"....The truth is out there."
-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
-- Jerry Jackson Retires --
Well, this is sort of big news to start off the year (though certainly not unexpected):
Dr. Jerome Jackson is retiring. Dr. Jackson has been one of my heroes for the last 30+ years, both in ornithology more generally as well as in the IBWO story more specifically -- and I realize a number of Ivorybill enthusiasts have issues with Dr. Jackson (nor have I agreed with everything he's written). But pretty much the only reason a Gene Sparling, or a Tim Gallagher, or Cornell Lab of Ornithology could step forth in 2005 and claim to have found an Ivory-billed Woodpecker... and not be laughed at... was because of the earlier work done by Jackson. His work is renowned on many fronts, as is his reputation as a teacher of budding naturalists.
On those very rare occasions over the past several years when something IBWO-related crossed my desk that I wanted to hear the opinion of others higher-up about, Jerry Jackson was at the top of my list of the views I wanted to hear.
Julie Zickefoose, in her 1999 essay (well before all the Arkansas excitement) for Bird Watcher's Digest wrote:
"Jerry Jackson, by virtue of his unique combination of ornithological expertise, woodsman's smarts, and unalloyed faith, refuses to close the book on the ivory-billed woodpecker. Alone among all those I've spoken with, he continues to search. He truly believes that, somewhere on the planet, ivorybills still hitch and rap and toss their fluffy topknots, pound their great shining bills into bark, fly in long straight lines over a sea of treetops. As much as I would like to see an ivory-billed woodpecker, I wish more that Jerry would see one."And of course, I too wish, that in retirement, just maybe, perhaps, possibly, the-gods-be-willing and the stars aligning just so, Jerry will find the time to at long-last document the most elusive quarry of his career, because after-all, as his wife intones, "he's kind of driven." ;-)
In any event, sincerely Happy Retirement Dr. Jackson!