Dr. Scott W. Nixon
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Dr. Scott W. Nixon from an apparent heart attack on the evening of Monday, May 21, 2012. Despite some earlier heart problems, he seemed to be in good health, was working actively as usual, and his death is a shock to us all. Scott was a long time member of ASLO and served as a member-at-large to the ASLO Board of Directors in 1984-1987. A memorial service will be held in honor of Scott at 10:30 a.m. on Friday June 8th at The Towers, 35 Ocean Road, Narragansett, RI. All friends and colleagues are welcome. Please check the URI Graduate School of Oceanography’s website for updates and other information:
Scott served the University community and the oceanographic research community for more than four decades, which included roles as director of Rhode Island Sea Grant, vice-chair of a National Research Council committee on Everglades Restoration, URI's UNESCO-Cousteau Chair of Coastal Ecology and Global Assessment, a member of the National Research Council's Ocean Studies Board, a national associate of the National Academies of Science, chair of the NRC committee to review the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Assessment Model, and member of the NRC committee to review the Louisiana Coastal Restoration Plan. He was a past co-editor-in-chief of Estuaries and Coasts; and a member of the Environmental Protection Agency's Massachusetts Bay Outfall Monitoring Scientific Advisory Committee.
Scott was a world leader in the study of how coastal and estuarine ecosystems work, initially using Narragansett Bay as his laboratory and employing mesocosms to measure respiration and production at a community level. This began a long and detailed exploration of the bay, especially the role nutrients play in its ecology. While his findings helped define our understanding of marine ecosystems locally, Scott applied his knowledge at broader scales, too, exploring marine ecosystems around the world, comparing and contrasting them to shape a global view that he then used to challenge himself to think in new ways and to challenge the scientific dogma of the times.
Scott was dedicated to students and he played a significant role in the lives of many graduate students who have since gone on to impressive careers in the sciences, where they continue his tradition of exploring new avenues of thought and understanding.
Scott was a vital and vibrant member of the ASLO community and he will be sorely missed.