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In Memoriam: John T. Harrington


John T. Harrington John Harrington and friends along the Gascon Trail, one of his favorites, in the Santa Fe National Forest. Photo courtesy of Tammy Parsons

Feb. 15, 2012 – John T. Harrington (’87 M.S. in forestry) of Rociada, N.M., passed away on June 6, 2011, at the age of 49. Harrington received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and his doctorate in 1991 from New Mexico State University, where he went on to serve as a professor of tree physiology as well as superintendent of the Mora Research Center.

Harrington took a six-month sabbatical in 2006 to work for the U.S. Forest Service Research Policy Analysis group in Washington, D.C., and went to Afghanistan in 2010 to work with USAID, the U.S. military, and the Afghan government to help restore that country’s watersheds and forests.

In addition, he served on a multitude of federal, state, and regional committees related to forest management, restoration, and ecology throughout his career. The Society of American Foresters named him a Fellow in 2009.

“John was my first graduate student, and I couldn’t have asked for a better student to get me going in my career,” said his advisor, Professor John Seiler. “He was highly motivated, a self-starter, and a hard worker. I was never surprised to hear how well he was doing in his career, and it was truly heart breaking to hear of his passing.”

An active member of his community, Harrington was a former member of the Sapello/Rociada Volunteer Fire Company and San Miguel Search and Rescue. He had a great love for the outdoors and was an avid marathoner, participating in over 100 marathons and ultra-marathons. Harrington is survived by Anne Marie Wagner, his wife of 20 years.

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