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Society for Freshwater Science Awards

We welcome nominations for each of these awards at any time. All nominations received before May 1 of each year will be considered for the subsequent year. Please upload your nomination materials here:

SFS Awards Nomination Portal

All award nominations should include:
-a nominating letter
-one or more letters of support compiled into a single document

For the Hynes Award only, the nomination package must also include the upload of the paper for which the author is being nominated.

Award of Excellence

SFS 2016 Award of Excellence: Clifford Dahm

Dr. Clifford N. Dahm, the 2016 recipient of the SFS Award of Excellence, has a distinguished career in ecosystem studies and aquatic ecology that has produced a large and influential body of inter-disciplinary research. Cliff has made substantial research contributions in areas including stream geomicrobiology, stream biogeochemistry and the influence of hyporheic, ecohydrology, nutrient dynamics, tower-based evapotranspiration dynamics of riparian zones, stream water-groundwater interactions, the influence of climate dynamics on river and riparian ecosystems, and the ecology of intermittent rivers. In addition he has also worked on more applied research in stream, river, and wetland restoration, and on the bridge from science to policy and management. Cliff started with his masters and PhD work at the Oregon State University researching nutrient cycling and the distribution and fate of dissolved organic carbon, but with a dual focus in oceanographic and freshwater systems. After 4 years as a post-doctoral research associate and assistant professor in aquatic ecology at Oregon State, Cliff moved inland to the University of New Mexico (UNM), where, over three decades, he established a rich and productive research program. At UNM Cliff mentored many (30+) graduate students as well as numerous undergraduates and post-docs, and helped establish programs such as the NSF-sponsored Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) on freshwater ecology and the Sevilleta LTER, which have enriched the University and been highly beneficial to innumerable students. Cliff has participated in and/or helped direct several notable interdisciplinary, collaborative, and/or international research projects, such as the Nutrient Partitioning and Retention [NPARS], the Lotic Intersite Nitrogen eXperiment [LINX] I and II, the National River Restoration and Science Synthesis [NRRSS] project, and more recently, the Intermittent River Biodiversity Analysis and Synthesis [IRBAS] project. Exemplifying Cliff's commitment to translating science to policy in a meaningful way, from 2008-2011, while maintaining his activities at UNM, Cliff became the Lead Scientist for the CALFED Bay-Delta Science Program (later Delta Science Program/Delta Stewardship Council). Here he made enormous contributions to the incorporation of science in the management of the Bay-Delta ecosystem, balancing ecosystem recovery with water supply reliability. As a testament to both Cliff's commitment to the marriage of science and policy and to the high regard he earned in this position, Cliff was recently re-appointed as the Delta Program Lead Scientist, where he currently serves despite his recent 'retirement' from UNM.

About the Award

The SFS AoE is awarded to a single recipient for outstanding contributions to benthic science. The scope of the award will reflect the broad interests and expertise exhibited in the Society, but the award will not be limited to members of the Society. Submit your nominations using the SFS Awards Nomination Portal linked at the top of this page.


1988   H. B. Noel Hynes
1989   Thomas F. Waters
1990   Kenneth W. Cummins
1991   Robert W. Pennak
1992   Ruth Patrick
1993   Ralph O. Brinkhurst
1994   G. Wayne Minshall
1995     Rosemary J. Mackay
1996   Oliver S. Flint
1997   Kenneth W. Stewart
1998    Stuart G. Fisher
1999    J. Bruce Wallace
2000    George F. Edmunds
2001   James V. Ward
2002   P. Sam Lake
2003    Judy L. Meyer
2004   Jack Stanford
2005    Vincent Resh
2006   Jack Webster
2007   Richard Merritt
2008   Bobbi Peckarsky
2009   J. David Allan
2010   William Hilsenoff
2011   Patrick Mulholland (award talk)
2012   Arthur Benke (award talk)
2013   Richard Norris
2014   Colin R. Townsend
2015   Margaret A. Palmer
2016   Clifford Dahm

Environmental Stewardship Award

SFS 2016 Environmental Stewardship Award: Jim Harrington

Jim Harrington is a Senior Environmental Scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's and has worked in the field of fisheries and water quality biology for more than 35 years. Jim received a BS in Fisheries Management and MS in Watershed Management from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.

