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Jon Lien Memorial Program

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May 16, 2010

Celebration of Jon Liens LifeMarch 19, 1939 - April 14, 2010

Dr. Jon LienMay 16 Celebration of Jon Liens Life 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Marine Institute, Ridge Road 2 pm. Musical prelude: Gayle Tapper on Harp Welcome: Glenn Blackwood, Director of Marine Institute and close friend of Jon Lien Young persons music: Jacquelyn Redmond, Susan Redmond Family welcome: Words Jons youth and family history: Karin Watson (sister) Reflections: Jack Harris Jons work in our communities: Wayne Ledwell Past students and educational focus: Catherine Hood Entrapments: Wayne Barney Conservation and motivating people to action: Julie Huntington Avocation, farming: Melba Rabinowitz Jons professional outreach and legacy: Don McKay The Great Whale Tour: Legacy in progress Green Bay and White Bay Area David Hayashida, Linda Yates Music: Eric West, Alan Ricketts, Heather Walter, Potluck Singers Closing: Glenn Blackwood Invitation to food and drink in dining room. 4pm Toast in dining room: Bill Montevecchi CBC film in Hampton Hall Food and music in dining room Born on March 19th, 1939 in Clark, South Dakota, U.S.A. Died April 14th, 2010 in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. Some lives a rare few - take a curve around the sun, or the earth or the oceans. So it was with Jon Lien who worked with, and became the supportive voice of, some of our greatest and most vulnerable giants of the seas: whales and fishermen. The early years: The oldest child of four born to Ordin Justus Lien and Alvera Seim, Ordin Jon Lien grew up during the WW II years: a time of scarcity and rationing. Inspite of that, or because of it, Jon enjoyed a good family life and learned the value of cooperation and community involvement. In his youth, Jon learned respect for elders, was nurtured in the ideals of fairness and equality, read with great zeal and at a young age became a gifted public speaker. Jons love and interest in animals also came at an early age. From age five, Jons summers were spent on his Uncle Andrews farm, learning about pigs, cattle and later chickens which he raised and sold, exhibiting a solitary gift of independence nurtured by farm life. As his boyhood friend Larry Larrabee notes, Jons youth and teens were dominated by three themes: animals, hard work and deep thoughts themes that carried on throughout his life. In 1957, Jon chose to attend St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. His parents moved there, opening a grocery and restaurant to help support Jon and his siblings endeavour at higher education. That year, Jon also met Judy Traastad (born in Viroqua, Wisconsin). Enjoying similar values and heritage, they fell in love and married in 1962. Over the next few years, Jon showed interest in diverse areas including working with disadvantaged youth and native peoples of the Minnesota Lakes Region. Finally, with an opportunity for graduate work at Washington State University in Pullman, WA, Jon found mentors (including Dr. Dud Klopfer (by whom Jon was well loved) who inspired him to study animal behaviour. While in Pullman, Jon studied, Judy taught school and in 1966 they chose their first

1992 entrapment.

Wayne Barney, assistant to Jon. (1992)

Releasing entrapped humpback, Labrador.

Jon with ice entrapped whale, Halls Bay. (1979)

Jon (1961), 22 years old.

Jon speaking at the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, Netherlands. (1991)

Jon could sleep anywhere. (1993)

