[MARMAM] In Memoriam, Thomas F. Norris, 1965-2020

Thomas Jefferson sclymene at aol.com
Tue Sep 29 14:27:47 PDT 2020


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Norris, 1965-2020 Our friend and colleague, Thomas F. Norris, passed awaypeacefully in San Diego, California, on 9 September 2020, after a seven-monthbattle with pancreatic cancer.  At thetime of his death, at the young age of 55, he was held by his wife, soulmate,and love of his life, Danielle.  He wassurrounded by family and a few close friends. Tom was a leader in the field of marine mammal bioacoustics,having founded his own company, Bio-Waves, in 2006, which at times employedseveral full-time biologists.  He waswell known in marine mammal science and worked with many colleagues over theyears on projects throughout the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.  His passion for marine science and hisrespect for others led him to give many young scientists opportunities to stepinto the field and his advice has been referred to by many as critical to theirfuture.  He published dozens of papers,mostly on acoustic behavior of cetaceans, with humpback whales and minke whalesbeing his favorite subjects.  Tomdeveloped or co-developed a number of important passive acoustic monitoring(PAM) devices.  He was also SeniorScientist at Cetos Research Organization. Tom’s passion for travel was established soon after hisbirth, on June 8, 1965, in the UK.  Hemoved to California as a young child ready to embrace the ocean he grew to loveso much.   He returned to Europe in high school,attending the American School of the Hague, where he established a passion forHolland, travel and the friends he stayed so close to until his passing.  After moving back to the US, he startedcollege in Florida before moving back to the west coast, his first love, tocomplete his B.Sc. degree in 1987 (UC, Santa Barbara, where he graduated withDean’s Honors) and his M.Sc. in 1995 (Moss Landing Marine Laboratories; MLML).   His master’s thesis was on acoustic behaviorof humpback whales of the Hawaiian Islands. During his time at MLML, Tom met like-minded people who becamelife-long friends and colleagues. Among his friends, he is remembered as akind, big-hearted, passionate, and intelligent surfer dude who could be goofyand serious at the same time.  He wasknown for always having time for his friends, even in the midst of his cancerbattle, he continued running his business and supporting friends in need. Duringhis battle with cancer, his friends gathered through Zoom every Sunday eveningto chat with him and Danielle to provide moral support. Tom cared about hisfriends so much that he made sure to ask how everyone was doing, even when he himselfwas not feeling well.    Surfing was a favorite pastime for Tom, and he oftenimpressed his colleagues with his ability to split his time between catchingwaves and working, seeming to strike a seamless and healthy balance between thetwo.  Always very fit and outdoorsy, Tomalso enjoyed mountain biking and other outdoor activities.  This worked well with his great respect fornature and all forms of life.  Heexpressed a desire to “do good for others” and went out ofhis way in recent months to help other cancer survivors who were going throughtough times, even when his own battle was painful and disheartening. Tom was well respected and had many goodfriends in the marine mammal and surfing communities.  He was a devoted son, taking time regularlyto support his parents, and always looking to bring back a small gift for hismom on every trip abroad.  He issurvived by his loving wife, Danielle, his parentsPatrick and Marliese, his brother Peter, and his in-laws Ted and Wendy (his father/mother-in-law)and Julie and Mike (his sister and brother-in-law).  He will also be missed as a doting uncle toRiley, Cooper and Mason.  We have alllost a treasured colleague and dear, dear friend.  Tom’s infectious smile, laughter, good will,charm, and generous spirit will be missed by more than we can count. We thank Danielle Brumfitt Norris forproviding details of Tom’s early life and personal history. Inhonor of Tom's memory and contribution to the scientific field, Moss LandingMarine Labs will be establishing a scholarship in his name for upcoming marinescientists.  To contribute to this scholarship, please contact Emily Laneat emily.j.lane at sjsu.edu to make a donation.  List of Publications, Thomas F. Norris Branch, T. A., K. M. Stafford, D. M. Palacios, C. Allison,J. L. Bannister, C. L. K. Burton, E. Cabrera, C. A. Carlson, B. G. Verbazzni,P. C. Gill, R. Hucke-Gaete, K. C. S. Jennner, M. N. M. Jenner, K. Matsuoka, Y.A. Mikhalev, T. Miyashita, M. G. Morrice, S. Nishiwaki, V. J. Sturrock, D.Tormosov, R. C. Anderson, A. N. Baker, P. B. Best, P. Borsa, R. L. BrownwellJr, S. Childerhouse, F. K. P., T. Gerrodette, A. D. Ilangakoon, M. Joergensen,B. Kahn, D. K. Ljungblad, B. Maughan, R. D. Mccauley, S. Mckay, T. F. Norris,O. W. a. D. R. Group, S. Rankin, F. Samaran, D. Thiele, K. Van Waerebeek and R.M. Warneke. 