The staff at OPC are devastated at the loss of our friend and colleague Adrian Dahood-Fritz, and her husband Andrew Fritz, who were both victims of the catastrophic Conception dive boat accident that occurred on September 2, 2019.
Adrian was the Senior Scientist and Policy Advisor in our marine protected areas program and had been working with us since April 2019. In addition to bringing a wealth of scientific and technical expertise to our team, she brought a level of passion, determination, and dedication that will be impossible to replace. Adrian had a fantastic sense of humor and charmed us with unbelievable stories, including those about her adventures in the Antarctic and her love of cats, krill, penguins, and pancake ice.
Adrian wasn’t afraid to push back on consensus opinions and was skillful at articulating her point of view. She was a brilliant scientist and was always thoughtful, critical and measured in her approach. She had a unique ability to dig into the details of a scientific issue while always keeping the broader goal of marine conservation in focus. Prior to working at OPC, she worked for the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division conducting research, influencing policy, and helping establish and manage protected areas in Antarctica.
In May, Andrew volunteered his time and skills to video an OPC-hosted workshop on marine protected areas. It was an altruistic gesture that demonstrated the love and support he shared with Adrian. We are grateful to have had the honor to meet him and deeply appreciate his generous contribution to our work.
We recognize that this accident has had a significant impact on our entire ocean community and that many of our colleagues and partners have also suffered incredible, unfathomable loss. We stand with you in this time of grief as we hold the spirit of our friends and loved ones close to our hearts.
In Adrian’s memory, the Adrian Dahood-Fritz Memorial Fund has been established with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS). All donations will support travel for early career researchers to attend international conferences. For more information on APECS and how to donate to the Memorial Fund, please visit: https://www.apecs.is/who-we-are/support-apecs/adrian-dahood-fritz-memorial-fund.html
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