Fred Scatena (1954-2013) passes away

Network News Spring 2013, Vol. 26 No. 1
Network News

We are sad to report the passing of Fred Scatena (1954-2013), who was one of the founders of the Luquillo Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program and Chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Scatena died peacefully on January 2, 2013, after a brief battle with cancer at the age of 58.

“This is a tremendous loss for the Penn community. Fred was enormously respected as an eminent scientist, valued colleague, and exceptional academic leader,” said President Amy Gutmann. “I am grateful for his outstanding leadership and join countless students and colleagues in expressing my enormous sadness over his untimely passing.”

“Words can’t convey our sorrow at the loss of our friend and colleague, Fred Scatena,” added LTER Executive Director Bob Waide, a former Principal Investigator of the Luquillo LTER. “For the past 25 years, Fred was a part of our family, and it’s hard for me to imagine the Luquillo LTER without him. We will miss his knowledge, his willingness to help, and his dedication.”

Scatena is survived by his wife, daughter, and son. The Scatena family requested friends wishing to make a donation in his name to please consider:

  • Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico - An Accredited Land Trust, 155 Tetuan Street, Old San Juan, San Juan, PR 00902-3554. Website: Phone: (787) 722-5834. E-Mail:
  • Santa Ana Environmental Education Center (Centro Ambiental Santa Ana, CASA), The Natural History Society of Puerto Rico, P.O. Box 36036, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-1036; Memo line of check can read: CASA fund in the memory of Frederick N. Scatena III.

Following his passing, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry held a memorial for Scatena on Thursday, January 17, 2013, while several of his former colleagues at Luquillo LTER organized activities to celebrate his life and started a page, Farewell to Fred, to express their grief.