On November 19, the United States Department of Commerce honored Antioch University New England graduate David Wiley with its highest award, the Gold Medal. David, a Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary scientist and research coordinator, is a 2001 graduate of Antioch University New England’s PhD Program in Environmental Studies. He was recognized for his work altering tanker shipping lanes into the port of Boston, Massachusetts to minimize collisions with endangered whales.
Over the years, David has worked with fishermen to redesign fishing gear to reduce the risk of whale entanglement and he has pioneered methods to successfully rescue mass stranded whales and dolphins. Currently he is leading a multi-organizational study of sound and noise in the Stellwagen Bank sanctuary and a multi-organizational study using advanced multi-sensor telemetry and novel visualization software to explore the underwater behavior of endangered whales.
In addition to the commerce department honor, David is the past recipient of a Switzer Environmental Leadership Award, a Gulf of Maine Visionary Award, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Human Hero Award. He was a 2007 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Employee of the Year, and in 2008, David was presented Antioch University New England’s 2008 Alumni Environmental Excellence Award.
To read more about David’s exceptional work to minimize whale strikes read this Cape Cod Times article.