UCSB Professor Receives National Mentoring Award

Steven Gaines, professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology at UC Santa Barbara, has received the inaugural Marc J. Hershman Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. Gaines is also director of UCSB's Marine Science Institute.

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a national bipartisan organization working toward ocean policy reform, established the award in memory of Professor Marc J. Hershman, who was a leader in the field of ocean and coastal policy for more than 30 years. He served as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. Although widely respected for his work in the ocean and coastal management arena, a prominent highlight of Hershman's legacy remains his great devotion to mentoring and inspiring young people. His dedication and enthusiasm for mentoring students, as well as his continued facilitation of their professional development in their early careers, has helped to cultivate the next generation of ocean and coastal managers and scientists.

Gaines is a marine ecologist who studies marine conservation, the design of marine reserves, the impact of climate change on oceans, and sustainable fisheries. Two of his colleagues, including a former student, nominated him for the award, noting that he has been the inspiration for nearly 200 graduate and undergraduate students. They said that his engagement with his students and younger colleagues is strongly reminiscent of Marc Hershman's style. He supports young scientists by challenging them to take on big issues and championing the results of their work. One colleague wrote, "I feel extremely fortunate to have both been mentored by Steve and have an ongoing working relationship with him. Now that I am mentoring students, I continually try to emulate Steve's model of leadership with my own students."

Gaines shares the award with Steven Cadrin, a professor of fisheries oceanography at the School for Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. "The Joint Initiative is proud to present this award to Dr. Steven Gaines and Dr. Steven Cadrin as they truly exemplify Professor Hershman's legacy and are working enthusiastically to inspire future leaders in the field of ocean and coastal management and science," said James Watkins, retired admiral of the U.S. Navy and co-chair of the Joint Initiative.

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Steven Gaines

Marine Science Institute

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