GLOBE Remembers Dr. Andy Tasker
Feb 03, 2012
On Monday, 30 January, a celebration of the life of Dr. Andy Tasker was held in Coventry, England. The room could barely hold the many friends who came from far and wide to pay tribute to this remarkable man. Here at the GLOBE Program Office, we recognize, honor and celebrate the life of Dr. Tasker (Andy, as he preferred to be called) and his longstanding commitment to stewardship of the Earth. He devoted his life to education, to land preservation, to wildlife and nature, to family and friends and to building community –at home and throughout the world. Andy was motivated by a sincere interest in improving the quality of life of all living things.
In the mid-1970s, armed with all the qualities of a good teacher, Andy took charge of his first classroom in Cheshire, England. Following continued studies and a Ph.D. in Ecology /Biological Sciences at the University of York, he became a senior lecturer in Ecology and Conservation at Coventry Polytechnic, now Coventry University.
Andy was committed to environmental issues in his community. He became a volunteer at the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust where he worked tirelessly to preserve open space, wetlands, farm lands, historical places of interest, scenic views, and natural habitats. Soon he was appointed Chairman of the Conservation Committee, and later Chairman of Council. Andy was successful in expanding membership in the Trust, the corps of volunteers and educational outreach. John and Val Roberts, current Trustees and former Chairs of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust said, "He earned the respect and cooperation of local authorities, heads of business and industry, landowners and farmers. Andy was devoted to the expansion of activities at the Warwickshire Trust. The Trust acquired a solid reputation for reliability, responsibility and caring under his leadership."
Andy's passion was to raise awareness and understanding of Earth as a system on local and global scales. He served as national head of GLOBE in the UK as GLOBE Country Coordinator since 1996. In 2004 he was elected to the Board of GLOBE Europe and was named Chairman of the Board and regional representative to the GLOBE International Advisory Committee (GIAC) from 2008–2010. In 2011, Andy took his place on the world stage when he was named Director of the GLOBE Program Office in Boulder, Colorado.
Andy arrived in Boulder in June 2011. He was a dashing figure, with his British accent and his air of formality. Though only with us for a short time, Andy played an immense role in changing the overall culture at GLOBE for the better. Andy exuded charm and confidence, always with a calmness and good humor that enabled us to maintain perspective, even during the most hectic of times.
Andy deeply cared about GLOBE and about the headquarters' staff here in Colorado. He had many one-on-one chats with every person in the office. He re-formed teams and recruited new managers to complement his organizational vision of the program and to help us grow strategically. He rallied the staff with images of solidarity and common purpose. None of us will ever look up to a sky full of geese flying in formation and not think of Andy.
While Andy debated an early retirement, he often shared with us a sense of urgency to help the GLOBE Program reach its maximum potential. He was determined to create a better world through GLOBE. Andy assumed leadership during a critical time for the program –and for a while it seemed to make him stronger. His tenacity, his vision and his unwavering support are things we will forever cherish.
We will always remember Andy for his humor, his joie de vivre and for his immense courage. For his ability to shore us up, despite any discomfort he might have felt. For his grace, his polish, his insouciance, his steady command and the ever-present twinkle in his eye. This is how we, his team in Boulder, Colorado and in Tyler, Texas will forever remember him.
Andy Tasker's Vision for The GLOBE Program
The GLOBE Program Office encourages you to watch this video of Andy. It was taped at the GLOBE Annual Meeting in July 2011. In his remarks, Andy laid the foundation for The Program as it moves forward. His vision, passion and determination to bring the world community together to shape the GLOBE Program is quite evident. This is Andy's lasting legacy -his vision will carry on. Click here to view the video.
The GLOBE Community Remembers Andy
The outpouring of thoughts and memories from the GLOBE community around the world has been overwhelming and shares a common sentiment: Andy left a lasting impression on everyone who knew him. Here is a small selection from volumes received:
With his new ideas at the head of GLOBE, Andy accompanied and reinforced the restructuration of the GLOBE Program and promoted the empowerment of regions (consortium). He will then live forever in the hearts and minds of the GLOBE Alumni. His name will be immortalized by the projects that my country will launch soon. May he know the joy of having a fulfilling life on Earth .... amen.
- Ylliass Lawani GLOBE Alumni Benin
It is indeed a very sad message, losing a visionary person as Dr. Andy Tasker. Andy has been a driving force in shaping the new direction of the GLOBE Program. We will miss Andy but we will not relent from the laid down ground works envisioned for GLOBE. The GLOBE Program in Cameroon wishes to extend our deep heartfelt condolences to the Tasker family. Kindly convey our words of encouragement to Dr. Jack Fellows for his spirit of continuum in the affairs of the GLOBE Program. We also put to prayers for the Almighty to uplift the spirits of all of you at the GPO to withstand this very fragile moments of the passing to eternity of Dr. Andy Tasker coupled with your tight schedules. Our best regards indeed.
