UNOLS Friend of the Ocean Award

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UNOLS Friend of the Ocean Award

The Friends of the Ocean Award was established by the UNOLS Council  to recognize and show appreciation to those who have made exemplary contributions to the U.S. Academic Research Fleet (ARF).

Who Does the Award Recognize?

The Friends of the Ocean Award recognizes individuals who have been dedicated supporters of ocean science and instrumental in helping the Academic Research Fleet reach its goals of continued excellence, assuring that the number, mix and overall capability of ships in the U.S. Academic Research Fleet match the science requirements of academic oceanography in the U.S.


Nominations may come from any UNOLS member institution representative.   Nominations are subject to UNOLS Council approval.  Nominations will be considered as they are received with not more than one awardee annually.  Please send letters of nomination to the UNOLS Office Executive Secretary, Doug Russell (  

2020 Award Recipient

Congresswoman Susan Davis retired in 2020 following a long career that has included sponsoring and supporting legislation that has been vitally important to Navy support of the U.S. Academic Research fleet. Specifically she provided new funding for DURIPS, serving as a leader on AGOR23-class mid-life refits, and research at sea via Navy's ASW and TFO programs. Ms. Davis's work has resluted in many tenso of millions of dollars of support for scientists and infrastructure, throughout the U.S. ARF, that outher wise would not have been possible. 

2017 Award Recipient

Throughout Dr. Frank Herr's career at the Office of Naval Research he distinguished himself as a stalwart supporter of ocean science and a pioneering visionary in promotion, development and maintenance of the most capable and efficient oceanographic research facilities in the world.  His work has been instrumental in enabling America to achieve many important goals, notably the development and construction of the new Ocean Class research vessels Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27) and Sally Ride (AGOR 28).   His leadership also set the stage for the midlife refits of the Global Class research vessels Thomas G. Thompson (AGOR 23), Roger Revelle (AGOR 24) and Atlantis (AGOR 27).  These refits will improve the capabilities of these remarkable vessels and significantly extend their service lives in a fiscally responsible manner.

2016 Award Recipient

Mr. Tim Prince served as a senior staffer on the House Appropriations Committee for many years, and has been a vigorous supporter of ocean science.  He was instrumental in helping the community reach many of our recent important goals, including SLEP funding for RV Thomas G. Thompson and Roger Revelle, and maintaining research opportunities through ONR and the DURIP program which has significantly benefited ocean scientists individually as well as collectively supplying significant funding to outfit the RVs Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride.