Members of the Chesapeake community were recently recognized for their outstanding efforts to protect the Bay in the areas of entertainment, activism and education.

  • Songwriter, singer Tom Wisner is the recipient of the 2003 John Denver Award from the World Folk Music Association, which honors musicians whose work make the world a better place. Wisner, whose recent CD, “Made of Water” includes the songs “Chesapeake Born” and “Wild River,” was recognized for the quality of his work to preserve the Bay by using songs and stories in education programs for all ages. His training includes both ecology and the arts and he has worked as a naturalist and teacher as well as a graphic and performing artist.
  • Melvin Noland, a retired C&P official forestry activist, received the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s 2003 Ellen Fraites Wagner Award, which recognizes outstanding volunteer contributions to help the Bay. Noland, who has been with the Baltimore Forestry Council since 1978 and its chair since 1987, contributes more than 1,500 hours a year promoting wise tree planting and forest management in Baltimore County. In addition to hundreds of tree plantings, he has pioneered school-based, tree grow-out stations; assisted in the development of the Bachelor of Science Urban Forestry Program at the University of Maryland; and conducted countless workshops. At present, he is working with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to develop an outdoor education center in the Days Cove area of Gunpowder State Park.
  • Dr. Linda C. Schaffner, associate professor of marine science at the College of William and Mary, was one of 10 recipients of the 2003 Outstanding Faculty Award, Virginia’s highest award for faculty at the commonwealth’s colleges and universities. Schaffner was honored for her commitment to the graduate program at the College’s School of Marine Science, as well as the school’s undergraduates and its internship program. Her leading edge research in the development of the Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity for the Chesapeake Bay has enhanced sustainable management in that ecosystem. She is the associated editor of the journal, Estuaries, and was recently elected president of the Estuarine Research Federation (the world’s largest estuarine science organization) for the 2003–2005 term.
  • Dr. Cynthia Jones, a biological sciences professor at Old Dominion University was named one of Virginia’s Outstanding Scientists for 2003. Jones is known internationally as a pioneer in fisheries ecology and as the developer of two important laboratory techniques: an analysis that uses fish ear bones to accurately determine the age of a fish and another in which the analysis of the chemical makeup of a fish’s bone accurately predicts the locations in which that fish developed. Because of her work, scientists can identify essential fish habitats and determine which ones provide better living conditions. She is presently researching the importance of Bay seagrass beds for fish survival.
  • Dr. William Hargis Jr., emeritus professor of marine science and former director of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science was named one of Virginia’s Outstanding Scientists for 2003. Hargis is known for his research in oysters, Virginia river processes and pollution-related studies. He helped to turn the Virginia Fisheries Laboratory into the internationally respected VIMS School of Marine Science of the College of William and Mary. Hargis has been active in bridging the gap between science and public policy at state, federal and international levels, as well as promoting marine science and good stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay’s resources.