On behalf of the GLOBE Program in Cameroon,
- Lawrence Kambiwoa GLOBE Cameroon Country Coordinator
Asia + the Pacific
It is a matter of great regret that GLOBE has lost a great star who brought GLOBE to this stage. We the GLOBE family of Bangladesh is praying for his departed soul May his soul rest in peace.
- Habib R. Chowdhury, GLOBE Bangladesh Country Coordinator
We are deeply moved by the sudden demise of a great scientist leader. Our deep condolences to his family and the GLOBE community.
- V. Muralidharan, Principal, Veera Savarkar Netaji Matriculation School, GLOBE India
Europe + Eurasia
In this very sad moment, when our colleague and GLOBE director Andy Tasker passed away, I feel the need to remind us all that he was CC for UK from the first years of GLOBE and dear friend to many of us. In occasions of our meetings and collaborations he often made us laugh, he made us feel comfortable, but also he made us think, he had bright ideas and the will to work on their realization. I'll miss him very much.
- Diana Garasic, Europe+Eurasia Regional GLOBE International Advisory Committee Representative, and GLOBE Croatia Country Coordinator
GLOBE Europe mourns over Andy Tasker. Andy Tasker, international GLOBE director, is no longer with us. Andy made the UK to be one of the most successful GLOBE countries and was a distinguished chair of the regional board for GLOBE Europe for many years. GLOBE members in Europe remember Andy very well for his incredible vision, compassion and power to move things forward. Next to that, his typical British humour and love for life made it a great pleasure to meet him in one of the many regional meetings he attended. Andy, we will miss you now and at all the coming GLOBE meetings, but the energy and good ideas you gave us will help us to strengthen the program and think back about the times we had with you with a big smile on our face!
- Matthijs Begheyn, GLOBE Netherlands Country Coordinator
Latin America + Caribbean
Lo siento mucho. Acabo de leer la noticia del Dr. Andy, estoy muy triste e imagino que también tu lo estás, pero necesitaba compartir esto contigo. Vamos a rezar mucho y a pedirle a Diosito que cuide de él. Ahora debemos seguir su ejemplo y seguir inspirándonos en ese vuelo de los gansos para construir juntos un futuro increíble para GLOBE.
I just read the news of Dr. Andy and I am very sad. I imagine that you are also sad, but I needed to share my thoughts with you. We are going to pray a lot and ask God to take care of him. Now we can follow his example and inspiration from the flight of geese to build together an incredible future for GLOBE.
- Carlos Alberto Rojas Marcos and Claudia Caro, GLOBE Peru Country Coordinator and Assistant
So sorry to see Dr. Andy Tasker has passed away. He was such an inspiration in the work of GLOBE. I have been a teacher of the GLOBE program for five years and it has really helped my science students understand the complexities of the world around them. He will be missed!
-Carol J Craig, Teacher, Trinidad and Tobago
Near East + North Africa
The news of the death of Dr Andy Tasker put me in great sorrow. I take occasion to offer my condolences to his family in London and his second family scattered to the four corners of the world through GLOBE. I wish him the earth is light. Amen. I suggest that a minute of silence be observed in all meetings of GLOBE.
- Bâ Diadié, GLOBE Mauritania Country Coordinator
109,350 GLOBE Students, 165 Teachers, the GLOBE Directors in Saudi Arabia, the Academic Counselors and Management Team at the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia have received with heavy heart the announcement of the passing of GLOBE Director Dr. Andy Tasker. We were so touched with his presentation and vision in Washington D.C. last summer 2011. One of his visions, he said, was "Having a leader, knowing the direction, and knowing the path for GLOBE." We send our condolences to the family of Dr. Andy Tasker and the GLOBE Program community all over the world.
- GLOBE Saudi Arabia Management Team, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Thank you Andy, my first friend in the GLOBE community, your knowledge, professionalism, generosity, humor and dedication has made the world a better place for so many children (and adults). You will be greatly missed. Condolences to all Andy's family and friends.
- Marcy Seavey, GLOBE Partner, Iowa, United States of America
Andy's is a life to celebrate! I especially appreciated his vision and integrity as he led the GLOBE Program. My prayers are with his wife Linda and sons Paul and Stephen as they grieve his passing.
- Sheila Yule, Former GLOBE Employee, Kentucky, United States of America
Andy was such an amazing leader. He inspired so many people around the
world. He could take a situation where stress and emotions were high, and
with calmness and insight, help everyone see the value of differing
perspectives. Often, more powerful results than originally imagined were
achieved. For me personally, Andy was a magnificent mentor and he taught
me something new every time we spoke. He was always there to give honest
assessments and strategic solutions.
- Dr. Teresa Kennedy, GLOBE Director of the International Division, United States of America
Andy had an amazing gift –he made people smile. The GLOBE Program asks that you share your favorite photos and thoughts of Andy with us and the rest of the GLOBE community via our Facebook
News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office