Previous Brown-Nichols Science Award Recipients


Dr. Jim Cloern - 2012 Brown-Nichols Science Award Co-winner

Jim Cloern is a Senior Research Scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey where he has worked since 1976. His research addresses comparative ecology and biogeochemistry of estuaries to understand how they respond as ecosystems to climatic-hydrologic variability and human disturbance. He leads a team investigation of San Francisco Bay that has included study of primary production, nutrient cycling, algal and zooplankton community dynamics, ecosystem metabolism and food web dynamics, disturbance by introduced species, Bay-Ocean connectivity, ecosystem restoration, and projected responses to climate change. Jim has been a Fulbright Research Scholar at the Centre d'Océanologie de Marseille, mentored 12 postdoctoral scientists and 20 graduate students from 6 countries, taught scientific writing at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, is Consulting Professor (Civil Engineering) at Stanford University, Co-Editor of Estuaries and Coasts, and 2010 recipient of the B.H. Ketchum Award from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.



Wim Kimmerer

Dr. Wim Kimmerer - 2012 Brown-Nichols Science Award Co-winner

Dr. Wim Kimmerer is a Research Professor of Biology at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies of San Francisco State University. He is an honorary Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences who studies how estuarine ecosystems function, with particular emphasis on human effects. For over 25 years he and his associates have conducted studies in the San Francisco estuary on effects of freshwater and tidal flow on habitat, abundance, and movement of plankton and fish; the influence of introduced species; and population dynamics, reproduction, growth, and mortality of fish and foodweb organisms. He has participated in modeling studies on topics, such as delta smelt population dynamics and hydrodynamics. He has served on numerous review or advisory boards, such as for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, 2008 Biological Opinion for delta smelt, Klamath River dam removal project, Delta Vision Task Force, Delta Risk Management Strategy, Delta Native Fishes Recovery Team, and the State Water Resources Control Board workshops on flow. He is especially proud to have been a co-founder, with Randy Brown and Fred Nichols, of the California Estuarine Research Society, an affiliate of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation.



Peter Moyle

Dr. Peter Moyle - 2010 Brown-Nichols Science Award Winner

Dr. Peter B. Moyle was honored by his peers as the second recipient of the Brown-Nichols Science Award, presented at the 6th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference. He received this award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to science in the San Francisco Estuary and watershed.
Moyle is the foremost expert on California freshwater and estuarine fish and has always been an outspoken advocate for the preservation of California fishes. He is associate director of the Center for Watershed Science at the University of California, Davis, as well as a professor of fish biology in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology. He has been studying the ecology and conservation of freshwater and estuarine fishes in California for more than 40 years and has documented the declining status of many native species in California, as well as invasions of alien species.

Moyle was a member of the National Research Council panel on endangered fishes in the Klamath River and is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for restoring the San Joaquin River. He, along with his colleagues at UC Davis and the Public Policy Institute of California, is part of the Delta Solutions Team, which is addressing diverse problems in the estuary.

Moyle is also author, co-author, or co-editor of more than 180 peer-reviewed scientific papers, eight books, and many other publications. The revised version of his book Inland Fishes of California was published in 2002, and the 5th edition of Fishes: Introductory to Ichthyology—a widely used ichthyology text co-authored with Joseph Cech—was published in 2004. In 2008 he completed an assessment of the state of salmon and trout in California, which is available on-line ( His newest book, published in 2010 Protecting Life on Earth: An Introduction to the Science of Conservation, with Michael Marchetti as lead author.

In 2007 Moyle received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Association of Fisheries Research Biologists, and the Award of Excellence from the American Fisheries Society. During his career Professor Moyle has mentored more than 40 students who completed either Master's theses or doctoral dissertations. These graduates now hold professorships at prestigious universities or responsible positions at pivotal natural resource agencies or private consulting firms.




Sam Luoma

Dr. Sam Luoma - 2008 Brown-Nichols Science Award Winner

Dr. Samuel N. Luoma was honored by his peers as the first recipient of the Brown-Nichols Science Award, presented at the 5th Biennial CALFED Science Conference (now called the Bay-Delta Science Conference). He received this award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to science in the San Francisco Estuary and watershed.

Luoma was recognized for his contributions to California as the first Lead Scientist of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, a role he served in for three years beginning in 2000. Additionally, he was hailed for his work in unraveling some difficult contamination issues in the Delta, particularly those related to mercury and selenium, shedding light on their important implications for policy makers.

Luoma retired from the U.S. Geological Survey after 34 years as a research scientist. Luoma currently leads science policy coordination for the John Muir Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Davis, and is editor-in-chief of the on-line journal San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science. He is also a scientific associate with the National History Museum in London, UK. His specific research interests are in the bioavailability and effects of metals in aquatic environments, as well as coordination of water policy with science. Luoma has served as a scientific advisor on many issues at the interface of science and environmental management, including in areas of environmental monitoring design, science for water management, sediment quality criteria and bioavailability of contaminants in soils and sediments.

He is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, many of which dealt with water quality issues in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. With Dr. Philip Rainbow, Dr. Luoma co-authored, Metal Contamination in Aquatic Environments: Science and Lateral Management in 2008. Dr. Luoma is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was a W. J. Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in the UK in 2004, and received the rank of Meritorious Senior Government Employee from the U.S. President in 2006.