“I owe a huge debt of gratitude for the academic experience [at Suffolk University]…where I was encouraged to pursue marine biology,” said alumnus Ken Sherman, a global leader in ocean sustainability.
Despite the snow, Sherman delivered his public lecture last Tuesday to a crowd of faculty and students. He talked about his undergraduate days at the University - his classes were in what he called "that little old Archer building" - and went on to describe his award-winning Large Marine Ecosystems (LME) program, which separates global waters into pieces of large ecosystems.
Sherman said that he was headed to Suffolk Law School until his professors in CAS mentored him and encouraged him to continue studying biology.
Now Sherman is director of the Narragansett Bay Research Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In recognition of his LME work, he received the 2010 Göteborg Award, given by the Swedish government to honor outstanding contributors to sustainability and compared by many to the Nobel Prize.
The LME program assesses marine life and pollution and then develops and implements remediation plans for each ecosystem. The result is a recovery of depleted fish stocks, improvements to degraded habitats, and a reduction of pollution. Sherman said there are currently 18 international Global Environment Facility and World Bank funded LME projects.
Sherman, who was heavily involved in campus activities during his student days, enjoyed using his visit to talk with students and connect their lives to his global work.
Fatima Guevera, a freshman, talked with Sherman about the lively seafood culture in her hometown of Lima, Peru, where Sherman has traveled for work on the Humboldt Current LME. He also spoke with a visiting student from Japan, where Sherman spent time addressing issues with the Sea of Japan and whaling.
Sherman told all the students in attendance to remember that “Suffolk is an opportunity.”