Oceanographer Andrew Bakun received the Prince Albert I lifetime achievement award in Monaco.
Andrew Bakun, professor of marine biology and fisheries at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, is the 2013 recipient of the Great Medal of Prince Albert The First, awarded by the Oceanographic Institute of the Foundation of Albert I, Prince of Monaco, for Bakun’s lifetime achievements in ocean research.
A leading global expert in the field of marine science, Bakun has worked as a professional oceanographer for more than a half century, including 22 years at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and nine years (1983-1992) as director of the NOAA Pacific Marine Fisheries Environmental Laboratory in Monterey, California. He later served seven years in the Fisheries Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy.
“I’m proud and honored to be selected for this award,” Bakun said, after bringing the gold medallion home from a November 7 ceremony in Monaco. “Although over the years my ideas and research were sometimes considered controversial by international colleagues, I believe the Board of Directors of the Prince Albert I Institute, and Prince Albert’s great grandson, Prince Albert II, the current ruler of Monaco, have elevated the status of my work to an integral part of the international ocean science mainstream.”
Bakun specializes in the physical and biological interactions within the oceans, as well as the effects of climate variations on ecosystems and marine populations. As a field expert, he took part in the International Indian Ocean Expedition in the 1960s. During two years on that ocean, he conducted research on what the United Nations called “the last unexplored frontiers.” On the expedition, Bakun said he gained the invaluable work methods and experiences that have served him throughout his career. As a professor, Bakun always has stressed to students the same message of humility with respect to the oceans.
Established in 1948 to honor the centenary of the birth of Prince Albert I of Monaco, an early leader in the development of ocean science, the Great Medal of Albert is awarded annually to a single scientist selected for extraordinary work in the field of ocean research. In 1981, for example, the prestigious award was granted to Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
The Oceanographic Institute, Albert I Foundation, Prince of Monaco, supports the implementation of sustainable management of the oceans to reconcile the preservation of biodiversity and environmentally sound marine ecosystems.