Michael Schwarz, an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation and an aquaculture specialist at the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton, Va., was recently presented with a letter of entrustment from the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province of South Korea, naming him an honorary ambassador for the island.

As an honorary ambassador, Schwarz will help communicate the value of Jeju, designated in 2011 as one of the “New7Wonders of Nature” in an international initiative. Jeju is also listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, World Natural Heritage Site, and Global Geopark, which together form the UNESCO Triple Crown in the field of natural science.

Schwarz’s longtime work with the World Aquaculture Society led to professional collaborations with scientists in Jeju and elsewhere in Korea. He currently serves as a board member with the society and served on the program committee for the organization’s 2008 conference in Busan, South Korea. He has also been appointed to the Industrial Relations Committee for World Aquaculture 2015, which will be held on Jeju.

“The people and culture of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province are truly wonderful and amazing, as is the unparalleled beauty of Jeju,” he said. “It is a tremendous honor for me to receive this recognition and responsibility as honorary ambassador, and only adds to the already significant enrichment of my life through such interactions and friendships over time.”