[Coral-List] Bob Ginsburg's passing

lad akins Lad at reef.org
Mon Jul 10 14:29:37 EDT 2017

Thanks Gene and Bill,

He certainly will be missed.  Dr. Ginsubrg's influence was far reaching - well beyond geology.  My memories of Bob include his work as a driving force behind the development of the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) and organizing the first meeting of the multi-disciplinary program to develop protocols for monitoring fish, corals and the benthos back in the early 1990s at the University of Miami. There were some heavy hitters at that workshop, each with their own favorite methods and biases.  Bob was masterful in  bringing everyone together to agree on common methods and practices that are still being used today throughout the Caribbean.

Bob's support of conservation could be found in many venues outside the classroom. He was heavily involved in coordinating the International Year of the Reef in 1997 and organizing the numerous activities and events associated with that year-long effort. He also organized and managed the highly regarded Sea Secrets lecture series at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School and founded and led the non-profit Ocean Research and Educational Foundation.

Bob was  very influential in the early careers of so many coral reef scientists and organizations, including REEF.  And he was always a man of subtle humor and wit.  One short story here as I am sure there will be many...

A summer day in the early 1990s, I called Dr. Ginsburg to ask if he could take a look at t very unique rock-like structure I had found while snorkeling along a Key Largo shoreline.  Of course, he said, bring it on up to his office.  I drove the 16-inch round "loaf" of reddish brown solid material up to the university and he took a long look.  He said it was definitely a very unusual find and I must have had a keen eye to spot it.  When pressed, he paused with his characteristic smile and said that it was most likely a bucket full of sand in which the bucket had disintegrated and left behind the solidified contents.  So embarrassing for me, but fun in his response and encouragement.  

Thinking of Dr. Ginsburg brings a smile and tear and I hope with all my heart that he is now in a great place of beauty and wonder.

I look forward to hearing other stories and anecdotes.


Lad Akins
Director of Special Projects
Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)
P O Box 370246
98300 Overseas Hwy
Key Largo  FL  33037
(305) 942-7333 cell
(305) 852-0030 work

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of William Precht
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2017 1:11 PM
To: Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Bob Ginsburg's passing

Very nice Gene. You were the one influenced most by this gentlemen scholar. 

Sympathies go out to all his friends and colleagues.  He will be missed and never forgotten. 


Sent from my iPhone

> On Jul 10, 2017, at 12:13 PM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu> wrote:
>    With great sadness I regret to report that Robert N. Ginsburg, 
> (Most of you know as Bob) passed away July 9, 2017. Bob was 91 and had 
> been in assisted living for the past few years. Few individuals have 
> influenced the course of carbonate geology and coral reef studies more 
> over the past 60 years than Robert Nathan Ginsburg. Had he not set the 
> course, comparative sedimentology as we now know it might never have flourished.
> More important, though, was Bob’s rare ability to influence those 
> around him to think, to ask the “So what?” or “What does it mean?” 
> questions that we so often forget to ask. Bob can be likened to a 
> Renaissance man, a visiting scholar from the past centuries. His 
> approach to science was both philosophical and pragmatic, a natural 
> historian’s attitude that at first seems out of step with today’s 
> high-tech computer model-driven science. We will all miss him. Gene
> --
> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> ------------------------------------ 
> -----------------------------------
> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
> University of South Florida
> College of Marine Science Room 221A
> 140 Seventh Avenue South
> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> Tel 727 553-1158
> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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