Nils Gunnar Jerlov was an early leader in the area of ocean optics research. His theoretical and experimental work on ocean optical and related processes helped form the foundation of modern optical research.
Ray Smith, the first American to win the award, is the author or co-author of over 150 articles that have had major impacts on optical oceanography and other areas of oceanography and environmental science. Oceanographer Tommy Dickey of UC Santa Barbara made the recent presentation at the TOS award ceremony in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Among his many accomplishments, Smith developed several novel optical instruments including spectral radiometers to measure light from the visible to the ultraviolet. These were integrated into a bio-optical profiling system called BOPS, the forerunner for many similar systems that have been used for bio-optical studies including calibration and validation of aircraft and satellite ocean color remote measurements.
The Oceanographic Society commemorates Jerlov and his many contributions to the study of light in the ocean with an international award, established in his name, to recognize outstanding achievements in ocean optics and ocean color remote sensing research.