January is AFS Safety Month

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

Spring is just around the corner, but the unnecessary deaths of Rob Klumb and Maegan Spindler – both killed in the line of work on July 8, 2013, by a drunk driver, while preparing their gear for the next day’s research – take us back other work-related tragedies:

  • January 7, 1980 –  three Duke field scientists died while conducting field work on a North Carolina reservoir.
  • January 17, 1980 – two USFWS biologists died in a small plane crash returning home from a coastal Oregon aerial field survey.
  • November 30, 2004 –  an assistant professor at Sheldon Jackson College, Alaska, died in a boating accident while responding to an EMS call.
  • September 17 – an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist drowned while surveying the Umpqua River.
  • July 8 – a drunk driver kills Rob Klumb and Maegan Spindler while preparing for the next day of work, after having just completely a 12 hour day out in the field.

These are only nine of our colleagues who died while practicing our line of work.  In their memory and with the hope of preventing future such incidents, the Society would like to establish January as AFS Safety Month.  To do so, we are seeking the names and affiliations of other colleagues who died or were seriously injured while practicing our profession, as well as what could have been done to reduce the probability of such accidents.  In other words, we want to honor them and prevent future accidents.  To do so, we are seeking the above information from each AFS Chapter.  

Please send email to [email protected] or post your comments below.

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