Peter Oliver reflectionsBill Dennison ·
The sad news that Dr. Peter Oliver passed away on 20 November 2012 arrived during our week of Thanksgiving. There was some solace in learning that after many months of medical insults (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.), Peter’s last moments were not painful. We also can give thanks for having had the wonderful opportunity of working with Peter over the past 15 years. He was a powerful force of nature, a man so full of life that it is difficult to imagine a world without him in it. In previous blog articles (1 & 2), I described Peter’s retirement lecture from the International WaterCentre earlier this year. You can watch Peter’s retirement lecture online at the following URL: http://www.watercentre.org/news/effectively-communicating-wicked-problems-emotion-ethics-action-and-those-funny-little-things-called-facts
The International WaterCentre posted a very nice tribute on their website: http://www.watercentre.org/news/remembering-peter-oliver
Peter was many things to many people, and accumulated more descriptors than anyone I know, including teacher, social scientist, scholar, researcher, activist, pioneer, visionary, mentor, friend, singer/songwriter, philosopher, catchment manager, and pirate. Each of these descriptors has real meaning, and just by reading this long list of different facets, you begin to realize that Peter was a multi-faceted gem of a person. The light that shone through Peter’s exuberant multi-faceted personality served to enlighten those of us lucky enough to know this special man.
About the author
Dr. Bill Dennison is a Professor of Marine Science and Vice President for Science Application at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Dr. Dennison’s primary mission within UMCES is to coordinate the Integration and Application Network.