We are saddened to share the news of the passing of one of REEF's early members, Edwin Steiner. Ed passed away earlier this year at the age of 92. Not only was he a pioneer in REEF's Volunteer Fish Survey Project, but Ed was also instrumental in the development of one of the key pieces of REEF's survey materials - the printed underwater survey paper. It was Ed's vision that brought the checklist and overall format of the underwater paper to life, and his prototypes are very similar to what we use today in all of our survey regions. You might even find his name in the credits if you have some older versions of our survey paper lying around.
Ed was a long-time resident of Midland, MI. In his later years, he lived in Bolder, CO. He earned his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from the University of Illinois. While there, he met his future wife, Doris, whom he married in 1953. He and Doris went on to have four children. After serving in the Korean War, Ed worked for 30 years in chemical research and computer modeling at the Dow Chemical Company. He was an avid scuba diver and was enthralled by coral reefs. In 1996, he discovered REEF and conducted his first surveys in Key Largo. Later that year, he signed up for his first REEF Field Survey Trip, to the Turks and Caicos Islands. He was immediately hooked and remained an active surveyor for a decade, before retiring from diving. As a valued volunteer, he conducted 376 REEF surveys, became a Level 5 surveyor, joined the Advanced Assessment Team, and participated in 14 REEF Trips and numerous AAT projects.
On behalf of the REEF staff and board, we extend our sympathies and appreciation to Ed's family. His legacy will forever be a part of the Volunteer Fish Survey Project.