[Coral-List] Bob Ginsburg's passing

Ellen Prager pragere at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 10 13:26:55 EDT 2017

Thanks for posting this Gene. 

Bob was indeed a rare breed as a scientist, educator, and mentor. I feel fortunate to have been part of the Fisher Island gang in graduate school as his student. Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about carbonate geology and coral reefs, but as you say, his “So What?” questions were infamous and enlightening. Even when I thought he’d slept through a talk he’d be the first person to ask an insightful and thoughtful question. I am often reminded of another one of his questions to me on writing: “Are you sure that is the word you want to use there?” His lesson: Every word matters in writing. Then there were the field trips and sponsors meetings. It was a wonderful place and time to be a graduate student - even just sitting on the sidelines listening to you all discuss and debate new as well as old ideas. He was a true gem!

It is with great fondness and much gratitude that I say so long to Bob!


Dr. Ellen Prager
Earth2Ocean, Inc

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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