Kendall Valentine is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University. The award was sponsored by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and is designed to cultivate the next generation of ocean scientists. Kendall spoke on “Spatial Patterns of Long-Term Marsh Edge Loss in Barataria Bay,” in which she demonstrated differential erosion of north-facing and south-facing shorelines depending on wind direction and water level. Her work was funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative through the Coastal Waters Consortium (https://cwc.lumcon.edu). Kendall’s major professor, Dr. Giulio Mariotti, was a co-author of her presentation.
The Student Award for Excellence in Research is named after Admiral James D. Watkins, a hero in the ocean community who passed away in 2012. Admiral Watkins lived a life of public service, and his extraordinary influence on the ocean science community is immeasurable. He served as the chair of the U.S Commission on Ocean Policy, co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, and founder of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, the precursor to the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Given his lifelong pursuit of encouraging and building the next generation of ocean scientists, it is appropriate that the award given in his name recognizes excellent research and motivates students to continue to excel in the field of oceanography.