SOLOMONS, MD (May 22, 2022) – Jerry Frank, Senior Faculty Research Assistant at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL), has been honored with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s (UMCES) President’s Award for Outstanding Research Support for 2023. The prestigious award recognizes researchers who go beyond their research responsibilities and exhibit exceptional leadership, mentorship, and service. Frank’s remarkable contributions include establishing and leading the Nutrient Analytical Services Laboratory (NASL), a nationally-certified research laboratory sought after by federal, state, and local organizations for water quality analyses.
UMCES President Peter Goodwin praised Frank, stating, “Jerry Frank has demonstrated a long-term commitment to excellence during his career. His outstanding contributions epitomize everything we want in our cadre of professional researchers at UMCES. He is highly skilled, entrepreneurial, and committed to excellence in the laboratory and beyond.”
Frank serves as the head of the Nutrient Analytical Services Laboratory (NASL) at CBL, where he supervises a team of six scientists who process over 20,000 water quality samples annually. Under Frank’s leadership, NASL received accreditation from the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program in 2017. The laboratory was recertified in 2019 and 2022. NASL’s principal clients include the Chesapeake Bay Program and the State of Maryland, and academic and federal partners across the nation rely on its analytical expertise. NASL has also collaborated with citizen science programs, such as the American Chestnut Land Trust and the Mid Shore Riverkeepers, to measure water quality through sample collection.
CBL Laboratory Director Thomas Miller commended Frank’s leadership, saying, “Jerry has shown outstanding leadership in this area because he wanted to ensure that NASL was providing the most reliable and accurate data due to the importance of this information in determining whether, or by how much, we miss the 2025 Chesapeake Bay restoration goals.”
Frank’s association with the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory spans over three decades. He began as a glassware cleaner while in high school and continued working in Solomons while pursuing his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Saint Mary’s College. Throughout his career, Frank worked for various faculty groups, including Walter Boynton and Chris D’Elia, before focusing on the Nutrient Analytical Services Laboratory, where he became the director and established himself as an inclusive and engaged leader.
Miller expressed his admiration for Frank, stating, “Jerry is an outstanding leader and analyst. He is an advocate for his team and has created a team spirit that I have rarely encountered elsewhere.”
Aside from his contributions in the laboratory, Frank actively participates in shared governance at UMCES. He represents research scientists on the faculty senate, serves on the faculty workgroup responsible for examining appointment, promotion, and tenure policies, and contributes to the CBL academic and faculty councils. Frank has also co-led efforts to enhance the work experience of research scientists and has been involved with the CBL Diversity Equity Inclusion committee.
The Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, situated at the confluence of the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay, holds the distinction of being the oldest publicly supported marine laboratory on the East Coast. Founded in 1925, the laboratory has been at the forefront of fisheries, estuarine ecology, environmental chemistry, and toxicology for over 90 years. Its scientists conduct research both locally in the Chesapeake Bay and around the world, offering expertise and guidance to state and national agencies on sustainable fisheries management. From groundbreaking studies on chemical movement in the environment to renowned work on nutrient dynamics and the food web, the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory is dedicated to developing innovative scientific approaches to address pressing environmental challenges.