31 July 2009

John Russell Twiss, Jr.

John Russell Twiss, Jr., age 71, died July 23, 2009 in The Plains, Virginia after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease (...) His life-long commitment to ocean and marine conservation began early in his career when he joined the National Science Foundation, where he managed scientific research in the Antarctic. He then joined the NSF's Office of Ocean Exploration, where he led research-based expeditions. In 1974, Mr. Twiss became the first Executive Director of the Marine Mammal Commission, a new and independent government agency dedicated to the protection of marine mammals. He served in this role, shaping all aspects of the Commission, for 26 years until he retired in 2000. His dedication to the survival of marine mammals and healthy oceans helped save species such as the Hawaiian monk seal, West Indian manatee, North Atlantic right whale and California sea otter. Mr. Twiss was a strong proponent of stewardship of the land through youth education. He served on the board of the Student Conservation Association from 1986 through 2009 as a Board Member, Chairman and Chairman Emeritus. During his tenure on the board, he offered outstanding leadership while drawing on his commitment to preserving our environment and building the next generation of conservation leaders. He oversaw unprecedented growth in land protection programs and inspired thousands of young people to service. He was instrumental in the development of the Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute, serving as a board member for both for 11 years. Mr. Twiss served on numerous other boards, including those of the Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University, the Ocean Conservancy, and the Marine Conservation Biology Institute. Mr. Twiss received the Founders Award in 2000 from the Student Conservation Association, and the John Phillips Award in 2002 from his alma mater Phillips Exeter, for his service to his country, extraordinary leadership and invaluable contributions to ocean and environmental conservation. (...)

From The Washington Post, July 29, 2009

1 comment:

Robin Tierney said...

My condolences to Dr. Twiss's family, friends and colleagues. What a difference he has made for the world and its inhabitants. What a fine person to have known.