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Bernard Andrew Megrey  
Bern was born in July 1950 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Along his educational pathway, he earned an Associate of Science degree (1971), a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cleveland State University in Ohio (1974), a Masters in Environmental Science from Miami University in Ohio (1978); and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington (1989). It was during his doctoral research that he began working for the U.S. NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service at the Northwest and Alaska Fishery Science Center in Seattle. He was assigned to the Groundfish Assessment Group preparing the first stock assessment for this newly discovered walleye pollock fishery in the Gulf of Alaska. His work enabled a team of scientists to provide timely forecasts of abundance and biomass to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. This required innovative analysis of the very short time series that was available for pollock. He became a permanent employee in August 1987 and was charged with integrating fishery and research vessel assessment data into a more complete assessment procedure to forecast stock size and composition. Bern was reassigned to the Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI) Program in 1987 where his charge was to develop recruitment prediction models and oversee the analytical personnel within that Program.

During his tenure in the FOCI Program, Bern continued to work on recruitment prediction, but also broadened his focus from single species to ecosystems. The Gulf of Alaska recruitment prediction model that he developed for walleye pollock is one of the few predictions that incorporate both environmental and biological data and are based on an underlying mechanistic model. Bern helped to implement a series of Individual Based Models at the Center, some of which are still in use today. More recently, he was engaged in a national/international effort to construct integrated end-to-end fisheries ecosystem models.

Bern worked tirelessly for several professional organizations, most notably AFS, ICES, GLOBEC (ESSAS) and PICES. He served terms as President of the AFS International Fisheries and Computer User Sections. AFS recognized Bern’s lifetime achievement in 2009 with the Oscar Elton Sette Award for sustained excellence in marine fishery biology through research, teaching, and / or administration. Bern was on the editorial board of the ICES Journal of Marine Science from 2001 to 2007 and a current member of the Working Group on Data and Information Management. He actively suggested new Theme Sessions for the Annual Science Conference and presented at those meetings. Within PICES, Bern served as Co-Chairman of the MODEL Task Team of the PICES/GLOBEC Climate Change and Carrying Capacity (CCCC) Program, chaired the Technical Committee on Data Exchange (TCODE), led the Marine Ecosystem Model Inter-comparison project and was a member of the Science Board. PICES recently recognized his achievements federating the member countries meta-databases for the North Pacific with the PICES Ocean Monitoring Service Award (2009, w. S.A. Macklin).

Just prior to his death, Bern served as the lead liaison for fisheries issues in the U.S. Mississippi Canyon 252 Command Center in Washington, D.C.

Bern was gregarious, loved a good party, and was enthusiastic about new ideas and technologies that could advance science. He was 60 years old at the time of his untimely death. He leaves behind his wife, Ronnette, sons Christopher (23), and Nicholas (18), and a daughter, Sarah (16).

   
 
On behalf of the NEMURO Mafia, Shin-ichi Ito, Kenneth A. Rose, Michio J. Kishi
and Francisco E. Werner
We are writing this obituary with deep sadness. Our dear colleague and friend, Dr. Bernard A. Megrey, suffered a heart attack and passed away on October 1st, 2010.

Bern contributed significantly to wide ranging areas of fisheries science, including ecosystem modeling, population dynamics, stock assessment, and comparative ecosystem studies. He collaborated with scientists from many countries. Within PICES, he served as the Chairman of TCODE (Technical Committee on Data Exchange) and was awarded the PICES Ocean Monitoring Service Award (POMA) for leadership in building an inventory of biophysical data for the North Pacific, and creating the PICES Marine Metadata Federation.


He also served as Co-Chair of MODEL Task Team of the PICES/GLOBEC Climate Change and Carrying Capacity (CCCC) Program, where he led the development of the NEMURO (North Pacific Ecosystem Model for Understanding Regional Oceanography) model. With Bern’s leadership, the NEMURO model became an open source public model used by researchers worldwide. Bern’s scientific insights were essential for the development of NEMURO, but it was his guidance of the Model Task Team, better known as the NEMURO Mafia, that led to NEMURO’s success in providing a better understanding of marine ecosystems.

We remember Bern’s contagious enthusiasm, his dedication and his high standards. But more importantly, we remember Bern for his friendship, his warmth and his ability to reach out individually to every person in the room. Our many trips together were always an adventure. We became more than colleagues; we became true friends. Our families know of these adventures in the stories we tell upon our return and when we get together in various places. He will be sorely missed for both his science and his camaraderie. With Bern, not only did we arrive to our destination and achieve our goals, but he also made the journey fun. Our most heartfelt sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with his wife Ronnette and their children, Chris, Sarah and Nick.

     
Memorial Service and Donations  
There will be a memorial service for Bern at Bleitz Funeral Home (316 Florentia Street) in Seattle on Saturday, October 9, at 2 p.m. It will be a celebration of Bern's life and passions with family and close friends. Bern was very active in both ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) and PICES (North Pacific Marine Science Organization), and concerned with the need to train and cultivate young scientists, it is hence his family's preference that in lieu of flowers, donations be used to establish a fund that can support the travel and participation of students with various background and from various countries and cultures, in joint ICES/PICES activities. One meaningful event that Bern would have approved of is the PICES/ICES Early Career Scientists Conference to be held in Spain in spring 2012. As he was once a struggling student himself, he would likely have appreciated the value of travel grants for students to test the waters in such international forum.

To make a donation, please send cheques (made out to “PICES”, USD or CAD) or bank drafts (any currency) to:

North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)
P.O. Box 6000,
9860 West Saanich Road,
Sidney, B.C.,
Canada. V8L 4B2

Questions regarding donations can be addressed to Ms. Christina Chiu (christina@pices.int) at the PICES Secretariat.

List of Donors to the Megrey Student Fund

PICES is pleased to announce that as of December 31, 2010 , a total of US$15,626 + CDN$232 was received for a “Student Fund” in honour of Dr. Bernard Megrey. Here are the donors:

Thomas Waterman
Daniel Ito
Ann M. Kiernan
FOCI Group
Shinichi Ito
Hiroya Sugizaki & Yoshi Oozeki
Tokio Wada
Toru Suzuki
Gordon Kruse
Yukimasa Ishida
Vidar Wespestad
Michio Kishi
Erlend Moksness
Jeffrey Napp
Anne Hollowed
Suam Kim
Stanley A. Moberly
Daniel S. Gerhart
Tim O’Niell
Earl L. Hunt
Michelle & Frederick Abraham
Thomas T. Muramoto
Mary Grace Lentz
Annette S. Peters
William R. Tuttle
Daniel Huppert & Gail Theilacker
Kathy Ray/Scott Ray
Kathy Ray/Helen Strah
Bill Karp
Friends at the Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway
John Megrey & Mary Lou Adams
Ronnette Megrey
Jonathan & Kimberly Hare
Jake Rice
Sarah Gaichas
Robin Brown
Christina Chiu
Hal Batchelder
Kristen R. Laursen
Cathryn E. Tortorici
Michele Jacobi
Lauren & Thomas R. Jones
Boy Scout Troup 80
RACE Division of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA

 



 

 
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