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Richard Goodwin - Botanist, Conservationist and Friend

Wednesday, August 1, 2007
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Dick Goodwin was many things: a dedicated professor of botany who inspired generations of Connecticut College students and guided them into the world of plants, people and their ecology; a conservation visionary who helped to found The Nature Conservancy and who for more than five decades served as president of the Conservation Research Foundation, which provides "seed monies" for new conservation studies and projects worldwide; and an inspirational individual who lived life fully and gracefully with his wife Esther and committed his energies to applying what he preached.

Among Dick's legacies are two of the most important conservation landscapes in Connecticut: the Burnham Brook Preserve, whose more than 1000 acres were assembled largely by Dick and Esther around their home at Dolbia Farm and are now owned by The Nature Conservancy and the Connecticut College Arboretum, which is now more than 750 acres of natural and research areas, plant collections, and the entire Connecticut College campus in the towns of New London and Waterford. Dick served for many years as Director of the Arboretum, he helped to assemble and document its lands and he oversaw its long-term development with his colleague of four decades Bill Niering.

Dick was also a dedicated friend of the Harvard Forest and botany at Harvard University, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Inspired by his example and always informed by his advice and perspectives, one of our great pleasures in recent years was to work with Dick to publish his autobiography A Botanist's Window on the Twentieth Century. Dick was 96 years old.

Read his obituary from the New York Times News Service. 

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