My dear customers and friends, with feelings of sadness and warm memories, I dedicate this message to honor the life of Bertrand D. Tanner, deceased 16 September 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah, from esophageal cancer. For many of you, Bert was the face of the company. For many of us, he was our heart and soul.
Bert’s work ranged from Forest Service smoke-jumper in his early years to vice president of Marketing and Customer Service at Campbell Scientific, Inc., for the last 28 years of his life. He spent time with the US Army Reserve, University of Wisconsin Department of Geophysics, US Department of Navigational Oceanographics, and as a research meteorologist with the US Forest Service Central Sierra Snow Lab. Joining Campbell Scientific in 1978, he managed research and development projects as well as an effective group of application engineers and sales, marketing, and support staff.
Bert’s life expressed integrity, loyalty and leadership; these will be missed by his colleagues around the world. Bert played a significant role in the growth, development, and diversity of Campbell Scientific. As vice president and director, he contributed to the company’s international recognition for innovative instrumentation. Bert was noted by colleagues as one of the few who insisted that theoretical models require experimental verification. He had a sincere interest in the careers of young scientists, and a keen eye for talent at its early stages. Many environmental scientists acknowledge his influence in their careers.
Bert led in the development of automated weather stations, sonic anemometers for measuring turbulent transport in the atmosphere, eddy covariance systems, and tunablediode- laser trace-gas-analysis systems.
Beginning in 2002, Bert was instrumental in the measurement system commissioning for ChinaFLUX, an extensive network measuring CO2 fluxes in various ecosystems in China.
In addition to his employment, Bert served on many professional committees and boards. Among those at the top of his list are service as a director on the Council on Agriculture Science and Technology (CAST) and Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy. Despite the rigors of his managerial role in a dynamic company, Bert managed to author and coauthor 15 chapters and academic papers.
At the time of Bert’s death, the lines from Walt Whitman came to my mind—“Oh Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won . . . .”
Bert will be missed, but he will not be forgotten. His passion for science, his quest for excellence, and his integrity are values we are committed to carry on at Campbell Scientific. As we do so, I am confident that our work and service will add to the legacy that Bert was so much a part of in the field of scientific endeavor.
The Bertrand D. Tanner/Campbell Scientific Scholarship Fund at Utah State University has been established to honor his many contributions to environmental science. If you are so inclined, you may direct donations to: Bertrand D. Tanner/Campbell Scientific, Inc., Scholarship Fund, Utah State University, 1420 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-1420. Bert was a master’s graduate in biometeorology from Utah State University, and the scholarship fund will be used for graduate study in that field.