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Jones receives Rachel Carson Award


Jess Jones talking to another man beside a river Jess Jones

Aug. 15, 2014 – Restoration biologist Jess Jones received the Rachel Carson Award for Scientific Excellence from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The award, named in honor of the renowned ecologist, recognizes exemplary scientific contributions to achieving extraordinary results in fish and wildlife resources.

Jones, who is employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and stationed in the college’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, co-directs Virginia Tech’s Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center. He researches the restoration of endangered freshwater mussel populations, conservation management of rivers, and mussel propagation, population dynamics, and genetics.

Jones leads the freshwater mussel restoration work for two multi-million-dollar Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration cases in the upper Tennessee River basin, where many rare mussel species live. He and his team have consistently demonstrated high recovery success in the field and laboratory. They developed the first laboratory protocols for the captive care of host fishes for the university’s aquaculture facility.

“Rachel Carson was a visionary leader,” Jones explained. “Not only did she see the ecological connections between pollution and ecological health, and that human health was tied to it, she also wrote about these connections with such clarity and passion that her work resonated with the nation, leading to research and the passage of environmental laws.”

“I have always enjoyed what I do as a biologist,” Jones continued. “Much of my success is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of the staff at the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center, the lab manager, the students, and the technicians who work there.”

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