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Research Ecologist Jim Estes Receives a Meritorious Service Award from the Department of the Interior

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Jim Estes, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research ecologist and adjunct professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, received a Meritorious Service Award at the USGS Western Region Awards Ceremony held October 15, 2003, in Menlo Park, CA.

The Meritorious Service Award was established by the Department of the Interior in 1948 and is the second-highest departmental honor award that can be granted to a career employee (the highest is the Distinguished Service Award).

Western Regional Director Doug Buffington read the following summary of Jim's citation at the ceremony:

Western Regional Geologist Wes Ward and Jim Estes
Western Regional Geologist Wes Ward (left) had the pleasure of presenting USGS research ecologist Jim Estes with a Department of the Interior Meritorious Service Award.
Jim Estes is awarded this citation in recognition of his exceptional research on the role of predators in coastal marine ecosystems. Jim discovered the keystone role of the sea otter in kelp forests, uncovering the dramatic effects that disturbing one element in this ecosystem had on its other elements. Jim has documented the collapse of the sea-otter/kelp-forest ecosystem in western Alaska and the role of killer-whale predation in the collapse. His outstanding and innovative research has taken the knowledge of worldwide marine ecosystems to new levels of understanding and appreciation, revealing the clear role of overfishing and consequent changes in ecological communities. Jim's work has already influenced global decision makers to set new policy goals for restoration and management of coastal ecosystems.

Related Sound Waves Stories
Collapsing Populations of Marine Mammals—the North Pacific's Whaling Legacy?
October 2003
California Sea Otter Numbers Are Up for the 2003 Census
July 2003
California Sea Otter Numbers Slide for Second Straight Year
July 2002
Congressional Briefing on California Sea Otter Research
March 2002
What's Wrong with the California Sea Otter?
February 2002

Related Web Sites
Sea Otter Research
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Southern California Gas Hydrate Discovered

Gulf of Mexico Deep-Water Coral Habitats

Impacts of Hurricane Isabel

Research 2003 Hokkaido Earthquake and Tsunami

Outreach Marion County Springs Festival

Earth Science Week Exhibits

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Sally Ride Science Festival

Meetings Blacks in Government

Awards Estes Receives Meritorious Service Award

Maender Receives Communicator of the Year Award

Staff & Center News Marincioni Farewell

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