Jim is presently assigned to the CDFW Water Pollution Control Laboratory where he investigates and provides biological interpretation of toxicological and chemical data associated with enforcement of pollution events throughout California. He also provides technical support and training on water quality issues to all CDFW functions and many branches of State and Federal government which deal in environmental monitoring and regulation.

In 1993, Jim established the CDFW Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory (ABL) where staff specializes in developing biological techniques to assess status, determine stressors and monitor recovery of aquatic systems. ABL staff conducts biological monitoring for the State Water Resource Control Board's Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) and leads the technical development of the tools needed to protect biological integrity for waters of the State. In 1996, Jim developed field and laboratory curriculum for professionals, environmental educators and watershed groups, teaching them the principles of bioassessment and how biological indicators can be used in California water quality monitoring and protection.

About the Award

Recipient of the SFS ESA will be a Society member or non-member who has worked successfully to translate scientific knowledge into the social/public arena. This may occur in the policy arena via regulatory reform that requires or enables consideration of biological conditions (e.g., biological assessment or criteria), in the research arena via ecosystem rehabilitation or aquatic conservation, or in the educational arena via public outreach in science education. Successful candidates for this award must have demonstrated exceptional service in activities that implemented conservation or rehabilitation of aquatic ecosystems; developed a strategy to conserve, rehabilitate, or ecologically manage aquatic ecosystems; or advanced our science as the basis for making informed decisions regarding management of aquatic resources. Submit your nominations using the SFS Awards Nomination Portal linked at the top of this page.


2004   Susan K. Jackson
2005    James R. Karr
2006   Bob Hughes
2007   Ben Stout
2008   David Penrose
2009   Chris O. Yoder
2010   William Hilsenoff
2011   Susan P. Davies
2012   Jerry Jacobi
2013   J. Bruce Wallace
2014   Michael T. Barbour
2015   Stephen K. Hamilton
2016   Jim Harrington

Distinguished Service Award

SFS 2015 Distinguished Service Award: Dr. John C. Morse

An active member of SFS since the early 1970s (first as MBS, then NABS), John Morse has contributed to the mission and scope of the Society in countless ways throughout his professional career. John's research interests focus on the systematics and biogeography of the Trichoptera of the world, the biology and ecology of all aquatic arthropods, species diversity, endangered species, and water quality monitoring. Although John retired in 2008, he remains involved in an active research program, serving as Professor Emeritus of Entomology at Clemson University, as Director Emeritus of the Clemson University Arthropod Collection, and teaching short courses in taxonomy and systematics. Recently, John and his wife Suzanne established The John C. & Suzanne E. Morse Endowed Chair in Arthropod Biodiversity at Clemson.

John has been an active participant in nearly every annual society meeting since graduate school, regularly presenting research findings, organizing special sessions including the annual taxonomy fairs, serving as judge for student presentations, assisting society officers, and participating in executive committee sessions. In addition to service on several standing and ad-hoc committees, John was a founding member of the SFS Taxonomic Certification Program (2003); his guidance and direction of this new program resulted in the initial offering of certification tests at the society's annual meeting in Anchorage, AK (2006). He currently serves (with Bern Sweeney) as co-chair of the SFS Taxonomic Certification Committee. Recently, John led the TCC in restructuring the testing procedures and protocols, and creating a written petition option for those recertifying after their initial 5-year certification. In 2014, John and his imaging team at Clemson developed the genus-level TCP certification test for EPT taxa based on high quality digital images rather than actual specimens. Soon, his imaging team will initiate compilation of digital images for the freshwater mollusk test. As one nominator for this award stated (supported in comments from all who wrote letters of nomination): "...John is the ultimate team player with it comes to SFS business."

John has long served the global scientific communities, teaching students and working closely with colleagues in Mongolia, People's Republic of China, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Far East Russia, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Iraq, Poland, and other countries to increase the taxonomic skills of biologists and assist scientists in the development of water quality assessment protocols for streams and rivers.

The SFS DSA is awarded to a Society member who has made a genuine and lasting contribution to the betterment of the Society. Those of us who have been fortunate to have learned from and collaborated with John - under the umbrella of Society business and also during a variety of collaborations in all things aquatic biology - can certainly agree that John communicates his expertise and love for science very effectively while remaining humble and always respectful of others. His true legacy - beyond his past and present dedication to SFS and to arthropod taxonomy and the study of aquatic biology - is emulated by and will continue to grow through the young scientists he has mentored, and with the support of their programs that have expanded and improved because of his unselfish gifts through education, kindness, and understanding.

