Duluth, Minnesota - The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, during its 62nd annual meeting
earlier this month, presented Dr. Michael Hansen with the 2017 Jack Christie/Ken
Loftus Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions toward Understanding Healthy
Great Lakes Ecosystems. Commissioner Dr. Bill Taylor, Distinguished Professor in
Global Fisheries Systems at Michigan State University, presented Dr. Hansen with
the award, noting Dr. Hansen's numerous significant scientific contributions throughout
his distinguished career that have led to improved Great Lakes fisheries.
The award, which the Commission presents annually to those who have made major scientific
contributions to Great Lakes ecosystems, honors the legacy of Jack Christie and
former Commissioner Ken Loftus, two renowned fishery scientists from the Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources.
Said Commissioner Taylor: "Dr. Hansen has been and remains a prominent leader in
the Great Lakes fishery community. He exudes energy, enthusiasm, and vitality as
he engages other fishery professionals in research and management endeavors. He
has lead in the development of new ways of thinking, learning, and discovery which
has resulted in needed insights into the changing nature of Great Lakes ecosystems."
Taylor continued: "Dr. Hansen's contributions are scientifically impressive, and
his breadth of service is vast.
He has held several positions in state, university, and federal fishery resource
organizations and management agencies. Dr. Hansen has spent his career ensuring
that the Great Lakes fisheries and their ecosystems are healthy and productive.
He will forever be one of the basin's most outstanding researchers, educators, international
diplomats, and individuals."
"Additionally, Dr. Hansen is one of the world's foremost experts in sea lampreys,
lake trout, and large lake fisheries science" Taylor added. "He has authored numerous
peer-reviewed publications, many of which remain foundational work for Great Lakes
fishery understanding and management. He has taught and mentored thousands of undergraduate
students, graduate students and fisheries professionals."
Taylor continued: "Dr. Hansen has been a long time active participant in the Commission's
structure and committees as well. In addition to his scientific contributions, he
served as a U.S. commissioner for 10 years and during that time frame, he served
as both Commission chair and vice-chair. In his capacity as chair, he represented
the Commission in testimony to the U.S. Congress regarding Asian carps at a critical
time when this invader was garnering daily attention regionally and on Capitol Hill
in Washington, DC."
Dr. Hansen's distinguished career has led him to his current position as the Station
Supervisor of the Hammond Bay Biological Station, where he uses his profound knowledge
of Great Lakes fisheries science to facilitate fisheries research on the Great Lakes
facilitating their rehabilitation and sustainable management. Additionally, at Hammond
Bay, he supervises USGS and Commission-related staff and projects, and hosts as
many as 50 visiting research scientists, students, and technicians each year.
"Perhaps above all," Taylor concluded, "it is the esteem in which Dr. Hansen is
held by the fishery community that has led to this award. Contained within the nomination
submission by the ten-person group of nominees was the following: ‘We believe Dr.
Hansen to be, without exception, an energetic, enthusiastic, positive, hard-working
person who cares about others and demands excellence in himself.'"
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is an international organization established
by the United States and Canada through the 1954 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries.
The Commission has the responsibility to support fisheries research, control the
invasive sea lamprey in the Great Lakes, and facilitate implementation of A Joint
Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries, a provincial, state, and
tribal fisheries management agreement.