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October 15, 2010
Those of us in the NOAA family were saddened to learn about the untimely passing this week of Dr. Bill Evans, NOAA administrator (1988-89) and pre-eminent marine mammalogist widely known for his research on marine mammal acoustics and tracking.
Dr. Evans first came to NOAA in 1986 as the assistant administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, after serving as chairman of the Marine Mammal Commission. In both capacities, he played an integral role negotiating several global environmental and fisheries agreements with such countries as Norway, Iceland, Japan, Poland, Korea, China and the former Soviet Union.
After serving as the U.S. Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission, Dr. Evans was appointed NOAA administrator in 1988, ably directing the agency’s response efforts in the days and months following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
After retiring from 22 years of federal service, he went on to hold several academic appointments, including dean of the Texas Maritime College at Texas A&M University, president of the Texas Institute of Oceanography, professor of marine biology and marine sciences at Texas A&M, and visiting professor of biology at the University of Notre Dame. He was also a founding member of The Society for Marine Mammalogy.
Dr. Evans’ legacy is well and fondly cherished by his colleagues here at NOAA, and he will be remembered warmly. On behalf of the NOAA family, I extend my sincere condolences to Dr. Evan’s wife Phyllis, the Evans family, and all of his friends and colleagues during this difficult time.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco