AERS awards "The Venerable Clam" each meeting to a long standing member who has contributed to the field of estuary and coastal research, as well as to the Society.
The recipient of the award signs the Clam and wears it for the remainder of the meeting and is given the "knuckle salute (photo right)" by all AERS members. While we chide the bearer of the Clam about being honored for their age, the true meaning of the word Venerable, "calling forth respect for age, character, and attainments" is at the heart of this coveted award.
The original Venerable Clam was established circa 1976 in fond memory and through the inspiration of Dr. Don Lear. One valve of a Mercenaria mercenaria was placed in service for the society's 33rd year. The defining AERS logo created by then-member Anna Shaughnessy is inscribed on the original valve and the second valve.
The original clam (Valve 1) bears the names of 29 awardees and was retired in the spring of 2008. The second valve, (Valve 2) was placed into service for the AERS 60th anniversary in the fall of 2008.