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National Association of Marine Laboratories

In 1984, a Federal Agency program that provided funding support for marine laboratory instrumentation was terminated. Dr. John Costlow, Director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory organized a meeting of marine lab directors to formulate testimony and present a unified position as to the importance of this program and the fiscal need to have the program reinstated. At this meeting, the necessity for a national association of marine lab directors was realized. However that organization failed to materialize from this meeting.

During 5-6 December 1985, an organizational meeting of 14 scientists from 11 labs located along the southeast and Gulf Coasts was held at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, MS with the urging and support of its director, Dr. Harold Howse. This meeting was chaired by Dr. Paul Sandifer. Subsequent to this meeting, in the spring of 1986, the Articles of Organization and Bylaws were developed and accepted for the formation of the Southern Association of Marine Laboratories (SAML) with an inaugural regular membership of 20 laboratories and two associate members. Harold Howse was unanimously elected as SAML’s first president.

During an American Society of Limnology & Oceanography (ASLO) meeting in December 1988, at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, San Francisco State University, Tiburon, CA, a group of approximately 70 marine lab directors and scientists, chaired by Dr. Dirk Frankenberg met in another attempt to establish a national organization. SAML representatives reported on their successes as a regional organization, but endorsed the concept of a national association based upon a model similar to the Estuarine Research Federation (ERF) and its regional members. Two major objectives were adopted for the organization: 1. it would act as a national body speaking in support of issues related to infrastructure and maintaining marine labs as a national resource and, 2. it would function as a forum and means for information exchange between marine lab directors where issues of common scope could be discussed and information shared. A steering committee was asked to look into the matter further.

In October 1989, the steering committee met with marine lab directors attending the annual ERF meeting in Baltimore, MD. The concept of a national marine lab association was accepted, and the initial officers elected. Dr. Harlyn Halvorson, Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, MA, became the first president of the National Association of Marine Laboratories or NAML, and Dr. James Clegg, Bodega Marine Laboratory, Bodega Bay, CA, President-elect.

During 2-3 November 1990, the first regular meeting of NAML was held at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA with Harlyn Halvorson presiding. Twenty two marine lab directors from all over the coastal US and Great Lakes attended. Current SAML President, Dr. Kumar Mahadevan, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL, and Dr. Robert Jones, Marine Science Institute, University of Texas, Port Aransas, TX, SAML Past-President and NAML Board of Directors, Member-at-Large were invited to give testimony on the successes of SAML. The following precepts were accepted:

1. The regional organization of the ERF model was accepted and that NAML would operate as the national umbrella association.

2. SAML would continue as a regional organization and represent the Southeast (Maryland southward) and Gulf laboratories, the Northeast Association of Marine and Great Lakes Laboratories (NEAMGLL) would be formed and represent the Northeast coastal states (Delaware northward) and Great Lakes labs, and the West Coast, to include Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam would be united into the Western Association of Marine Laboratories (WAML).

3. The Board of Directors of NAML would be composed of the Board members of each of the Regional Organizations plus a President, President-Elect and immediate Past-President. The President-Elect will come from the membership at large and will be rotated among the Regions. NAML would also have a Secretary and Treasurer.

4. NAML would hold an annual open meeting of the Board of Directors, and meet biennially as a full organization at the laboratory of the retiring President. Regional organizations would be free to set their own meeting schedules.

5. The NAML Articles of Organization and Bylaws would be altered to reflect that organization.

On 10-11 May 1991, an organizational meeting for the Northeast Association of Marine Laboratories was held at the Ira Darling Marine Center, Walpole, Maine. The meeting was presided over by NAML President, Dr. Harlyn Halvorson, MBL, Woods Hole, with Drs. Alan Kuzirian, MBL (NAML Secretary/Treasurer), and Bob Jones, Marine Science Institute, University of Texas, Port Aransas, TX, attending to provide additional support. A steering committee was formed to draft articles and bylaws based on the SAML organization, and to nominate a complete slate of potential officers. Dr. Bob Whitlatch, University of Connecticut, Avery Point, CT was elected the first NEAMGLL president.

The second NAML Meeting was held on 12 October 1991, at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Dr. Ken Tenore, host. The organization was now on a biennial schedule and its initial Aims and Goals were presented and adopted. Reports were heard on the formation of NEAML and WAML. The membership for the first year consisted of 51 laboratories from 21 states, and 2 territories which extend geographically from Bermuda to Guam, and from Alaska to Florida.

WAML held its first meeting on 10 November 1991, in conjunction with the ASLO meeting in San Francisco. Dr. Phil Helfrich, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Kaneohe, HI, WAML president presided with Dr. Lavern Weber, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR, president-elect.

NAML Presidents

Harlyn O. Halvorson, 1990-1991

James S. Clegg 1992-1993

Kumar Mahadevan 1994-1995

Kenneth R. Tenore 1996-1997

Arthur Brooks 1998-1999

Lavern J. Weber 2000-2001

Madilyn Fletcher 2002-2003

Jeffrey M. Reutter 2004-2005

Tony Michaels 2006-2007

Jim Sanders 2008-2009

Ivar Babb 2010-2011

Jo-Ann Leong 2012-2013

Nancy Rabalais 2014-2015

Mike De Luca 2016-2017

NAML Meetings

Location Dates Host
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, MA
2-3 Oct 1990 Harlyn Halvorson
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
Solomons, MD
12 Oct 1991 Ken Tenore
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Newport, OR
29-30 Oct 1993 Lavern Weber
Mote Marine Laboratory
Sarasota, FL
28-29 Oct 1995 Kumar Mahadevan
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
Solomons, MD
12-14 Sep, 1997 Ken Tenore
Great Lakes WATER Institute
Milwaukee, WI
24-25 Sep 1999 Art Brooks
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Newport, OR
4-5 Oct 2001 Lavern Weber
Belle W. Baruch Institute
Columbia, SC
15-17 Oct 2003 Madilyn Fletcher
F.T. Stone Laboratory
Gibralter Isl., Put-in-Bay, OH
21-23 Sep 2005 Jeff Reutter
Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Southern California, Catalina Island Laboratory, Avalon, CA Oct 3-5, 2007 Tony Michaels
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Savannah, GA Oct 4-6, 2009 Jim Sanders
University of Connecticut, Avery Point, Groton, CT Sep 26-28, 2011 Ivar Babb
Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Oct 29-31, 2013 Jo-Ann Leong
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution Oct 11-13, 2015 Nancy Rabalais


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The National Association of Marine Laboratories (NAML)
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