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Nona Chiariello presented with 2019 Marsh O’Neill Award for Exceptional and Enduring Support of Stanford University’s Research Enterprise

At a ceremony held on the Stanford University campus November 20, Nona Chiariello received one of the university’s highest honors, the Marsh O’Neill Award. Presented by Dean of Research Kathryn “Kam” Moler, the award honors staff who have contributed above and beyond to the exceptional research for which Stanford is known.  The awardees are nominated by faculty in recognition of demonstrable impact in supporting the research of many different investigators.

Nona’s receipt of the award (read the Stanford News story about Nona) honors her critical role in facilitating the research of literally hundreds of researchers and projects during her nearly three-decade tenure at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.  As staff scientist, she is the entry point for any research done at the preserve, which includes between 60 to 70 projects annually, including many new ones each year.  She tirelessly helps faculty and students alike in tailoring projects to make maximum use of Jasper Ridge’s unique resources, ensures that projects are not getting in the way of each other, and in many cases helps with experimental design, permitting, and field work.

Nona is also a world-class researcher in her own right: among her many contributions are her work in helping to guide and maintain Jasper Ridge’s 18-year-long Global Change Experiment, which resulted in 13 theses and dissertations and 61 scientific publications with 38 lead authors.  Dozens of researchers and students were involved: this gives but one inkling of the research, organizational skills, and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of everything Nona does at the preserve.

In addition to these contributions to the research enterprise, Nona is a regular contributor to classes taught at Jasper Ridge, takes the lead in many conservation programs that the preserve carries out, and is a tireless advocate for the university and Jasper Ridge to our neighboring communities. The list of her contributions to Stanford and Jasper Ridge is long, but perhaps more telling is the esteem with which she is held by everyone who works with her.  Interactions with Nona typically leave one with a deep appreciation of her generosity, knowledge, and commitment to do things right, all of which she is able to convey in an understated way that puts people at ease.  Two of her faculty nominators summed it up nicely.

 “I know that I am only one of the hundreds of faculty and students who have benefitted from Nona’s generosity and intellectual contribution.  I believe Nona is the single most important person that has contributed by far the most to the success of Jasper Ridge in achieving their research, teaching, outreach, and conservation missions.”

“The preserve is blessed with a wonderful staff and leadership. But I view Nona as the conscience of the preserve, the person who consistently and effectively maintains the focus of the preserve on research, teaching and learning, and conservation . . . my research is enhanced by her contributions.”

Nona, congratulations and thank you!