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Society Announces 2023 Career Award Winners

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


APRIL 18, 2023 — The Society for Freshwater Science is pleased to announce the recipients of two Career Awards.

“Our Career Awards recognize the best among us for their contributions to freshwater research and environmental policy” said Steve Thomas, president of the Society. “The work of our recipients advances freshwater science and lead to actions that improve environmental justice across the globe.”

The 2023 Career Award winners are: 

Award of Excellence: Nancy Grimm. The Award of Excellence honors a person who has made outstanding contributions to freshwater science. The scope of the award reflects the broad interests and expertise exhibited in the Society. Grimm, a Regents Professor and the Virginia M Ullman Professor of Ecology at Arizona State University, is an ecosystem ecologist who studies the interactions of climate change, human activities, resilience, and biogeochemical processes in urban and stream ecosystems. With colleagues and students, she investigated stream ecosystem processes and dynamics in the now-famous Sycamore Creek (Arizona, USA) for over 40 years and she currently supports active early-career groups testing hypotheses using Sycamore Creek and other arid land stream data. She co-directs the international network of networks, NATURA (NATure-based solutions for Urban Resilience in the Anthropocene) and the graduate scholars network, Earth Systems Science for the Anthropocene (ESSA). Her collaborative research in urban social-ecological-technological systems (SETS) centers on nature-based, technological, and governance solutions that can build resilience to a future with increased frequency and magnitude of extreme events. Grimm has made more than 200 collaborative contributions to the scientific literature in stream and urban ecology. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the Ecological Society of America, and the Society for Freshwater Science. She is a past president of the Ecological Society of America and the Society for Freshwater Science, past program director for the U.S. National Science Foundation and senior scientist for the U.S. Global Change Research Program. She contributed as lead author to the third U.S. National Climate Assessment (2014) and has served on numerous national and international advisory boards, editorial boards, and panels. 

Hynes Award for New Investigators: Aaron Koning. The Hynes Award for New Investigators is awarded to a freshwater scientist who was senior author of an outstanding primary publication that appeared in print in the last three years. The recipient must have received a terminal post-graduate degree within the last five years and cannot currently be enrolled in a degree program. Koning is a postdoctoral research fellow working on the Wonders of the Mekong Project based in the Global Water Center and Department of Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno and a National Geographic Young Explorer. He is a freshwater conservation ecologist interested in understanding the impacts of harvest on aquatic animal communities and ecosystem function, and how conservation interventions can improve outcomes that sustain aquatic diversity and human needs. During his research as a PhD student at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Limnology and as a Cornell Atkinson Sustainability Postdoctoral Fellow, Koning had the privilege of living with and learning from ethnic Karen (P’gan’yaw) communities in northern Thailand. He focused on the ecological effects of both intensive subsistence fisheries and freshwater reserve protection by these communities. The research presented in the Hynes-award winning publication (Nature, 2020) translates into the language of conservation scientists what these communities have recognized over the past three decades—that small reserves can have profound effects on entire riverine ecosystems. Koning continues to seek effective models of place-based protection for fish and fisheries around the world, with an emphasis on Southeast Asia.

The Career Award winners will be formally recognized during the Society for Freshwater Science’s annual meeting in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. More about the Career Awards and the 2023 awardees can be found at

The Society for Freshwater Science is a premier international organization for aquatic scientists, educators, managers and policy makers. For more about the Society for Freshwater Science, visit