Jewett, Susan L. (Non-resident)
Susan was born on June 2, 1945, in Reno, Nevada, and grew up on Long Island, New York. From an early age she spent summers in East Hampton, New York, learning to love the seashore and the natural surroundings of eastern Long Island. Those summer experiences sparked her interest in marine sciences, exploration, and all things nautical. Susan received a BS degree in zoology from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, in June 1967. Following a brief stint in graduate school and employment at the University of Louisville Medical School, she moved to the Washington, D.C., area and soon thereafter took a job in the National Museum of Natural History’s Division of Fishes, Smithsonian Institution. Starting as a museum technician, she eventually rose to collections manager, the position from which she retired in 2004, after serving 34 years in the Division of Fishes. During her early years with the Smithsonian, Susan served as a research assistant to Dr. Ernest A. Lachner, and they jointly published several taxonomic papers on the Indo-Pacific gobioid genus, Eviota. In later years her interests led to several field trips to South America, at first assisting Richard P. Vari on collecting trips to Venezuela and Peru, and later working with a Brazilian colleague conducting surveys of freshwater fishes in the coastal rivers of Brazil. Susan has become widely known in ichthyological circles, in large part through her management of the Smithsonian’s fish collection and the loan and exchange activities within the Division of Fishes. As a consequence her field experiences include a collecting trip to the North Atlantic with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, an expedition to Cuba sponsored jointly by the Center for Marine Conservation and the Smithsonian, and the Amazon Deep Channel Fishes Project (Calhamazon), conducted by John Lundberg, now of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. In recent years Susan has been immersed in coelacanth-related work. She was an advisor to the invertebrate zoologist who discovered coelacanths in Indonesia in 1997, and conducted the preservation of the coelacanth captured there in 1998. Her continued interest in coelacanth research has led to her involvement in coelacanth meetings and numerous lectures, both in scientific and public venues. Professional memberships include the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and the Biological Society of Washington, having held elected office for each, the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, and the Association of Systematic Collections. Susan favors outdoor activities, namely gardening, birding, hiking, sailing, kayaking, and cross-country skiing. She hopes to relocate within a couple of years to East Hampton, New York, where she plans to involve herself with the many eastern Long Island natural history and conservation organizations. She was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 2000.