Holland America Line and Marine Conservation Institute announced the recipients of the 2012 Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grants in Marine Environmental History and Historical Marine Ecology. Funded through a partnership between Marine Conservation Institute and Holland America Line, the program supports efforts of promising young scientists and graduate students to study the history of ocean ecology to predict future impacts from human interactions.
The information gathered through research studies is essential to help law-makers, regulators, and conservationists set appropriate targets for marine conservation efforts that take into account the sustained health and productivity of the world’s oceans.
The 2012 Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grant Recipients are:
• Canan Cakirar, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
“Confronting the ‘myth of the bitter sea’: pre-historic exploitation of the eastern Mediterranean seascape.”
• Jock Currie, University of Cape Town
“Reconstructing baselines prior to industrial fishing in South Africa — supporting the implementation of offshore marine protected areas.”
• Luis A. Huckstadt, University of California Santa Cruz
“Is a century of human intervention enough to change the ecology of an Antarctic marine top predator: the Weddell seal?”
• Alexis M. Jackson, University of California Santa Cruz
“Molecular approaches to better monitor population sizes and the impact of Marine Protected Areas on commercial species lacking baseline fisheries data.”
“We are proud to be advancing the science of marine conservation biology and historical marine ecology by supporting these efforts to better understand the history of our oceans,” said Dr. Lance Morgan, president and CEO of Marine Conservation Institute. “We received ninety-one applications for research ranging from Antarctica to the Bering Sea. The four projects we selected to fund will help establish historical baselines for ocean and coastal environments to better manage and protect imperiled ocean resources for the future.”
“I am impressed with the passion and dedication of these researchers whose work covers a wide variety of disciplines,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. “I am proud that Holland America Line can help support these important programs again in 2012.”
The grant program is a tribute to Dr. Mia J. Tegner, a marine biologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who died in January 2001 while diving off the Southern California coast. 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. 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.
The 2012 grants were made possible by a generous donation by Holland America Line. The funding is an extension of “Our Marvelous Oceans,” a three-year program announced by the two partners in 2010. The partnership also includes guest and staff education, support for marine conservation biology research and the recent creation of a sustainable seafood program with environmentally responsible purchasing practices and menus that showcase sustainable seafood.