[Coral-List] Dr. J. Harold Hudson

Billy Causey billy.causey at noaa.gov
Fri Feb 9 11:45:52 EST 2007

Greetings Friends and Colleagues,
I have pasted an announcement that appeared at the end of a Gene Shinn email.  Gene and Harold Hudson have been close friends and colleagues since before SCUBA was invented ....and I think it very appropriate that I open with Gene's acknowledgment of the recognition being bestowed upon Harold Hudson for his enormous accomplishments in working with corals and coral reefs. 

"And finally I want all to know that as you read this, J. Harold 
Hudson will be on an airplane to Germany where on February 9th the 
University of Frankfurt will bestow upon him an honorary PhD. The 
degree is for pioneering work on the application of coral banding for 
determining coral health and environmental impacts of pollutants on 
coral reefs. Those who have followed his pioneering lead owe him a 
round of thinks. His continued devotion to reef restoration while 
working for the NOAA Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary since that early 
work has been exemplary. Gene"

Harold came over to NOAA and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in 1989 after having worked with Gene Shinn, Barbara Lidz, Bob Halley, Jack Klingner and others at USGS in Miami.  Their loss was our gain ... but they never really lost him, he just didn't move to St Pete.

Harold's accomplishments are huge and many ....and he has devoted 50 years to employment in the federal government, with most of those years focused on coral reef research and science.  In recent years Harold has lead the coral reef damage assessment and monitoring team for the FKNMS.  His innovative techniques for reef restoration have been recognized world-wide.

But ....one of Harold's most endearing qualities is his passion and desire to share his knowledge and ideas with others. He understands the need to communicate and educate people about coral reefs and how they "function."  For that, those of us who work with Harold on a daily basis appreciate all of his accomplishments ....and the way he clearly explains complex concepts to all audiences (K-elected officials).  

Gene mentioned Harold is receiving his Honorary Doctorate for his work on coral banding.  Well.... along that line, we just opened the Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center (interagency visitor center)in Key West, Florida and among the high-tech, interactive displays is a very tall coral plug that Harold completed drilling in 1976 ...thus he calls it the Centennial Coral Core. The coral growth bands along the colony are highlighted with various significant events in human history.  That coral colony began growing in the year 1577 when Sir Francis Drake began his voyage around the world.  Harold's work has helped us unravel complex ideas about the health of corals over the centuries ...but it has also helped us keep a perspective on what it means when we loose these corals forever.  Please never doubt for a moment that Dr. Harold Hudson's contributions to the science, conservation and protection of coral reefs has been enormous ....and for that, those of us who work with Harold daily, feel blessed for it.

Please join me and the rest of the Sanctuary Team is expressing a heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Harold Hudson for receiving this highly deserved recognition and honor.

Sincerely, Billy Causey 

Billy D. Causey, Ph.D.
Regional Director
Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region
National Marine Sanctuary Program
33 East Quay Road
Key West, Florida 33040

305.809.4670 x 234
305.293.5011 fax
305.395.0150 cell

email:  billy.causey at noaa.gov

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