jdymond.jpgJack R. Dymond, an oceanographer who discovered exotic life forms at the bottom of the sea, drowned on Sept. 19. He was 64.
Born in Ohio, Dymond earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Miami University, and a doctorate from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego. He worked as a researcher at Columbia University before transferring to Oregon State University, where he taught until his retirement in 1997.
During his career, Dymond wrote nearly 100 scientific papers and traveled the world to explore underwater ecosystems. In 1977, he and a group of scientists found hot water vents spewing from the sea floor in the Galapagos Islands. Using the Alvin submersible to examine the vents, Dymond and his crew found an entire community of tube worms, clams and other previously unknown organisms living in the dark waters. It was the first ecosystem discovered on Earth that did not rely on the sun for energy.
“He was very inspiring in a way — he knew how to excite the people around him with new ideas, and also sort of show them how those new ideas could be approached in a reasonable way. He was one of those people for whom the strength of his personal relationships are as memorable as the specific scientific nuts and bolts that he contributed,” said friend and colleague Bob Collier.
Dymond, who was also the first person to explore the bottom of Crater Lake in Oregon, was fly-fishing on the Rogue River when he fell into the water and was pulled under by the current.