Brown-Nichols Science Award

The Brown-Nichols Science Award was established in 2008 in honor of the significant contributions of Dr. Randall Brown and Dr. Frederic Nichols. Each made substantive contributions to science through research, by facilitating good science by others, and by communicating science to managers and policy makers in the San Francisco Estuary and watershed. Together they laid the foundations for the first Bay-Delta Science Conference.

The award is given biennially to recognize the contributions of a scientist for significant research and active involvement in facilitating the use of science to manage the San Francisco Estuary and watershed. Nominations for the 2020 award will be accepted in the Spring of 2020.

Dr. Ted Sommer receives the 2018 Brown-Nichols Science Award

Dr. Ted Sommer receives the 2018 Brown-Nichols Science Award

The Selection Committee for the Brown-Nichols Science Award unanimously chose Dr. Ted Sommer as the recipient of the 2018 award. Ted has been a driving force behind San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary (Bay-Delta) science for nearly three decades. He initiated, conducted and directed the first studies of the Yolo Bypass in the north Delta. It was this research that began the conversation about the importance of floodplain habitats to the ecosystem, which led to floodplain restoration efforts. Ted has continued to drive the Bay-Delta science agenda through his work with the Interagency Ecological Program, taking a leadership role in the Pelagic Organism Decline studies and syntheses and the Fall Low Salinity Habitat studies. He is committed to science synthesis and the communication of results. Ted is known for his prolific contributions to Bay-Delta science, commitment to collaboration, advocacy for scientific experimentation, mentorship, production and promotion of science that is actionable and relevant, and “simpler is better” approach to science communications. He is described by his colleagues as innovative, inspiring, unassuming, courageous, selfless, tenacious, humble, dedicated, productive, curious, motivated, thoughtful, prepared, effective, credible, and respectable. We are grateful to Ted for his ability to build and sustain a thriving collaborative scientific community in the Bay-Delta that informs policy and management decisions. Ted is dedicated to making the Bay-Delta a better place for fish and humans. He feels that the Bay-Delta science community is a family that plays together well. Ted hopes we continue to recognize him for how he did things, not what he did. The award was presented to Ted at the 10th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference. Congratulations Ted!

A recording of the award ceremony is available via the Delta Stewardship Council’s Facebook page. To watch, click the link below and then select the “Not Now” option on the Facebook Log-in window if you do not have a Facebook account.


Watch the award presentation via Facebook Live


Other Brown-Nichols Science Award resources:

Honoree biographies


View the Brown-Nichols Science Award nomination information


Previous Award Recipients