Dr. Peter Wells, a founding member of the Environmental Information: Use and Influence research team, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership Award by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (GOMC). The award was presented at an awards ceremony in Salem, Massachusetts on 12 June 2013. The Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership Award honours a coastal management professional who exemplifies outstanding leadership or exceptional mentoring in the Gulf of Maine watershed. As former Director of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and an active member of the GOMC’s Working Group for many years, Susan Snow-Cotter was recognized as a leader who exhibited unwavering passion, enthusiasm, and insight to develop pragmatic approaches to coastal management challenges.
In presenting the award to Peter, Sara Jane Snook, Deputy Minister of the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment, stated:
“This year, we are very pleased to honor Dr. Peter Wells of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with the Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership Award for demonstrating exceptional leadership in coastal and ocean management. Peter has spent his entire career working to protect and improve marine life in the Gulf of Maine – first as a marine scientist, and then as an educator and volunteer.
For over 34 years, he worked on protecting coastal resources for the Canadian federal government –most recently as Head of the Coastal and Water Science Section, and Senior Research Scientist focused on Coastal Ecosystems.
After ‘retiring’ from Environment Canada, Peter began pursuing further teaching, research, and writing on marine environmental issues. He is currently a Professor at Dalhousie University, in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies, the Marine Affairs Program, and School for Information Management, and a Senior Research Fellow at the International Ocean Institute, in Halifax, NS.
Peter has been a staunch supporter and active volunteer with the Gulf of Maine Council since 1989. He is a member of the Working Group and currently serves as Canadian Co-Chair of the Gulfwatch committee.
Under Peter’s leadership, Gulfwatch has measured contaminants in blue mussels to evaluate pollution in the nearshore marine environment for over two decades. This Gulf-wide regional monitoring program has provided important baseline data as well as valuable information about trends of chemical contaminants in coastal waters at 56 locations throughout the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy. In addition to his volunteer work with the Council, Peter is also an active member and past Chair of the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership.
Whether conducting scientific research, mentoring students, writing about the Gulf of Maine, or volunteering – Peter brings excellence, passion and dedication to all of his endeavors. As a small token of our thanks for his efforts, I am very pleased to present Peter with this Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership award.”
Established in 1989, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is a Canadian-American intergovernmental organization with representatives from two Canadian provinces (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), three American states (Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire), and the Canadian and American federal governments. The Council focuses on the marine environment of the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy, and environmental issues and their resolution, particularly matters of a cross-boundary nature (e.g., air and water pollution, conservation and restoration of critical habitats and hemispheric migratory species, climate change, and introduced species).