July 09, 2018 - OBISIn Memoriam Fred Grassle

In Memoriam - J. Frederick Grassle

We are very sad to learn about the loss of Dr J. Frederick (Fred) Grassle. Fred is one of the Godfathers of OBIS. We are extremely thankful for all his support and great wisdom and hope with OBIS we can keep his dreams and vision alive.

In 1997, Fred hosted a "Census of the Benthos Workshop" at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (Rutgers University). This Workshop was part of a series "To explore the value, timeliness, and feasibility of stimulating, designing, and organizing a period of intense, comprehensive oceanic observation whose purpose would be to assess and explain the global distribution of marine life", which led to the Census of Marine Life.

At its conclusion, the Benthic Census meeting participants unanimously recommended a project to bring together existing distribution data into a common, searchable format. They formalized this recommendation in a meeting report. This report, together with a concept paper on "the census of the fishes" written by Jesse Ausubel of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation became the guiding principle for OBIS.

We wish to express our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.