About the Award

The SFS DSA will is awarded to a Society member who has made a genuine and lasting contribution to the betterment of the Society. Submit your nominations using the SFS Awards Nomination Portal linked at the top of this page.


1996   Irwin Polls
1997   Ronald A Hellenthal
1998    No Award Given
1999    Donald W. Webb
2000    David M. Rosenberg
2001   Virginia R. Tolbert
2002   Steven P. Canton
2003    Antoine Morin
2004   Donna Giberson
2005    Peggy Morgan
2006   Nick Aumen
2007   Kim Haag
2008   David Penrose
2009   Judy Li
2010   Bernard Sweeney
2011   Fred Benfield
2012   Michael Barbour
2013   Lucinda Johnson
2014   Mark J. Wetzel
2015   John C. Morse

Hynes Award for New Investigators

SFS 2016 Hynes Award: Dr. Erin R. Hotchkiss

Dr. Erin Hotchkiss is an ecosystem ecologist who uses empirical data and statistical models to understand how land-water interactions and ecosystem processes shape the transport, transformation, and fate of carbon and nutrients in freshwater ecosystems. She uses a combination of monitoring (chemistry, hydrology, biology), experimental (manipulating carbon and nutrients, stable isotope tracers), and quantitative (Bayesian, inverse modeling) approaches to study freshwater ecosystem processes. Erin completed both her MS and PhD at University of Wyoming, where she worked with Dr. Bob Hall on the impacts of exotic snails on stream carbon cycling and understanding the drivers and fates of carbon in streams and rivers. She was selected for the Hynes award based on her publication resulting from this work, which was the first to explicitly state what happens to photosynthetically fixed carbon in a stream: Hotchkiss, E. R. and R. O. Hall. 2015. Whole-stream 13C tracer addition reveals distinct fates of newly fixed carbon. Ecology 96: 403-416, DOI: 10.1890/14-0631.1 Erin worked as a Postdoctoral research fellow in Jan Karlsson's lab in Umeå University, Sweden, studying controls of carbon emissions and export in river networks, and also with Paul del Giorgio at the Université du Québec à Montréal studying carbon emissions from northern aquatic ecosystems. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech.

About the Award

The Hynes Award for New Investigators will be awarded to a benthic scientist who was senior author of an outstanding primary publication in benthic science that appeared in print in the last 3 years (i.e., 2012 to availability online by 31 December 2014). The recipient must have received a terminal post-graduate degree within the last five years, and cannot currently be enrolled in a degree program. Nominations should consist of a letter explaining why the paper was outstanding, a curriculum vitae to verify that the nominee satisfies the criteria, and a copy of the paper for the committee to evaluate (all in pdf form). Additional letters of support are unnecessary and repeat nomination of papers is encouraged as long as they still satisfy the award criteria. Submit your nominations using the SFS Awards Nomination Portal linked at the top of this page.


2000    Robert O. Hall Jr.
2001   Michelle A. Baker
2002   David A. Lytle
2003    Bradley J. Cardinale
2004   Emily S. Bernhardt
2005    Colden V. Baxter
2006   Jack Brookshire
2007   Brad W. Taylor
2008   Peter B. McIntyre
2009   Brian Roberts
2010   John Davis
2011   Debra S. Finn
2012   Ronald D. Bassar (award talk)
2013   Michael T. Bogan
2014   Daniel C. Allen
2015   Carla L. Atkinson
2016   Erin R. Hotchkiss

Students Awards

Best Oral Presentation Basic Research

1994   Robert O. Hall, Jr
1995     Brian K. Dail
1996   W. V. Sobczak.
1997   B.J. Cardinale
1998    Michelle A. Baker
D. A. Lytle
1999    A.S. Schultheis
J.R. Welter
2000    B.J. Cardinale
E.S. Bernhardt
2001   Michele A. Evans-White
Kristen Rowell
2002   Jill R. Welter
Wyatt F. Cross
2003    Sarah A. Brown
Wade L. Hadwen
Amanda T. Rugenski
2004   Daniel J. McGarvey
Jason E. Jannot
2005    Carri LeRoy
2006   Michelle Greenwood
2007   Jessica M. Hopkins
2008   Erin R. Hotchkiss
2009   Lauren E. Koenig
2012   William D Bovill
2013   Nicholas Rasmussen
2014   Jessica Corman
2015   Mathew Kaylor
2016   Ryan Peek

