Events & Media

Feb. 24, 2014

Bren School Dean to Receive Peter Benchley Ocean Award


Bren School dean, Steve Gaines, was selected as a winner of the prestigious 2014 Peter Benchley Ocean Award. He will be honored at the seventh annual award ceremony, to be held on May 30 at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

Gaines, who was recognized for excellence in science, joins six fellow recipients of the 2014 awards, including European Union Commissioner Maria Damanaki, for excellence in national stewardship, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, for excellence in policy.

"It’s very flattering to receive this award, especially because it’s voted on by your peers in the field," Gaines said. "The other thing I like about it is that the award and the whole program focuses on the impacts of ocean conservation issues from the policy side, the foundation side, and the science side. That’s something I'm interested in personally – not just doing science that someone can use, but actually seeing it have an impact. So that recognition, not only that the science was useful and someone used it, but also that it made a difference, is a key part of it."

Presented by the nonprofit organization Blue Frontier and marine conservationist Wendy Benchley, the annual awards celebrate individuals whose efforts advance the protection of oceans, coasts, and the communities that depend on them.

The awards are named after Jaws author, Peter Benchley, who dedicated much of his life to the protection of sharks and their ocean habitat.

Past award recipients include President Obama’s former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, and U.S. senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Ed Markey.