Buzz Holling was a rare combination of artist, scientist, teacher and practitioner who touched and inspired many colleagues. One of his talents was an ability to bring people together to understand, assess and act on new solutions to complex problems of people and nature. Indeed, the Resilience Alliance was one of his 'experiments', set up as a flexible, nimble institution that would bring scientists, academics and practitioners together as a crucible for creating novel solutions that would contribute to sustainable futures for people and the planet. Since the RA and the scholarly journal Ecology and Society would not be here without Buzz, we hope to honor and memorialize his passing with a fund to support the participation of Resilience Alliance Young Scholars (RAYS) in research network activities.
Crawford Stanley Holling was born on December 6, 1930 in Elmira New York. He spent his formative years in Toronto and Ontario, where he collected bugs, watched birds and honed his naturalist's skills. His preferred name of Buzz was given to him by his older sister (short form of Buzzer) and it stuck through his life. Indeed, he insisted on being called Buzz throughout his life. He earned a BA and MSc at the University of Toronto in 1952. He traveled west and earned a PhD at the University of British Columbia in 1957. He began his career as a forest entomologist in the Canadian Dept. of Forestry in Ontario, where he built upon his PhD work on predator-prey interactions. Buzz was Professor and Director of the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology at UBC. He was the Director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria, before assuming a position as an Eminent Scholar, holding the Arthur R. Marshall Jr. Chair in Ecological Sciences in the Dept. of Zoology at the University of Florida. He retired from the University of Florida in 2000 but remained active as an Emeritus Scholar.
Buzz received many national and international awards over his professional career. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in Animal Biology in 1970. He received two honorary Doctor of Science degrees; one from the University of Guelph (1998), and another from UBC (2007). He was foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and was also awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Arts and Science. The Ecological Society of America bestowed the Mercer Award in 1966 and an Eminent Ecologist Award in 1999. In 2008 he received the Volvo Environmental Prize.
C.S. 'Buzz' Holling passed away on August 16 2019. He lived a remarkable life of creativity, discovery, scholarship and service to humanity. Buzz embraced the uncertainty of the future, as indicated by his recognition of inherent complexity and unpredictability of the future, now manifest in the manifold resilience programs and the adoption of adaptive management throughout the world. Over the arc of his life, his leadership, friendship, support and ideas were gifts to those of us who were lucky enough to work with him. As we are now in the second or third generation of resilience scientists and practitioners, this provides us with the hope that his intellectual legacy will survive for years to come.
(Photo credit: Simon Fraser University Public Affairs and Media Relations)
Donations to the Buzz Holling Memorial Fund can be made online by clicking on the 'Donate' button below. All donations to the fund will be used exclusively to support the participation of early career scientists - the Resilience Alliance Young Scholars, in research network activities, including attending science meetings, conferences, and workshops.