The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment awarded David Townsend, a University of Maine professor of oceanography, one of its 2022 Visionary Awards. 

The awards recognize individuals, businesses and organizations from each state and province bordering the Gulf of Maine for their innovation, creativity and commitment to protecting the marine environment. The organization honored Townsend during a ceremony held July 28 in Portland. 

For more than 40 years, Townsend has studied the biological oceanography of the Gulf of Maine and other coastal seas, particularly the physical-biological coupling of phytoplankton, zooplankton and larval fishes. During his career, Townsend has authored a college textbook, “Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Introduction to Marine Science,” and more than 100 research articles, reviews and other publications. He has also earned more than 50 research grants and contracts from various agencies and organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Office of Naval Research. 

In 2006, Townsend earned the Distinguished Maine Professor Award, UMaine’s most prestigious faculty award. He also earned the College Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture in 2001. 

In addition to teaching and conducting research, Townsend has served as the director of the School of Marine Sciences from 2001–07 and again from 2019–21, as its associate director from 2015–18 and on numerous state, regional and national committees. He served two terms as president of the University of Maine Faculty Senate, from 2018–20.