Professor John G. Crock Awarded Research Grant


John Crock Anthropology Assistant Professor John G. Crock was one of six recipients of the 2009 Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grant. Crock was rewarded based on the following grant proposal: “Establishing a Pre-Columbian Fishery Baseline on Anguilla: Impacts of Marine Resources and Implications for Management.”

This project provides statistically robust data on the long-term exploitation of sea turtle, fin-fishes, and invertebrates on Anguilla, Lesser Antilles.

Marine Conservation Biology Institute (MCBI) announced the recipients of the 2009 Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grants in Marine Environmental History and Historical Marine Ecology. This granting program is one of the first of its kind to support efforts that look at past ocean conditions.

This grant program is a tribute to Dr. Mia J. Tegner, a marine biologist at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, who lost her life in January 2001 while diving off Southern California. Dr. Tegner studied the ecology of kelp forest communities and abalone populations, and was particularly interested in understanding how marine populations and ecosystems have changed as a result of human activities. To honor her work, the Mia J. Tegner Program was established in 2001 to support the efforts of promising young scientists and graduate students to document the composition and abundance of ocean life before large-scale human alterations. This information is essential for helping policy-makers, lawmakers, regulators, managers, and conservationists set appropriate targets for marine conservation efforts.

"We are proud to be advancing the science of marine conservation biology and the overlooked study of historical marine ecology by supporting these efforts to better understand the history of our oceans," says Dr. Lance Morgan, program manager of MCBI's award program. He noted that this year's selection process was particularly difficult because of the large number of deserving projects. "We received over 50 high-quality proposals from applicants around the world to fund work in areas ranging from Antarctica to the Florida Keys; in the end we were able to fund six projects."

Importantly these studies will help establish historical baselines of past ocean and coastal environments to inform conservation and management. Dr. Heather Lynch will be following in the steps of scientist-explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot, whose ecological records from Antarctica during the first and second French Antarctic Expeditions in the early 1900's will be used to investigate changes to the benthic community of Antarctica. Doctoral student Lida Teneva's study will establish historical baselines of calcification rates and pollution for the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

John Crock Three of the awards went to socio-ecological studies of tropical marine island ecosystems; Ms. Brittany Davis of the University of Arizona will be researching the socio-ecological history in the waters of Utilla, Honduras, while Dr. Rintaro Ono and Mr. Alex Morrison will be examining the socio-ecological history of the waters around Tokelau, Polynesia, and Dr. John Crock of the University of Vermont will be studying the socio-ecological history of Anguilla in the Caribbean (pictured). Finally, Mr. Steven Choy will be expanding historical information available to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to assist future sanctuary management.

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