family pet, a Newfoundland puppy: a serendipitous choice that possibly signaled a new course for the couple. Professional life in a new country: Upon earning his doctorate, and with job offers from Hong Kong, Alberta, and Montreal, Jon chose Newfoundland, accepting a position in 1968 at Memorial University of Newfoundland. And soon after, as he would often say, the community of Portugal Cove chose him and Judy. There, they bought property and established their house and farm (in Jons typical fashion, hand-built with recycled materials and hard work.) Jon loved teaching and set up an old barn on Mount Scio Road for research space and offices. He used St. Johns harbour, city ponds and Conception Bay for initial work with seabirds. Later, the outlying bays and coastal communities became his laboratories. In each outport and on every project, Jon made friends and good relationships. Jons professional life took a turn in 1978 when he received a call from fishermen in Halls Bay about whales trapped in the ice. It was the beginning of his destiny: soon after, Jon founded the Whale Research Group of Memorial University and, as its Head, became passionately committed to marine environment conservation as well as the welfare of fishermen. His pioneering methods to release whales trapped in fishing gear including his development of acoustic alarms earned him unequaled respect with both fishermen and scientists around the globe. With education a main focus for him, soon graduate students from around the world applied to work with and be mentored by the whale man. Jons professional life expanded in the late 1980s: he helped establish new policy through the International Whaling Commission; shared his ideas and counsel through speaking engagements throughout the world; cooperated in various studies in Australia, Holland, China, Brazil, Trinidad, Indonesia, and the United States; and, after visiting marine aquariums around the world, completed Cetaceans in Captivity for the Canadian government. Of risk and adventure: Like a cat it seems, Jon had nine lives. One such brush with death happened in Australia while assisting scientists with whale and shark deterrents. One day he was helping a friend bait shark hooks along a stretch of shoreline known for shark attacks. When the automatic trawl line full of hooks advanced, Jons hand was hooked and he was pulled off the boat. The skipper of the boat jumped in after him and the boat had a mind of its own Ill make it! Jon assured the skipper. He cut the trawl line to free himself with his swiss army knife, got rid of his shoes, and swam a full mile back to shore with a shark hook embedded in his palm and dragging a buoy. Shark alert! The jaws of life were called and Jon escaped with a treatable tropical infection. Then there was Jons trip to Toronto in the 70s for a specialized procedure to repair and stabilize a collapsed lung. Just released from the hospital, he called Judy to wire money to Toronto. Why? He wanted to convince a goat breeder at the Royal Winter Fair to sell him some dairy goats. He succeeded in buying the goats, building shipping crates himself to contain all 12, and hitching a ride in the cockpit with the pilots while they freighted the goats back to Newfoundland. And in 1993, Jon survived a heart attack. God smiled upon him many times! Among professional initiatives, Jon was responsible for helping to create the first Canadian

marine protected areas; inspiring the creation of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter; as well as the Protected Areas Association of Newfoundland and Labrador; nurturing the idea of the Torngat Mountains National Park; working with tour boat operators to create a Code of Conduct for Whale Watching in Newfoundlands coastal waters. In addition to these initiatives, Jon was an active member of, and appointed to, many national, international and provincial organizations and committees including: the nine-member Ministers Advisory Committee on Oceans; the Environmental Assessment Panel - Terra Nova Offshore Oil Development; the Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas; the Fisheries National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy; and the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. He also spent time at the UN working on Law of the Sea policy. For his work, Jon was awarded the Order of Canada; the Canada 125 year Commemoration Medal; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation; the Keyes Award for Research and Conservation; the Deputy Ministers Award from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans; the World Environment Day Award; an Honorary Doctor of Science, St. Olaf College; and, of late, the special distinction, The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. The family man: On the farm Jon helped raise his three children: his daughter Maren Sara Bess, born in 1969, Ordin Jess in 1971, and Andrew Elling in 1977. The family flourished there with its funloving father and convivial husband. He was proud and supportive of all three children as they sought their own paths in life: Maren, always courageous, as she trained to be an accomplished athlete, and later a beautiful mom; O.J. in his studies, sports, and choice of a profession in agriculture; Elling making self-discoveries through world travel and service excelling in one of Jons own talents: writing. Jon supported and worked on the small organic farm which supplied fresh vegetables, turkeys and chickens to many families for whom local and safe food was increasingly becoming an important issue. On Thanksgiving 2002, the Lien Family Farm celebrated its 30th anniversary. Days after, on October 16, Jon was involved in a truck accident that changed his life with a refocus on his personal health. Still, in 2003-04 he helped complete a study encouraging a sustainable lobster fishery in Eastport, Bonavista Bay; and, with his belief in organic farming he sought out, purchased and began working a track of land in central Newfoundland. Over the next few years, Jons mobility became increasingly difficult and while only in his early 60s, daily tasks became a great challenge. In 2007, Jon was hospitalized, requiring fulltime nursing home care. Judy remained a steadfast companion until his death. On Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at the age of 71, Jon died of heart complications. Jon was predeceased in death by his parents and sister Mary (Lien) Wilson. He is survived by sister, Kari

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