June 18, 1947 – September 12, 2010
Miles Anderson, who contributed extensively to marine ecosystem management and conservation efforts, has been recognized for developing the protocol that NOAA now uses exclusively for coral ecosystem mapping throughout the U.S. Pacific, Caribbean and Florida Keys.
Born in Gilroy, CA, Miles spent his early years in Morgan Hill, Paso Robles, and Ghana, West Africa; his parents, George and Ruth Anderson, were on an Assemblies of God Foreign Mission translating the New Testament into Dagbani, the recognized language of Northern Ghana.
Miles returned to the U.S. at age 14, attended Christian School for a year and graduated from Soquel HS. He received his AA in Electronics at Cabrillo College in 1973 and continued his education at UC Santa Cruz receiving a BA in biology as an honor graduate in 1976. In this period he was surfing and diving areas that were relatively unexplored for those activities. He was fascinated by sealife in Monterey Bay, bringing specimens to Hawaii born Dr. Isabella Abbott, then a biology professor at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station, for identification. In the 1990s Dr. Abbott acknowledged a previously unidentified Liagora species for Miles which he had brought back for her from a field mission to Suwarrow Atoll in the Cook Islands; her enthusiasm for marine plants had influenced him to put the emphasis of his graduate studies into marine phycology.
Miles completed his graduate studies with highest honors from the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara in l981 and embarked on a second Master’s in Scientific Instrumentation. He targeted work to assist in the process of sustainable marine resource management and over the course of his career designed and executed projects as well as functioned as a liaison between the scientific and non-technical communities.
In the 1980’s and 90’s Miles worked in the development, production and monitoring of environmental impacts in the aquaculture industry. During an eight year tenure at the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii he developed an environmental lab and secured certification from the U.S. EPA and the State DOH. He consulted on international aid programs for the Asian Development Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development. His company, Analytical Laboratories of Hawaii (ALH), was founded in Captain Cook, Hawaii in 1989. In the same period he completed three resource management projects in the Cook Islands that involved the five atolls of the Northern Group. His work was nominated for publication in the Asian Development Bank’s Pacific Science Series as exemplary of excellence in international development. He also developed sustainable fisheries management plans for pelagic, bottomfish, crustaceans and precious corals for the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.
In 1998 a Presidential Executive Order established the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force to lead U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. Dr. Mark Monaco, Acting Director of NOAA’s Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), credits Miles in pioneering the development of the mapping techniques that CCMA now uses to produce highly accurate map products under economic and time constraints, products that contribute to understanding the distribution and quality of U.S. coral reef ecosystems. To date 13,662 sq. km. of U.S. habitat has been mapped; approximately 70% of which are attributable to Miles’ mapping efforts in American Samoa, Guam, CNMI, Palau, Hawaii, Palmyra and the Florida Keys.
In 1980 Miles met Kathy Foti of Kailua, Hawaii. They spent 1984 on a project surveying proposed marine park sites of the Virgin Islands. In 1986 Miles and Kathy married. They have two daughters, Nicole Anderson of Arlington, VA and Giulia Anderson of Seattle, WA. Miles also has a daughter Jennifer Arnzen (Casey) of Cottonwood, Idaho and two grandchildren, Ryan and Zachary, also of Idaho. He is survived by two sisters, Ardyth Martin of Watsonville, CA and Judyth Hall (Bud) of Corralitos, CA, a brother Kenneth Anderson (Sharon) of Scotts Valley, CA and numerous neices and nephews.
Miles was a passionate, though soft spoken man. He typically didn’t say much about himself without prompting. One of his most amazing traits was how he could introduce new facets to an aspect of life that you thought you knew and already loved; the result would have you holding it in even higher regard. Services will be held in January on Hawaii Island.