Peter Brewer Honored with International Scientific Cooperation Award

Peter Brewer stands next to a model of the International Scientific Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ new ship in Qingdao. Photo provided by P. Brewer

Peter Brewer stands next to a model of the International Scientific Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ new ship in Qingdao. Photo provided by P. Brewer

(R-L) Peter Brewer, his wife Hilary, and the Deputy Head of the Chinese Academy of Sciences after the award ceremony. Photo provided by P. Brewer

(R-L) Peter Brewer, his wife Hilary, and the Deputy Head of the Chinese Academy of Sciences after the award ceremony. Photo provided by P. Brewer

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative congratulates its Research Board member Dr. Peter G. Brewer on receiving the Award for International Scientific Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(IOCAS).

This honor recognizes eminent foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to productive collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), strengthening its science and technology innovation capacity, research performance, education and training, management, and reputation in the international science community. Dr. Brewer accepted the award in Beijing in January.

“I am very pleased and honored to accept the award from CAS President Chun Li Bai on behalf of our close-knit team – Edward Peltzer, Peter Walz, and Bill Kirkwood – who have done every bit as much as me,” said Dr. Brewer as he reflected on this honor. “We look forward to continuing close collaboration with the CAS community.”

Dr. Brewer noted that this award is the result of a collaboration of researchers, “My close colleagues at the CAS lab in Qingdao worked hard to secure this distinguished recognition for me, and in reality, this is recognition equally for the lab team of scientists and engineers at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) that I lead.”

Explaining a little of how this working relationship evolved, Dr. Brewer said, “In 2008 I accepted a kind offer from Ocean University, Qindao, China to take an unknown young Ph.D. student with obscure credentials, Zhang Xin, into my lab for advanced training in deep-sea Raman spectroscopy. MBARI is a scholarly, but not academic, institution and we cannot award degrees etc. For this reason, the Department of State would not provide a student visa, only a visa for “training” purposes with a very specific agenda and a time limit of 18 months in the US. A Ph.D. typically takes 4-5 years – so we were in a very, very tight spot!”

Dr. Brewer and Ph.D. candidate Xin set a detailed agenda with strict goals and time table and followed through. Zhang Xin quickly revealed himself as a fast learner, highly motivated, and a genuine scientist in the making – personable, ethical, and wise. “We accomplished and published some significant research in record time. In short it was a splendid match of skills and interests,” said Brewer. The IOCAS lab now has a fully active deep-sea ROV exploration and experimental capability. “Along the way my colleagues and I have been able to supply advice many, many times – and this has worked.”

Dr. Brewer is the recipient of many notable honors including Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the AGU Maurice Ewing Medal. He has held many leadership positions including President of the AGU Oceanography Section, President and CEO of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Executive Committee Chairman for the US Global Ocean Fluxes Study, Chairman National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board (CO2 panel) and Marine Chemistry Program Director, and advisory committee member of the Geochemical ocean section study.  He was Chief or Co-Chief Scientists on more than 30 research expeditions.

Dr. Brewer served as associate editor of several science journals including Deep-Sea Research, Journal of Marine Research, and Geophysical Research Letters, and he authored or co-authored more than 180 publications. He taught Ocean Chemistry for the joint MIT/WHOI program.

The GoMRI community joins in the accolades of Dr. Brewer’s exceptional contributions to science and direction as the Chair of the GoMRI Data Management Sub-Committee.

View the accolades for Dr. Brewer by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies. An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available. The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP. For more information, visit http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/

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