Long-time VCR/LTER Investigator Iris Anderson has received the 2019 Odum Lifetime Achievement Award from the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation (CERF). The award named jointly in honor of William E. Odum III (former lead investigator of the VCR/LTER), his father Eugene P. Odum and his uncle Howard T. Odum “recognizes the lifetime achievements of an outstanding estuarine scientist whose sustained accomplishments have made important contributions to our understanding of estuaries and coastal ecosystems” and is awarded only once every 2 years.
The award text states:
“Dr. Iris Anderson stands out as a trailblazer and leader in the fields of shallow-water estuarine and coastal ecosystem biogeochemistry and ecology, outstanding mentor and role model, very appropriately filling the mold of the Odum family legacy. In addition to her numerous accomplishments in these research, teaching, and outreach areas, the impacts of Iris’ work are all the more significant given her non-traditional path. She navigated a PhD program as the only woman in her class, paused her education to raise a family, and found a passageway back to gaining her doctorate and an outstanding record of professional achievements, having most recently served as Dean of Graduate studies at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (College of William & Mary). Iris’ career serves as a strong reminder to the CERF community that scientific excellence can be enhanced and informed by non-linear trajectories.
In addition, Iris has been inspirational for many young scientists. She frequently engages students in detailed conversations about their research and freely offers both advice and encouragement. Her research has evolved over time to keep pace with cutting-edge techniques and topics of broad interest to estuarine ecologists. She has a long history of working with a diverse cadre of scientists and students on a broad range of both scientific and applied topics that have clarified our understanding of complex biogeochemical processes in freshwater and marine habitats. This is reflected in her excellent first author high-impact publications and syntheses, and also in the many groundbreaking, highly cited, interdisciplinary publications that she has shared as co-author with a long and impressive list of students, technicians, and colleagues.
Iris has been a tireless contributor to the broader field of estuarine and coastal science and CERF in particular as a co-Editor of Estuaries and Coasts, and she continues to serve a very active, broad-based role in the review and editorial process.
Lastly, despite her long and rewarding career path, we note that Iris is far from “being done” as a solid contributor and pacesetter in estuarine and coastal science. She continues to be a tireless, creative, interactive, giving, and distinguished researcher, teacher, and role model, worthy of this year’s Odum Award.”