It is with regret that we share such sad news, Dr. Robert M. Norris passed away on August 31st, 2012. He died peacefully while surrounded by his family at his home in Santa Barbara, CA. Bob was 91 years old when he died, he was still very lucid and fairly active for his age. He lived a long and rich life, touching the lives of many as a teacher, mentor, father, and grandfather.
The UC Natural Reserve System, and in particular the Granite Mountains Desert Research Center, are forever indebted to his stalwart efforts in establishing the reserve system. He was one of several insightful individuals back in the 1960’s that recognized the value in setting aside land and facilities for the purpose of research and teaching. He was a geology professor for over 50 years at UC Santa Barbara, however his depth of knowledge across many disciplines made him a true naturalist.
In particular, he was keenly interested in the desert landscape and his love for the Granite Mountains was unparalleled. This was to the benefit of many, as he was so influential in the establishment of this reserve which now hosts over 170 active research projects and hundreds of students annually. In 2003, at the 25th Anniversary celebration for the Center, we dedicated the Robert M. Norris Interpretive Trail in honor of his enthusiastic support for the Granite Mountains Desert Research Center. He was one of the “founding fathers” of this reserve, and he will missed.
A celebration of Bob’s life for his many friends, colleagues and students is planned for early 2013. For more details, please visit: www.bobnorris.org
Santa Barbara Independent obituary: http://www.independent.com/obits/2012/sep/11/dr-robert-norris/