Edward Keesee, 1962-2012

Mr. Edward Keesee, a Marine Scientist in the Physical Sciences Department at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, died on October 18, 2012, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Keesee was hired by VIMS in 1993 as a Nutrient Analyst working with Betty Salley within the VIMS Nutrient Analysis Laboratory. After Salley's retirement, he worked with Carol Pollard in the VIMS Analytical Service Center. Beginning in 1998, he worked as a Laboratory Technician in Professor Jim Bauer's lab and, since 2010, as a Research Technician for Professor Debbie Bronk.

Mr. Ed KeeseeIn a message to the VIMS community, VIMS Dean and Director John Wells wrote, "Throughout his two decades at VIMS, Ed demonstrated the knowledge, skill, and ingenuity required to do science at the very highest level. His analytical prowess and experience in quality control were instrumental to the success of VIMS' Nutrient Analysis Lab and Analytical Services Center, much to the benefit of many students, staff, and faculty. As a Technician in the Bauer and Bronk labs, Ed further demonstrated his exceptional care and attention to detail through the successful analyses of thousands of radiocarbon and organic-matter samples. In addition to his considerable analytical skills, Ed’s talents included exceptional focus and organizational skills for planning field and sampling programs and an almost supernatural ability to handle massive and complex data sets accurately."

Over the years, Keesee collaborated closely with many additional researchers at VIMS, including Rebecca Dickhut, Ai Ning Loh, Leigh McCallister, John Pohlman, Sarah Schillawski, and Andrew Wozniak. He co-authored publications on key subjects such as the characterization of organic matter in estuarine watersheds, the response of the Southern Ocean to iron fertilization, methods for quantifying air-sea gas fluxes of organic carbon, and delivery of organic matter to the oceans via methane hydrate seeps.

In 2010, Keesee won the VIMS Outstanding Employee Award for Technical Support.

"Ed was a kind, gentle and positive person," says Wells.  "His quiet and generous nature, coupled with a dry wit, quickly won favor with students who, in response, turned to him often for advice and support. Ed’s contributions to VIMS have been substantial—both in terms of the research he supported and the students he has trained. He will be greatly missed."

A memorial service will be held at 1 pm on Tuesday, October 23rd at W.J. Smith & Son Funeral Home, 210 Harpersville Road, Newport News, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Ed to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Attn: Membership Department, 6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis, MD, 21403. Please leave condolences at or at