George C. Anderson, BA’47, MA’49

George C. AndersonGeorge was born in Vancouver, BC. While studying at UBC, he spent his summers contributing to the BC Game Department’s research on the trout in Paul Lake near Kamloops. Realizing that he was more interested in the lake’s ecosystem than in the fish themselves, he enrolled at the University of Washington in 1949 for a PhD in zoology. After completing his doctorate in 1954, George was offered a position at the UW Department of Zoology to continue his research on lake ecology. The same year, George met Harriett, with whom he would share 47 years of marriage before her death in 2003. They had one son, who died young.

From the Department of Zoology, George moved to the Department of Oceanography, where he spent the rest of his career. He became associate chairman in 1977, and, after the formation of the College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences in 1980, was named director of the School of Oceanography.

In 1971, George was invited to administer the marine science program for the US Atomic Energy Commission in Washington, DC. Missing the Pacific Northwest, however, his family returned to the West Coast after the year‑long commitment was complete.

A year later, George was appointed as a part‑time member of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, whose members hold the title of administrative judge. To better serve these responsibilities, he attended the National Judicial College and earned a Certificate in Judicial Writing. In the following 10 years, George sat on boards overseeing the construction and operation of nuclear plants in several states across the US. After much of the licensing of nuclear plants had been completed, he adjudicated other cases – such as plant modifications, nuclear medicine, and industrial radiography – before resigning from the panel in 2005.

George took on other assignments throughout the 1970s, including his service on multiple ocean sciences committees for the National Science Foundation, and his roles as chair of the Advisory Committee for the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System and chief scientist of Deep Ocean Mining Environmental Studies at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

After selling his home in May 2005, George moved to Issaquah, Washington, where he met and, in 2006, married a lovely lady named Margaret. Sadly, she passed away the following year.

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