SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
19 November 2015
Volume 16 Issue 11

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In Memoriam: David F. Ludwig—A Lifetime of Service and Achievement

Tim Iannuzzi, Arcadis

David Ludwig

On 15 September 15, 2015, David Ludwig, a Systems Ecologist and long-standing member of SETAC, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. To many of us in SETAC, Dave was not only a colleague but a close friend. In his many roles, including those of scientist, husband, father, teacher and writer, Dave touched countless lives. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

A Wealth of Experience and Contributions
With more than 30 years of experience as a systems ecologist, Dave had particular interest in marine and estuarine ecosystems, invertebrate biology, urban ecology, and risk and impact assessment. He saw ecosystems from tropical forests to Mediterranean deserts, from blue water oceans to swamps to alpine tundras. He turned over rocks from Philadelphia industrial yards to remote fly-in New Mexico highlands. A native of New Jersey, he obtained his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in marine ecology from the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, College of William and Mary, and a B.S. degree in environmental science from Rutgers University. As an employee of Arcadis for the past 15 years, and Exponent; EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc.; and the State of New Jersey before that, Dave traveled throughout the world addressing a wide range of environmental projects and issues.

Other Achievements
Dave taught online and university courses, and he published numerous scientific articles and books on subjects as diverse as the toxicology of true vipers, the historical ecology of urban ecosystems, innovative environmental assessment methods and sustainability. For the Association of Environmental Health Sciences, he served as the Director of Education and Training, sat on the editorial board for the foundation’s journals, and was honored with their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Dave was also a skilled photographer, posting many of his nature photos to his blog.

David Ludwig photos

Final Wishes Honored
True to the way he lived his life, Dave wanted to contribute to science and learning even after his death. As he wished, his body was donated to be used for teaching or research.

For those wishing to make donations in David’s honor, his family asks that contributions be made in his name to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane in Columbia, Maryland 21044, where Dave especially enjoyed walking and taking photographs.

Parting Wisdom from Dave
Dave kept an online blog for several years, and he often ended his entries by referencing the days we have on earth, reminding his readers, “Use ‘em while you got ‘em. They are NOT forever!!!”

One powerful directive from Dave is wonderful advice for everyone and certainly connects to the passion of his colleagues at Arcadis. He said, “Go forth, my friends, to hone your sense of humor, your intellectual breadth and depth, your strength and clarity of thought, your commitment to building a better world, indeed a better universe.”

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