From University of Rhode Island
URI professor emeritus Saul B. Saila receives national award of excellence from American Fisheries Society Biological oceanographer and URI professor emeritus Saul B. Saila has been given the Award of Excellence by the American Fisheries Society (AFS). The award is the oldest major AFS award and the most prestigious presented to an individual. Presented annually since 1969, it is given in recognition of outstanding science in the fields of fisheries and aquatic biology.
Saila has enriched the field of fishery science through innovative research and dedication to education in fifty years of professional service. He has pioneered the application of new analytical techniques in fisheries research, placing new tools in the hands of researchers that have substantially advanced the discipline in more than one hundred scientific papers and reports.
“Saul is the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements, focusing on his roles as educator, researcher, and advisory, including several of the American Fisheries Society’s highest awards,” said Michael Fogarty of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA. “It is fitting that the American Fisheries Society now recognizes a half century of commitment to excellence, dedication, and intellectual development with its highest award for professional excellence. Saul’s journey as a scientist has indelibly left its mark on the field and on all those whose lives he has touched.”
He was an early proponent of the development and utilization of quantitative models in fisheries applications. He recognized the revolution that computers would bring to the field from an early date and served as the director of the first computer center established at the University of Rhode Island, while continuing in his role as professor in the departments of Oceanography and Zoology.
He established the Marine Experiment Station at URI, modeled on the agricultural experiment stations of Land Grant Colleges. He later contributed to research areas as diverse as multispecies and ecosystem modeling, complex nonlinear dynamics, and uncertainty theory.
Saila has served with distinction on many scientific advisory committees at the local, national, and international levels.
A resident of Hope Valley, Saila received a B.S. in agronomy from the University of Rhode Island, and an M.S. in limnology and a Ph.D. in fishery biology from Cornell University. He came to URI as an assistant professor of marine biology in 1956 and became a professor of oceanography and zoology in 1967. He has been the major professor for more than 65 students at URI and has written more than 100 papers for professional, peer-reviewed journals. He retired from teaching in 1988, but continues to conduct research throughout the world.