Loews Annapolis Hotel

Annapolis, Maryland

March 18-20, 2010


CLICK HERE to view photos. 


by Sara Mirabilio

Student presentations once again carried a successful Tidewater meeting.  A total of 24 presentations were evaluated and scored by six judges (10 posters and 14 oral papers).

In the poster category, the judges selected these winners:

First Place: Jay T. Turnure (Rutgers University), Small-scale Movements and Site Fidelity in Weakfish, Cynoscion regalis: Diel and Seasonal Patterns in a Mid-Atlantic Bight Estuary.

Second Place: Christian W. Conroy (University of Maryland), Migration and Habitat Use Patterns by Age 0 Striped Bass in the Patuxent River Estuary, Maryland, USA.

Third Place: Marissa G. Brady (Delaware State University), Combining Mark-Recapture and Telemetry to Understand American Eel Population Dynamics.

In the oral paper category, the judges selected these winners:

First Place: Cecilia S. Krahforst (East Carolina University), Using Passive Acoustics to Monitor Atlantic Croaker Populations in Pamlico Sound, NC.

Second Place (tie): Ryan J. Woodland (University of Maryland), Assessing Changes in Trophic Ecology of Juvenile Fish Across an Estuarine-Marine Boundary: Consequences of Natal Habitat Use.

Second Place (tie): Lonnie Gonsalves (University of Maryland Eastern Shore), Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Disease Progression in Striped Bass, Morone saxatilis.

Tidewater Chapter Special Awards:

The Conservation Award is given periodically by the Tidewater Chapter to an individual, resource management agency, corporation, or non-profit organization that has distinguished themselves through notable fisheries or habitat conservation activities.  This year the Chapter recognized two deserving individuals.

The first of two Conservation Award recipients was Karl Blankenship, long-time editor and principal staff writer for the Bay Journal. Launched in 1991 and published as a public service by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay for 20 years, and by Chesapeake Media Services beginning with the March 20, 2010 issue, the Bay Journal is the “newspaper of record” for Bay happenings.  Articles in this paper are frequently cited in reports, books and other publications.  The Bay Journal is one of the most dependable sources of accurate and also comprehensive coverage of often complicated scientific topics and usually controversial fisheries policy issues, thanks to Karl’s extraordinary analytical and writing skills.  He can take on a formidable environmental issue and tell a story that is clear, concise and easily understood.  Karl can communicate science to a very broad audience in a way that makes most scientists and resources managers drool with envy.  Respect for Karl and his writing skills extends far beyond the Bay Journal’s readership of over 40,000.  He has won numerous awards for his work, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.   

The second Conservation Award recipient was Jim Uphoff.  Jim is with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries Service and a Past-President of the Tidewater Chapter.  He has a long and distinguished record of applied science and advisory service in support of better land use, habitat protection, and fisheries management. His style of initiating discussion and debate in a sometimes self-deprecating and unassuming manner is well known.  This approach usually launches Jim into a well thought-out, critical comment or firmly-held view supported by his many years of experience as a field biologist and fisheries scientist.  Jim does not demure when he holds unpopular beliefs.  For example, he expressed the controversial view early in his career at Maryland DNR (early 1980’s) that Chesapeake Bay striped bass were being over-exploited, a position that according to the recent book, Striper Wars, nearly cost him his job.  Jim also insisted that scientists and managers did not completely understand what led to the recovery of striped bass in Chesapeake Bay, after the moratorium on fishing, and argued that the parable of recovery is far more complex than most believe.  He forced the issue of predation effects into the ASMFC’s stock assessments for weakfish and Atlantic menhaden.  Jim has also been an outspoken and effective promoter of the obvious, but often ignored or poorly understood, linkages among land-use planning, watershed development, and fisheries management in Chesapeake Bay.  His initiative and problem-solving skills as a field biologist and fisheries scientist, coupled with his constant search for new ways to “skin a cat,” have led him to find answers to many key questions.

The Excellence in Fisheries Education Award is presented periodically to a Tidewater Chapter member who has achieved excellence in teaching and student advising in the field of fisheries science, and who also encourages student participation in Tidewater Chapter, American Fisheries Society, and other fisheries-related meetings.

This year’s Excellence in Fisheries Education award went to Dr. Ed Houde.  Ed is a Professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory.  Ed’s research experience, publication record, and leadership on numerous review, advisory and planning committees for university, regional, state, federal and international groups are noteworthy.  These career contributions were recognized by the Tidewater Chapter in 2005, when Ed received a Conservation Award.  But, his enthusiasm, energy and commitment to quality education also are well known.  “His method of teaching is very enjoyable, as he brings his passion for science…..into the classroom”, said one of Ed’s students. He taught a graduate-level “Fisheries Science and Management” course at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and also later at the University of Maryland for more than 35 years.  More recently, in collaboration with the late Dr. John Olney (VIMS), Ed taught an “Early Life History of Marine Fishes” course that is internationally known.  He gave an excellent lecture on fisheries management in a graduate-level “Ecosystem-based Resource Management” course that was collaboratively offered by MD/DNR and the University of Maryland to DNR employees and UMD students.  Ed’s colleagues, graduate students, and post-docs are inspired and humbled by his work ethic.  He generously shares his wealth of scientific knowledge with all students who work under his guidance, and he offers abundant encouragement while setting an example of honesty and integrity.  To date, Ed has mentored 11 PhD and at least 28 Master’s students who have taken (or soon will take) their places in the world of fisheries science and management. 

The Eileen Setzler-Hamilton Memorial Scholarship is presented periodically to one or more outstanding graduate students who are currently enrolled in a fisheries science or closely-related curriculum and who have displayed a commitment to excellence in research, teaching, professional endeavors, and public education, outreach and community.  This award was created in 2003 to remember Dr. Eileen Setzler-Hamilton, a long-time member of the American Fisheries Society and fourth president (1989) of the Tidewater Chapter.

This year the Chapter was able to offer the Eileen award to three deserving candidates.  The first place award went to Cecilia Krahhorst, a M.S. candidate in Biology at East Carolina University, who has been accepted to the Ph.D. program in Coastal Resource Management at East Carolina.  The two honorable mention awards were given to Ryan Woodland, a Ph.D. candidate in Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Sciences at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, and to Jacob Boyd, a M.S. candidate in Biology at East Carolina University.