2007. Past and present distribution, densities and movements ofblue whales Balaenoptera musculus inthe Southern Hemisphere and northern Indian Ocean. Mammal Review 37:116-175. Cerchio, S., G. C. M., T. F. Norris and L. M. Herman. 1998.Movements of humpback whales between Kauai and Hawaii on population structureand abundance estimation in the Hawaiian Islands. Marine Ecology ProgressSeries 175:13-22. Cerchio, S., J. K. Jacobsen and T. F. Norris. 2001. Temporaland geographical variation in songs of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae: synchronous change in Hawaiian and Mexicanbreeding assemblages. Animal Behaviour 62:313-329. Mobley, J. R., M. Smultea, T. Norris and D. Weller. 1996.Fin whale sighting north of Kaua'i, Hawai'i. Pacific Science 50:230-233. Norris, T. F. 1994. Effects of boat noise on the acousticbehavior of humpback whales. Journal of The Acoustical Society of America 96(5 Pt.2):3251.Abstract Only. Norris, T. F. 1995. Effects of boat noise on the singingbehavior of humpback whales (Megapteranovaeangliae). M.Sc. thesis, Moss Landing Marine Labs. Norris, T., J. Barlow and M. Mcdonald. 1997. Detections ofsinging humpback whales (Megapteranovaeangliae) across the northeast Pacific during the SWAPS97 sperm whalecruise. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 102:3121. Norris, T., M. Mcdonald and J. Barlow. 1999. Acousticdetections of singing humpback whales (Megapteranovaeangliae) in the eastern North Pacific during their northboundmigration. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 106:506-514. Norris, T., J. Jacobsen and S. Cerchio. 2000. A comparativeanalysis of humpback whale songs recorded in pelagic waters of the easternNorth Pacific: Preliminary findings and implications for discerning migratoryroutes and assessing breeding stock identity. NOAA Technical MemorandumNMFS-SWFSC 295:29 pp. Norris, T., B. Hanson, D. Noren and L. Jones. 2004. Acousticsurveys of killer whales during winter along the Pacific Northwest coast.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 116:2589. Norris, T., T. M. Yack, S. Martin, J. N. Oswald, A. J.Cummins and L. Thomas. 2010. The acoustic ecology and behavior of minke whales(Balaenoptera acutorostrata) neartropical and subtropical North Pacific Islands. Journal of The AcousticalSociety of America 128(4 Pt 2):2412. Abstract Only. Norris, T., J. N. Oswald and R. Sousa-Lima. 2010. A reviewand inventory of cabled and radio-linked hydrophones for passive acousticmonitoring of marine mammals. Journal of The Acoustical Society of America128(4 Pt 2):2438. Abstract Only. Norris, T., S. W. Martin, T. M. Yack, L. Thomas and J.Oswald. 2011. The acoustic ecology of minke whales in the tropical NorthPacific. Journal of The Acoustical Society of America 130(4 Pt 2):2321.Abstract Only. Norris, T., S. Martin, L. Thomas, T. Yack, J. N. Oswald, E.M. Nosal and V. M. Janik. 2012. Acoustic ecology and behavior of minke whalesin the Hawaiian and Marianas Islands: Localization, abundance estimation, andcharacterization of minke whale boings. Pages 149-153 in A. N. Popper and A.Hawkings eds. The Effects of Noise On Aquatic Life. Springer Science. Norris, T. 2012. Analysis of passive acoustic recordingsmade during a three month survey of cetaceans off the Northern Mariana Islandsin the western North Pacific. Journal of The Acoustical Society of America131(4 Pt 2):3456. Abstract Only. Norris, T. F., J. Oswald, T. M. Yack, E. Ferguson, A. Kumar,N. J. and B. Bell. 2013. Monitoring of marine mammal occurrence and acousticbehaviors in relation to mid-frequency active sonar using autonomous recordersdeployed off the undersea warfare training range, Florida. Journal of TheAcoustical Society of America 134(5 Pt 2):4045-4046. Abstract Only. Norris, T. F., K. J. Dunleavy, T. M. Yack and E. L.Ferguson. 2017. Estimation of minke whale abundance from an acoustic linetransect survey of the Mariana Islands. Marine Mammal Science 33:575-592. Oswald, J. N., J. Barlow and T. F. Norris. 2003. Acousticidentification of nine delphinid species in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.Marine Mammal Science 19:20-37. Rankin, S., T. F. Norris, M. A. Smultea, C. Oedekoven, A. M.Zoidis, E. Silva and J. Rivers. 2007. A visual sighting and acoustic detectionsof minke whales, Balaenopteraacutorostrata (Cetacea: Balaenopteridae), in nearshore Hawaiian waters.Pacific Science 61:395-398. Sousa-Lima, R. S., T. F. Norris, J. N. Oswald and D. P.Fernandes. 2013. A review and inventory of fixed autonomous recorders forpassive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals. Aquatic Mammals 39:23-53. Thode, A., T. Norris and J. Barlow. 2000. Frequencybeamforming of dolphin whistles using a sparse three-element towed array.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 107:3581-3584.  Thomas A. Jefferson and Tomo Eguchi
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