From the Director:
Dear IOOS Community,
I write today to share some sad news of Jeff de la Beaujardiere's recent passing after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for over a year. Jeff came from NASA to NOAA/IOOS in 2008, serving as the DMAC System Architect for several years before moving on in 2011 to the role of NOAA Environmental Data Architect, housed in NESDIS. He worked for NESDIS until 2018 before moving to a position at NCAR in Boulder, CO.
Jeff was a great leader, public servant, and mentor to many throughout his career and he will be missed by all who had the privilege of working with him. I wanted to highlight some of his technical contributions that have been so foundational for the IOOS enterprise:
- Jeff initiated IOOS' adoption of the OGC Sensor Web Enablement standards, or SWE, which include the Sensor Observation Service (SOS) and Sensor Markup Language (SensorML) that set the standard for over a decade of in situ IOOS data dissemination.
- In the earliest days of the IOOS Office in NOAA, Jeff brought this commitment to standards to the nascent collaboration with NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center and Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. This led the way for a collaboration on data dissemination that still remains strong today.
- He was the lead author/editor of the OGC Web Map Service (WMS) standard while at NASA (https://www.ogc.org/standard/wms/), which significantly impacted IOOS and countless other geospatial/earth science data provider organizations looking to provide standards-compliant georeferenced mapping/imagery data to users.
- Always looking forward, Jeff was one of the first to understand the transformative potential of cloud computing. His efforts led to the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between NOAA and five commercial cloud services providers which led to the NOAA Open Data Dissemination program that serves petabytes of environmental data to commercial and public customers in multiple cloud environments.
A portion of the AGU Informatics Town Hall at the upcoming AGU meeting in San Francisco next month will be devoted to recognizing Jeff’s achievements, leadership and friendship, so please consider sharing your favorite Jeff DLB story or memory! A memorial Kudoboard has been created to capture stories and photos, and we encourage you to visit the board to contribute, and to share it broadly within your networks: https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/g0wtfUfH
Jeff touched so many of us, professionally and personally. Our hearts go out to his family and friends as we all process this loss. I personally always enjoyed talking to Jeff about any subject, and I loved his ability to break down very technical or scientifically complex topics into plain language that everyone could understand.
Below is a message from Jack, Jeff’s eldest son, regarding Jeff’s life and impact on others.
Dear friends, family, and colleagues of Jeff,
This is Jack, Jeff's eldest son, writing to you on his behalf. Shortly after noon Colorado time on November 16th, 2023, Jeff passed away. He went peacefully, in his bedroom of the home he shared in Boulder with his sons, Tristan and Patrick.
Jeff was diagnosed with ALS on May 7th, 2022. His condition was worsening since then, but deteriorated rapidly in the last few months. He had lost much of his ability to walk, spending most of his time in bed or in his wheelchair. He had almost entirely lost the ability to speak, relying on a specialized tablet which allowed him to type with his eyes and have the words read aloud. He was losing his ability to breathe independently, spending a growing percentage of each day connected to a BiPAP machine to assist his breathing. It was this weakening of his breathing which ultimately caused his passing. There was no suffering, no great panic or struggle. We take solace in this fact, that he spent his last moments at home with family and caretakers, and that he was as comfortable as possible in his final moments.
From Jeff and his family, I would like to thank you for whatever portion of your life journey you have shared with Jeff. He was very close to some of you, merely a coworker for others. But each of you mattered to him in some way, and he mattered to you, which is why you are reading this post now. As Jeff directed me to do before his passing, this [LinkedIn] page will be turned into a memorial celebrating his life. His account will not accept new connections, and no one will reply to any messages sent to it. But if you would like to leave your final words or thoughts to Jeff, we invite you to do so here. You may leave a reply to this post, make your own public post, or even send a private message to this account.
We will be organizing memorial services to celebrate Jeff's life and honor his passing, details for that will be made available in the coming months.
My sincerest thanks and condolences to all of you,
Jack de La Beaujardiere
Comments, questions, or suggestions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have suggestions for new things you would like to see in the Eyes on the Ocean IOOS Newsletter? Contact us at: email@example.com.
Find out what's happening around NOAA's National Ocean Service: check out the NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter.