CLEAR’s 2015 Family Update Letter


Like ugly sweaters and fruitcake, the family update letter is a wonderfully annoying/possibly charming holiday staple. Here is our contribution to that time-honored tradition.  (Note:  In keeping with tradition, this post may have been embellished a bit.):


  • Took his first sabbatical after 28 years at UConn.
  • Scoped out a few promising spots to plant a CLEAR flag in the world of Ecosystem Services.
  • Perfected his Shrimp & Grits and his Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza recipes.
  • Wrote a book of poetry for undiscriminating children.



  • Drilled lots of holes on the UConn campus in the advancement of green infrastructure science.
  • Taught an undergraduate water course for a professor on sabbatical. Now encouraging the professor to take more sabbaticals.
  • Staked his claim as father of the year by building a go-kart race track for his daughter on their “quiet corner” estate.


  • Defied the “old dogs/new tricks” paradigm by teaching non-GIS geeks to use their smartphones to collect geospatial data.
  • Coordinated the update of CT’s digital National Hydrography Dataset (in case you’re not sure where the water is).
  • Memorized every word of the Curious George collection of books. She was a good little monkey, but always very curious.


  • Helped communities think about the legal aspects of climate change, which no one would do of their own free will.
  • Was finally rewarded for his tireless efforts in support of land use commisisoners everywhere.  (Well at least in CT.)
  • Added to his collection of grandkids and his fleet of boats to transport them.


  • Started sharing her design talents with the rest of extension and even other colleges.
  • Staked her claim as mother of the year by dusting off her vast and valuable Star Wars action figure collection and giving it to her boys!


  • Introduced many in CT to the concept of Living Shorelines. We’ve lived with dead ones for far too long.
  • Kept Bruce in line.
  • Became an empty nester.


  • Spent a lot of time thinking about how to squeeze a little more LID into land use regulations.
  • Taught people geospatial gymnastics they can perform with nothing but a smartphone.
  • Spent way too much time on a soccer field. Only recently stopped instinctively kicking things in the office.

That’s it!  Hope to see you all in 2016!