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Changing of the Virginia Guard

Jan 21, 2019 | Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, Healthy Habitats, Reserves

 Ken Moore and his sweet ride. Photos courtesy Chesapeake Bay Virginia Reserve.

Forty-five years ago, Ken Moore pulled up to Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) in his 1966 Mustang. Last December, he drove away in the same car, and in the rearview, was a remarkable career.

Ken is an international leader in the field of coastal water quality and seagrass ecology and has contributed significantly to the preservation and restoration of ecologically important seagrass habitats around the world, especially in Chesapeake Bay, which saw a remarkable recovery in 2017.

He had a ringside seat for the founding of our Chesapeake Bay Reserve in Virginia in 1991. There, he oversaw the Reserve’s System-Wide Monitoring Program, which uses a network of continuously recording water quality sensors, meteorological stations, and intensive biological monitoring. A particular focus was to develop, new, enhanced shallow water monitoring technologies.

“Looking back over some 16 years where Ken served as the Reserve’s Science Lead, he is leaving us in a much better place,” says Reserve Director Willy Reay. “Our goal to continue to build upon his efforts—in short to continue Ken’s Legacy. This effort includes the continued build-out of our coastal habitat sentinel site and water quality monitoring and assessment programs.”

Ken’s also left the future of coastal science in a much better place. Through his work at the Reserve and as chair of the VIMS Department of Biological Sciences, Ken mentored many students and young scientists, helping them to conduct coastal research at VIMS and throughout the Reserve system. Through it all, he been a colleague who is “welcoming, fun, interesting…heliophilic, persistent….and sweet.”

There’s no doubt that Ken has left some big waders to fill, but we are fortunate to have Dr. Carl Friedrichs willing to try them on.

Welcome to Carl Friedrichs!

Carl is the Loretta and Lewis Chaired Professor of Marine Science and the Department of Physical Sciences Chair at VIMS. He received a B.A. in Geology form Amherst College and a Ph.D from MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography.

Carl’s scientific expertise and interests compliment the Reserve and the system and will help us continue to make impactful contributions to coastal observing systems, water quality assessments including syntheses and modeling, and shallow water and wetland ecosystem science and management. Central to his new position will be to serve as an advisor to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the multi-state/agency Chesapeake Bay Program,  and NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

Welcome to Cirse Gonzalez!

Our Virginia Reserve is also welcoming a new coastal training program coordinator, Cirse Gonzalez. To the Reserve she brings experience in communications and outreach, natural resource management, responsible recreation and marine ecology from her work with organizations including the U.S. Federation Recreation Council and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Cirse is devoted to fostering science-based and community-supported resource management and socio-ecological system resilience. Her career has taken her from Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska to Mali Island, Fiji. We’re glad she found her way to Virginia!

Please join NERRA, Willy, and the rest of the crew at our Virginia Reserve in welcoming Carl and Cirse to the NERRS family!

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ReservesChesapeake Bay, VirginiaChanging of the Virginia Guard