Spring 2019 Vote Results: New Honorary Members Approved and Membership Expanded

Vera da Silva and Bernd Würsig elected as new Honorary Members

In the spring 2019 vote, Members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy voted to elect Vera da Silva and Bernd Würsig as Honorary Members in recognition of their distinguished service to the field of marine mammalogy. Vera da Silva is a Senior Researcher at the National Institute of Amazonian Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia) in Manaus, Brazil, where she has carried out multiple, multi-decadal research and conservation efforts on Amazonian dolphins and manatees. Bernd Würsig is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Marine Biology at Texas A&M, was one of the first to author a paper on the individual recognition of dolphins by marks on their dorsal fins and was President of our Society from 1991–1993. Our Honorary Members are the giants upon whose shoulders we all stand. They pioneered research methods, brought students and colleagues into the field, served their scientific community, and brought their science to bear on critical conservation issues. We thank them for their service and welcome them as new Honorary Members!

The Society for Marine Mammalogy expands its Membership

In the spring 2019 vote, Members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy voted to increase the length of time that a student is eligible for the Student Membership category to include “the year after their graduation from a degree-granting program at an institution of higher learning.” This change will make it easier for students, who represent the future of our Society, to maintain their active membership as they transition to their next life step! Members also voted in support of the proposal to create a new Fellows membership category. “A Fellow is a member who has rendered conspicuous service, or made truly notable contributions to the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of marine mammal science or the fostering of its practical applications through conservation of marine mammals.” This category of membership is aimed at recognizing Members at all stages of their career, and, thus, expanding our celebration of our Members and their accomplishments! Stay tuned to find out how to nominate a charter member of the Society’s Fellowship!