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WHOI Waypoints: Recent Medals and Awards for WHOI Researchers

Lauren Mullineaux, a Senior Scientist in the WHOI Biology Department, has been honored for her contributions to graduate education with the Institution’s first Arnold B. Arons Award for Excellence in Teaching, Advising, and Mentoring.

Students, alumni, and colleagues chose to honor Mullineaux for a “teaching style that offers clarity without over-generalization, concreteness without simply listing fact after fact, and an open conversational tone that encourages dialogue and exploration of ideas.” Others said “her dedication to excellent science, thoughtful and caring interaction with students and colleagues, and her fostering of a positive working environment make her an excellent role model as both a scientist and a lab leader.”

Mullineaux, who first came to WHOI in 1987, has participated in more than 30 research cruises, has served on dozens of committees at the Institution and in the international oceanographic community, and has written numerous articles in scientific journals and books. Her research interests include larval dispersal and settlement, benthic community ecology, and deep-sea biology.

The award was established to honor the memory of Dr. Arnold B. Arons, an employee of the Institution during World War II who later served as a WHOI Trustee. He collaborated with WHOI colleague Henry Stommel after the war, making many contributions to physical oceanography, and was instrumental in establishing and developing the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography and Engineering in 1968.


The 11,000-member American Meteorological Society has chosen Joseph Pedlosky, Senior Scientist in the WHOI Physical Oceanography Department, for its prestigious 2005 Sverdrup Gold Medal. The award is granted to researchers who “make outstanding contributions to the scientific knowledge of interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere.” In the award notice, Pedlosky was cited “for developing geophysical fluid dynamics, including the theories of baroclinic instability and of ocean circulation driven by wind and buoyancy flux.”


WHOI has awarded endowed chairs to five researchers, recognizing them for “extraordinary scientific research and education.” The chairs provide three to five years of funding.

Lloyd Keigwin, Senior Scientist in the Geology and Geophysics Department, was named the first recipient of the Edna McConnell Clark Chair for Excellence in Oceanography. Keigwin’s research focuses on the ocean’s role in climate change, as viewed through studies of deep-sea sediments. Colleagues noted that Keigwin was among the first to document a change in the properties of Atlantic water masses during the last ice age. He serves as chair of the scientific steering committee for the United Kingdom’s Rapid Climate Change Program.

The chair was established in 2004 in honor of longtime Institution supporter Edna McConnell Clark. The Clark Family has generously supported the people, programs, and facilities at WHOI for more than 50 years. Clark Laboratory, the Institution’s largest research facility, is named in honor of Mrs. Clark and her late husband, W. Van Alan Clark, Sr. They also helped found the WHOI Associates Program in 1952 and helped endow the joint graduate program with MIT.

James Moffett, Senior Scientist in the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, was awarded the Mary Sears Chair for Excellence in Oceanography to continue his development of new analytical approaches to controlled laboratory experiments and novel hypotheses concerning the impacts of trace metals like copper, iron, and zinc on plankton in the open ocean. “Creative and innovative science” have been the hallmarks of Moffett’s career at WHOI, according to colleagues, who also praised his ability to get marine chemists and biologists to work together. The chair is named for Mary Sears, one of the first staff members of the Institution and a guiding force in its development.

The Robert W. Morse Chair for Excellence in Oceanography was awarded to James Lynch, Senior Scientist in the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department. Colleagues noted that he has been “an innovative and invaluable researcher” in the fields of acoustics, geology, and physical oceanography, and has “paved the way to a better understanding of the complicated and many faceted problem of acoustic propagation in shallow water environments.” The chair is named for former Associate Director and Dean of Graduate Studies Robert Morse, a physicist with research interests in underwater acoustics.

John Toole, Senior Scientist in the Physical Oceanography Department, is the recipient of the Columbus O’Donnell Iselin Chair for Excellence in Oceanography. Toole studies the physics of ocean mixing, global heat and freshwater budgets, water mass formation and circulation, and oceanographic instrument development. Colleagues noted that Toole “observes widely, measures new things, interprets well, is thoroughly informed about general principles, and even develops new devices to add to the collection of instruments for the world community.” The chair is named for the Institution’s second director, a major force in American oceanography in the first part of the 20th century.

Lary Ball, a Research Specialist in the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, was awarded the Allyn Vine Senior Technical Award. A 25-year veteran of WHOI, Ball manages the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and emission spectrometry (ICP) facility and collaborates with chemist Kenneth Buesseler. Colleagues noted that Ball’s technical skills and ability as a facility manager have made the ICPMS an internationally recognized facility. The award is named for former WHOI scientist Allyn Vine, a visionary champion of undersea tools and techniques, for whom the submersible Alvin was named.

Originally published: November 1, 2004