Posted by Bch Divr on June 28, 2004 at 14:05:51:
Paul had a very understated manner, that, when consistently applied, achieved large results.
I first heard his name when I was looking for underwater studies performed in the Palos Verde area that could support some remote sensing analysis I was engaged in. Then it seems his name popped up in a variety of situations. I finally met him when I took the CCD class on scientific protocols and fish ID. He came and gave a little lecture on recreational divers, research and publishing. I did my CCD check out dive with him and was thoroughly impressed with his ability to dive without breathing air. He was also extremely knowledgeable on marine biology. But one never knew that until you asked him what kelp or creature was that and he responded with both the common and scientific name.
I dived a few times with him at White Point, wishing that I knew the name of every rock and sand area as he knew it. We discussed setting up White Point as a living laboratory, instrumenting it and providing both data and diving buddies to researchers. Alas, that never came to pass.
When I needed a buddy to help map the Goleta Point area, he was right there, taking the day off to help investigate underwater structures that we found from high-altitude aircraft images. A magazine article describing some of the results was published and he proudly distributed it as an example of what recreational divers could do.
However, his most remarkable success (that I'm aware of) was the distribution of the CCD thermograph data. For 10 years the CCD collected ocean temperatures around Catalina Island but the data were not available to anyone. Paul actively led the fight for, and obtained, the release of the data. The data were first "published" at his Peanut Conference, and then subsequently at other symposia. I believe he was proud of this achievement by recreational divers as I heard that he spoke about it in his presentations to dive clubs.
He was a remarkable, gentle man with qualities that are hard to describe but that I wish I could emulate. I'd do well to be more like him as I grow older.
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