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Gift in Dearborn’s Memory to Help Scientific Diving Students

The University of Maine Scientific Diving Program has received a $5,000 donation in memory of Distinguished Maine Professor and Professor Emeritus of Marine Sciences John H. Dearborn, and in recognition of his contributions to marine and underwater science.

Massachusetts-based J.F. White Contracting Company donated the funding, which will be used to provide financial assistance to UMaine students who are majoring in marine sciences and enrolled in the scientific diving class, which is based at UMaine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole. Chris Rigaud, who serves as the center’s diving safety officer, heads up the scientific diving class.

UMaine Research Professor Rhian Waller accepted the gift on Oct. 15 during the annual banquet of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, which was hosted by UMaine and held in Portland.

“Dr. John Dearborn was a respected scientist, beloved teacher and perhaps more importantly a man who confronted every adversity with determination and wry humor,” said James F. Clark, the vice president of the diving division of J.F. White, a multi-disciplined contracting firm whose capabilities include marine construction, underwater cable installation and repair and deep ocean salvage.

Dearborn, who died in November 2010, had a career in zoology and marine sciences at UMaine from 1966 to 1999. His writing and interest in marine animals, especially echinoderms, continued long after his retirement and until his death. Dearborn’s fieldwork, begun as a modern pioneer in Antarctic marine biology in the 1950s, took him to many locations, including Antarctica, the Arctic and the Juan Fernandez Islands off the Chilean coast, in addition to a number of dives on research submersibles in the Gulf of Maine.

Contact: Chris Rigaud, (207) 563-3146 ext. 232 or crigaud@maine.edu

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