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Old Dominion University Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor Cynthia Jones will be honored today as the 2004 Virginia Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Jones joins Karen Polonko, professor of sociology and criminal justice, and Robert Lee Kernell, professor emeritus of physics, as the third ODU faculty member to receive this honor.

"Dr. Jones is a scholar of national reputation and representative of the outstanding faculty we have throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Gov. Mark R. Warner. "As the 2003 Virginia Scientist of the Year, Dr. Jones and her research contributions and teaching excellence at Old Dominion University are well known to me. She is an invaluable member of the academic community."

The purpose of the awards program is to recognize the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country. This year there were winners in 47 states chosen from a group of nearly 400 of the nation's top professors.

Jones, an eminent scholar and director of the Center for Quantitative Fisheries Ecology, joined Old Dominion in 1986. In addition to teaching and advising students in five courses, she is an international pioneer in fisheries ecology. She developed new techniques to accurately determine the age of fish by studying their ear bones, or otoliths, which have daily and annual rings similar to trees. She also pioneered a chemical analysis technique that can determine where a particular fish was hatched and what waters it has inhabited since. Because of her work scientists can now identify essential fish habitats and determine which ones provide better living conditions.

A Fulbright scholar, Jones is a member of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, and the first fisheries scientist to serve on the commission in its 125-year history. She was named one of Virginia's Outstanding Scientists of 2003 by Gov. Mark R. Warner. She recently received a nearly $200,000 Virginia Sea grant to work on a project titled "How Essential Fish Habitat Influences Population Structure for Spotted Seatrout, Cynoscion Nebulosus, With Special Emphasis on Chesapeake Bay."

Jones has published several books, chapters, and journal articles during her career, and is active in community service at the regional and national level. Prior to her arrival at ODU, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University. Jones received her bachelor's degree from Boston University and her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Rhode Island.

CASE established the Professors of the Year program in 1981 and the Carnegie Foundation became a co-sponsor a year later.

This article was posted on: November 17, 2004

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