A Tribute to Walter Boynton

December 22, 2016
Walter Boynton

Walter Boynton, whose groundbreaking research helped establish that excess nutrients degraded the Chesapeake Bay’s water quality and habitats, was awarded the 2016 Mathias Medal to recognize his distinguished career of scholarship and public service. Dr. Boynton is the seventh recipient of the medal since it was established in 1989.

The Mathias Medal recognizes outstanding environmental scientists whose research has made major impacts on environmental policy in the Chesapeake Bay region. The medal is named for U.S. Senator Charles “Mac” Mathias, who helped to create programs to study and restore the estuary.


Inside the Governor Calvert House in Annapolis

The awards dinner at the Governor Calvert House in Annapolis on December 2 featured more than 100 of Dr. Boynton’s scientific colleagues, friends, and family members.


Walter Boynton's daughters and wife

Dr. Boynton’s daughters, Jessica (left) and Sarah (right), and wife Mary Ellen (center) were among the guests.


Fredrika Moser

Guests were welcomed by Fredrika Moser, director of Maryland Sea Grant, which with Virginia Sea Grant and the Chesapeake Research Consortium awards the Mathias Medal.


Troy Hartley and William Ball

Troy Hartley (left), director of Virginia Sea Grant, and William Ball (right), director of the Chesapeake Research Consortium.


Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller, director of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, where Walter Boynton has spent his career.


Listening was Grace Brush, an ecologist at the Johns Hopkins University who received the Mathias Medal in 2004.


Ann Swanson

Ann Swanson, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, has worked closely with Walter Boynton to help influence state policies informed by his scientific research.


Walter Boynton smiling

Mary Ellen and Walter Boynton


John Griffin

John Griffin, former chief of staff for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and a former secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, read a letter from O’Malley praising Dr. Boynton’s accomplishments for the Chesapeake Bay.


Robert Twilley

Robert Twilley, director of Louisiana Sea Grant and, like Dr. Boynton, a wetlands and estuarine ecologist, delivered the keynote address, “Living on the Edge — Coastal Science and its Communication.”


Audience smiling and laughing

The evening’s good humor was shared here by Michael Roman (left), director, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES); Suzanne Bricker, a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Troy Hartley, Virginia Sea Grant; and David Nemazie, UMCES chief of staff.  


Donald Boesch

Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.


Donald Boesch awarding Walter Boynton the Mathias Medal.

Dr. Boesch officially bestowed the Mathias Medal to Dr. Boynton as William Ball, Troy Hartley, and Fredrika Moser looked on.


Audience applauds Walter Boynton



Walter Boynton at podium

Dr. Boynton took the podium and his turn for remarks.


Michael Kemp speaking with Walter Boynton

Michael Kemp congratulated Boynton, his long-time collaborator. Kemp is a professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Horn Point Laboratory.


Ann Swanson, Walter Boynton, and Bernie Fowler

Ann Swanson and former Maryland Senator Bernie Fowler (right) posed with Dr. Boynton. Fowler has worked closely with Boynton on efforts to preserve the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay.




This video, filmed and edited by Maryland Sea Grant video producer W. Michael Fincham, features interviews with Dr. Boynton and Senator Fowler about Walt's career. A shorter version of this video was played during the award ceremony.


See a Maryland Sea Grant news article that describes Dr. Boynton's career and accomplishments.

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