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Letter from David Kennedy to the National Ocean Service

Published on: 09/29/2011

Hi folks,

Ocean Service Administrator David Kennedy

National Ocean Service Administrator David Kennedy

I would like to take a moment to congratulate Dr. James A. Morris, Jr., from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), for his receipt of the 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This award is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers and represents a great achievement.

Dr. Morris was selected for this award in recognition of his research on lionfish, an invasive species currently impacting reefs throughout the Caribbean and south Atlantic. Dr. Morris reached out to colleagues at NOAA and other agencies, governments around the Caribbean, and to advocates at nongovernmental organizations to address the lionfish issue. His work earned attention from media around the country, and famous chefs caught "Eat Lionfish" fever as a result of his research. Controlling this invader may be daunting, but with the knowledge gained by Dr. Morris's work, we at least have a better handle on what it will take to succeed.

The Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, North Carolina, is extremely proud of the honor bestowed on Dr. Morris, and so am I. The award recognizes his achievements to date and speaks to his future contributions to science and to our nation.

This is another example of how science underpins all of the work we do within NOS. My thanks go out to James and everyone around the organization for your dedication and innovation. Keep up the excellent work!

Thank you,

David Kennedy
Assistant Administrator
National Ocean Service

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