It is with a heavy heart, but fond memories, that the BIOS community says goodbye to Dr. John Steele, a long-time supporter of BIOS and a pioneer in the field of marine ecosystems modeling.
Born in 1926 in Edinburgh, Scotland, John Steele obtained a PhD in biology from the University College London and embarked on a prestigious career that produced more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and saw his nomination as a Fellow of the Royal Societies of both London and Edinburgh and a recipient of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences prestigious Alexander Agassiz Medal.
His relationship with BIOS began in 1962 when, as a doctoral student, he coauthored a paper with Dave Menzel using data from Hydrostation S that showed a positive relationship between the depth of the mixed layer and primary production. In 1979 he was recruited as a trustee of BIOS while serving as Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
During his twelve-year tenure at WHOI, Dr. Steele served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee at BIOS, helping to encourage extraordinary growth in the cooperate research being conducted by the two institutions. Throughout this time he also demonstrated the many benefits of interdisciplinary studies through his exploration of the significance of oceanic discontinuities.
Dr. Steele was internationally recognized for his ability to combine public policy and marine science research. He served as Chairman of the Ocean Sciences Board, Chairman of the Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc., and was responsible for organizing the first Global Ocean Flux Study (GOFS) workshops.
Dr. Steele was nominated as a BIOS Life Trustee in 1994, continuing his decades-long role as both a friend and supporter of the institution.