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Oceanographer named 'Outstanding Faculty'

Top faculty

Top faculty:  Carl Friedrichs

Carl Friedrichs, an oceanographer at the School of Marine Science/Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary, has received the Commonwealth’s highest honor for professors.

Friedrichs was one of the 12 statewide recipients of 2008 Outstanding Faculty Awards (OFA), sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and by the Dominion Foundation. The award recognizes the finest among Virginia’s college faculty for their demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and public service. The General Assembly and governor created the award in 1986.

Since the first presentation in 1987, members of the William and Mary faculty have received the award 31 times, more often than professors of any other Virginia college or university, public and private.

The fourth OFA award winner from the faculty of the School of Marine Science/Virginia Institute of Marine Science (SMS/VIMS) since 1987, Friedrichs is a professor of marine science. He joined VIMS as a visiting assistant professor in 1993, the same year he received his Ph.D. in oceanography from a joint program conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Friedrichs’s research covers a wide range of topics in geological oceanography, physical oceanography and marine science and touches on many issues of environmental concern. Some of his most notable work has involved marsh morphodynamics—the study of how coastal wetlands respond to pressures of sea level rise and coastal development. He also has made important contributions to the study of continental shelf sediment transport, the investigation of how material eroded from the shore finds its way into the ocean, ultimately forming the deposits that create sedimentary rocks and trap fossil fuels.

VIMS Dean and Director John Wells says, “Carl is truly deserving of the SCHEV award. He’s an outstanding scientist, an excellent teacher and an advisor who cares deeply about the success and welfare of his students. His research benefits the Commonwealth, and he has an enviable record of producing students who go on to make a difference in academia, industry and government.”   i