Institute of the Environment 2017
Sunday, May 31, 2015
The staff and friends of the Institute of the Environment deeply regret the death of our colleague Rafe Sagarin, marine ecologist, conservationist, and science communicator. Rafe joined IE as a research scientist when he moved to Tucson with his family in 2009, working to develop a 'desert seas' initiative, leading a major research project on climate adaptation for defense facilities, and acting as a founding mentor for the Carson Scholars Program. He was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, writing a popular book, Learning from the Octopus, about how insights from nature could enhance national security and adaptability, and also Observation and Ecology, on the importance of careful field observations and natural history to our understanding of a changing planet. His work on marine ecology, public policy, and adaptation appeared in major scholarly journals as well as media outlets and blogs.
In 2013 Rafe transitioned to a position as program director for oceans at Biosphere 2, where he was working to transform the ocean ecosystem at B2 to one that better reflected our region and the desert seas of the Gulf of California. But he retained a role with IE as a mentor for the Carson Scholars Program, which supports outstanding UA graduate students and their research on environmental issues through grants and training in communication and outreach. He inspired the Carson scholars through his enthusiasm and passion for the environment and genuine interest in their work.
Rafe was killed on May 28 by a truck while on an evening bicycle ride near Biosphere 2. He was 43 years old. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.