of scientific excellence, according to Hutchinson's wishes.

Past winners have been recognized for studies of acid rain, bacteria in natural waters, nitrogen and carbon cycles and plankton dynamics, precipitation chemistry, limnology and wetlands ecology, phosphorus and microbes in estuaries.

Paerl works at and out of the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City concentrating chiefly on N.C. rivers, estuaries and sounds but also studying aquatic ecosystems throughout the world.

The scientist earned his doctorate in ecology and limnology at the University of California at Davis in 1973. He has written or co-written more than 220 scientific publications and has served in expert scientific panels overseeing the Potomac River and the Florida Bay.

He has spoken at scores of scientific meetings and has been heavily involved with fellow researchers and state and federal agencies in monitoring and improving estaurine and coastal water quality in North Carolina and the nation.
UNC News Services

Note: Paerl, who is on the West Coast, can be reached via email at hpaerl@email.unc.edu

Contact: David Williamson, 919-962-8596

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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