Runner Up Oral Presentation Basic Research

2005    Debra Finn
2006   Justin Murdock
2007   David M. Costello
2008   Daniel C. Allen
2009   Eric R. Larson
2012   Krista A. Capps
2013   Amanda Subalusky
2014   Christopher Dalton
2015   Sophie Cauvy-Fraunié
2016   Kelley Fritz

Best Oral Presentation Applied Research

1994   Danuta T. Zaranko
1995     Monique G. Dube
1996   C. E. Torgersen
1997   C.E. Rogers
1998    Richard  R. Doucett
M. A. Veliz
1999    H.G. Van der Geest
Dey K. Niyog
2000    H. Van Der Geest
Rosalie B. Del Rosario
2001   Kirk L. Krueger
Candace R. Bauer
2002   JoAnna L. Lessard
Achim Partzold
2003    Christy J. Geraci
Ryan Hill
Timothy J. Cox
2004   Trey Simmons
Kristy L. Rogers
2005    Daelyn Woolnough
2006   Jennifer Beaulieu
2007   David J. Janetski
2008   Sally A. Entrekin
2009   Lindsey Albertson
2012   Cayelan C. Carey
2013   Elizabeth Perkin
2014   Joanna Blaszczak
2015   Katherine Standen
2016   William Deacy

Runner Up Oral Presentation Applied Research

2005    Matthew Opdyke
2006   Scott Tiegs
2007   Timothy D. Jardine
2008   Julie D. Alexander
2009   Kathyrn Vallis
2012   Ericka Hegeman
2013   Sami Domisch
2014   Emily Davis
2015   Ana Chara-Serna
2016   Scott Hotaling

Best Presentation Emphasizing Methodology

1994   Laura White
1995     Frank M. Wilhelm
1996   C. Lisa Dent
1997   Michelle F. Bowman
1998    Jennifer L. Greenwood
1999    Brent R. Johnson
2000    E.A. Steel
2001   Jeffrey D.Ostermiller
2002   Michael C. Marshall
2003    Chris L. Burcher
2004   Julie Henry Zimmerman
2005    Scott Rollins
2006   John R. Olson
2007   David C. Richardson
2008   Sarah B. Whorley
2009   Adam S. Ward
2012   Nissa Rudh
2013   Lauren Koenig
2014   Cameron Turner
2015   Brian Gill
2016   Eric Scholl

Best Poster Presentation

1994   Danuta T. Zaranko
1995     Monique G. Dube
1996   C. E. Torgersen
1997   C.E. Rogers
1998    Richard  R. Doucett
M. A. Veliz
1999    H.G. Van der Geest
Dey K. Niyogi
2000    H. Van Der Geest
Rosalie B. Del Rosario
2001   Kirk L. Krueger
Candace R. Bauer
2002   JoAnna L. Lessard
Achim Partzold
2003    Christy J. Geraci
Ryan Hill
Timothy J. Cox
2004   Trey Simmons
Kristy L. Rogers
2005    Daelyn Woolnough
2006   Jennifer Beaulieu
2007   David J. Janetski
2008   Sally A. Entrekin

Best Poster Basic Research

2005    Andrew Myers
2006   Elizabeth Sudduth
2007   Julianne Heinlein
2008   Allison M. Asher
2009   Marc Peipoch
2012   Therese C. Frauendorf
2013   Robert J. Mooney
2014   Keeley MacNeill
2015   Kaylee Faltys
2016   Sydney Ruhala

Best Poster Applied Research

2005   Matthew Cover
2006   Evan Fitzgerald
2007   Hannah R. Lubbers
2008   Lauren E. Kinsman
2009   Josette M. La Hée
2012   Mari Annala
2013   Brandon Sansom
2014   Stacey Wensink
2015   Aaron Marti
2016   Rachel Voight

Best Oral or Poster Presentation by an Undergraduate Student

2012   Robert J. Mooney
2013   Shelby Servais
2014   Misha Warbanski
2015   Bree Bender
2016   Emily Wolfe

Best Oral or Poster Presentation involving Crayfish

2012   Eric K. Moody
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