Category Archives: Funding and Awards

Conservation Committee seeking nominations for the 3rd Conservation Merit Prize

The Conservation Committee seeks nominations for the 3rd Conservation Merit Prize. The prize is public recognition given to a person or team that has done extraordinary work towards solving a pressing conservation problem for marine mammals. The person or representative of the team receiving the Prize receives travel to the presentation at the biennial conference including two night’s lodging. Choice of the person or team will be by the Conservation Committee and approved by the Board. Any SMM member may propose recipients. The Prize is only given when the Conservation Committee finds a case of exceptional merit and may not be awarded at every biennial. Please send nomination inquiries (self nominations welcome) to:

The Emily B Shane Award now accepting applications

The Emily B Shane Award
The Emily B. Shane Award (EBS) supports conservation-oriented, non-harmful[1] field research on free-ranging Odontocetes and Sirenians. The award honours Emily B. Shane (1924-1995), a fine amateur naturalist and dedicated conservationist. Funds are awarded to projects with clear conservation priorities for an odontocete or sirenian species, population, or habitat critical to the species. Research that also impacts a local human community in terms of increased public awareness, capacity building, or education may be given special consideration. The award will total approximately US$10,000. The award committee may opt to divide the award among two or more applicants. Although awards will be made for no more than one year at a time, applicants may apply more than once for the same project.

Due Date: Applications are to be submitted by 31st October 2018 (midnight GMT). No application shall be accepted after the deadline. Proposals must be submitted to the Awards Chair, Dr. Lindsay Porter and the subject line must state “EBS Award 2018”. Please also use this email and subject title if you have any questions about the award process. All questions welcome!

Evaluation Criteria
Eligibility: The award is available to students and other researchers who meet the evaluation criteria. The application should be submitted by the person conducting the research.

The application must include the following materials; ·

  • A proposal, not exceeding three pages in length (Times font, 12 point type, single space, 2 cm margins). Briefly outline the proposed research, objectives of the study, methods, role of the proposed work in conservation, the time period for the research, person(s) conducting the field research and role of each, and literature cited. ·
  • A budget, including other funding applied for, or already held, for the proposed research. Funding requests should be for direct field research expenses only. ·
  • Research permits or authorisation from appropriate authorities (or copies of application if permits not yet finalised)
  • A current C.V. of the applicant, up to three pages in length. ·
  • Three reference letters must be provided, to include contact details of referee and their relationship to the applicant.
  • For students, the supervisor must provide a letter of support.

Award recipient(s) will be announced by 30 December 2018.

[1] Non-harmful research is that which poses a minimal risk to the health and life of an individual animal and to other species within the ecosystem. Research that entails capture or invasive techniques is acceptable only if carried out by competent, experienced personnel and provides clear benefits in terms of conservation and scientific knowledge. Applicant must document previous experience and outcomes.

Underwater sound research grant opportunity

The U.S. Navy Living Marine Resources (LMR) applied research program is seeking pre-proposals in six topic areas related to underwater sound produced by human activities and its effects on marine life.  Topics include: 1) improving duration of medium-term telemetry tag attachment, 2) demonstration and validation of PAM-based density estimation methods using visually verified survey data, 3) investigation of the effects of cue rate and cue stability on PAM-based density estimation methods, 4) demonstration and validation of passive acoustic monitoring sparse arrays to estimate density of low-frequency whales over large spatial areas, 5) identifying monitoring priorities for studying the population consequences of disturbance on marine mammals, and 6) turtle temporary threshold shift feasibility study.

Details regarding the need topics mentioned above, as well as the associated Appendices, can be found within the BAA (Solicitation # N3943018S2086) at,, or at There is no specific format required for the pre-proposal, however, the information required in the pre-proposal is outlined in Appendix A —2018 Proposal Submission and Evaluation Guide. The pre-proposal should be consolidated into one single file and should not exceed 10 pages in length. All pre-proposals should be submitted via email to Pre-proposals pertaining to these need topics will be accepted until 11:59 PM PST on 22 October 2018. If invited, offerors will be asked to submit a full proposal.

Louis M Herman Research Deadline One Week Away



The deadline for submissions for the Louis M Herman Research Scholarship is one week away

16 February 2018 (Hawaii midnight: GMT -10 hours) 

See here for the award announcement at SMM Halifax 2017

See here for award criteria

Thank You

Lindsay Porter
Awards and Scholarship Sub-Committee
Society Marine Mammalogy

Louis M Herman Research Scholarship DEADLINE EXTENSION



The deadline for submissions for the Louis M Herman Research Scholarship has been extended to

Friday 16th February 2018 (Hawaii midnight: GMT -10 hours)

See here for the award announcement at SMM Halifax 2017


Louis M. Herman, Ph.D. and Emeritus Professor at University of Hawaii at Manoa, was a pioneer and trailblazer in research on dolphin sensory perception and cognition, and humpback whale behavioral ecology. This work that was carried out through the world renowned Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory (KBMML) that he established in 1969 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also co-founded The Dolphin Institute (TDI), dedicated to dolphins and whales through education, research, and conservation. KBMML/TDI’s findings on marine mammals were published in over 160 scientific papers and featured in more than 230 national and international media articles, television and radio programs and documentary films. Dr. Herman’s life’s work significantly influenced marine mammal conservation. It also had an enormous impact on the lives and careers of the countless interns, undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, visiting faculty, and volunteers from around the world, all of whom played important roles in the unique research team he assembled over more than four decades. Dr. Herman will always be remembered for his innovative, creative, and scientifically rigorous approach to the study of the marine mammals he so loved, and for the future generations of marine mammal researchers he and his work inspire. Read more about Dr. Herman’s legacy here.


Dr. Herman’s family, colleagues and friends are establishing the Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship to honor his legacy by promoting the type of research that was the focus of his groundbreaking studies. The Scholarship, given every two years, will be for US$5000. The scholarship will support a research project that contributes to our understanding of either cetacean cognition and sensory perception (laboratory or field studies), or humpback whale behavioral ecology or communication. Work with other marine mammals that especially enhances our understanding of their cognitive abilities will also be considered. Eligible candidates include graduate students and those students who have completed their Masters or PhD within the past three years.


The application must include the following materials and be submitted by 16 February  2018.

·       A proposal, not exceeding 5 pages in length, excluding cover page and list of references (Times font, 12 point type, single-spaced, 1-in margins). Briefly outline the proposed research including: objectives of the study, relevant published background, methods, role of the proposed work enhancing understanding of cetacean (or other marine mammal) cognition or humpb­­­­ack whale behavioral ecology or communication, the timeframe for the research, person(s) conducting the research and role of each, and literature cited.

·       A detailed budget, including other funding applied for, or already held, for the proposed research

·       Necessary research permits or authorization

·       Current curriculum vitae

·       Three references, with e-mail address, phone number, and relationship to applicant; and a letter of support from supervisor for students (letter of support from supervisor can serve as one of the three required references)

·       Verification that the student is currently enrolled in a university degree program or proof of a graduate degree

The award recipient will be notified by April 16 of the year of application, with an expectation that the research project once completed will be submitted for an oral or poster presentation at the following Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals.  We will award up to $500 to support travel costs contingent on an accepted submission and completed presentation.


Via email to the Awards and Scholarships Chair, Lindsay Porter (

Dr. Randy Reeves – 2017 Norris Award Winner

Randy Reeves, 2017 Norris Award Winner

The Board of Governors and Board of Associate Editors have selected Randy Reeves as the winner of the Kenneth S. Norris Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was established in honor of the Society’s founding president as an acknowledgement of exemplary lifetime contributions to science and society through research, teaching, and service in marine mammal science. The award is granted every second year, in association with the Society’s Biennial Conference.

Randall Reeves was born, raised, and partially educated in Nebraska. He received degrees from the University of Nebraska, Princeton, and McGill. After becoming hooked on whales in the mid-1970s, he began a 40+-year engagement with marine mammal research and conservation, initially as a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, later based at the Arctic Biological Station near Montreal, and most recently out of his home in Hudson, Quebec. Besides participating in field projects on bowheads and narwhals in Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and Greenland, on right whales and other cetaceans in the North Atlantic, and on river dolphins and coastal cetaceans in Asia and South America, he has spent a great deal of time in archives investigating the history of marine mammal exploitation. As chair of the IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group since 1996, he has been responsible for preparing and evaluating Red List assessments, drafting conservation action plans, and advising government agencies, intergovernmental bodies, and non-governmental organizations. He has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books on marine mammal conservation and science and is a long-time member of the IWC Scientific Committee and of Mexico’s vaquita recovery committee. Reeves also chairs the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission’s Committee of Scientific Advisers.

As this year’s honoree, Randy will deliver a plenary lecture at the Biennial Conference in Halifax and will write an associated paper for Marine Mammal Science. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Reeves on this award.

A Fun Way to Support SMM Student Travel Grants

Dear SMM members and conference attendees,

October is fast approaching, and with it comes our biennial conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia! We’re looking forward to learning about all of the amazing marine mammal research you’ve been conducting. Additionally, over 300 SMM student members will be presenting at the 2017 conference. However, the costs associated with conference transportation and accommodation are significant, especially on a student budget.

In an effort to raise additional student funds, conference organizers, Tonya and Hilary (Tonya and Hilary Plan Smm2017), as well as members of the conference organizing committee and the student affairs committee, will collectively run over 50 kilometers in the Halifax-based, pirate-themed Maritime Race Weekend on September 16, 2017.

If you are able, please help support the development of emerging SMM marine researchers by sponsoring our runners as they work to raise funds for travel grants for students presenting at the upcoming conference. Every donation helps!

Donate today at:

Thank you!
-The SMM Student Affairs Committee