Dennis himself will tell you it’s no big deal, that many Seanetters have done more walks than he. And it’s true. Ray Bosse, for instance, has done over 400 walks so far in his tenure with us. But Dennis recently hit walk number 100, and I told him I’d be writing about him here. Why talk about Dennis Minsky? I’ll tell you.
Running SEANET is a true pleasure for me. God knows, I don’t do it for the money. And while I do it for the science as well, the main thing that keeps me here–blogging, checking data, badgering you for photos of your dead birds, traveling on weekends to train new Seanetters–is you guys. The community we’ve built since 2003 has made me believe in citizen science, in regional and local knowledge, and in the commitment you feel to your coasts, and to the world’s oceans. Seanetters come in all stripes. Some of you walk for years, quietly submitting excellent data and never needing anything from me; I salute you for your autonomy. Some of you send me the occasional weird photo, or story, or news clipping of note; I thank you for keeping my job lively and different every day. Some of you keep closely in touch, and though I work from my house in New Hampshire, and you are scattered all over the eastern seaboard, I have come to consider you friends.
Dennis is one of these. In particular, I have come to rely on Dennis for excellent book recommendations, and subsequent email exchanges on our thoughts on these readings. He has known many fine poets and other authors whom I admire, and since I was an English major, this tends to leave me somewhat starstruck. Dennis is living a life I admire, way out there at the end of Cape Cod. A book-filled life, a beach-walk filled life, and a very dead bird-filled life. So don’t let Dennis tell you it’s no big deal. You Seanetters make this project, you make the science, and you make this virtual community we’ve built. I need to do more of this sort of recognition, so indulge me if I email you asking for pictures of yourself in the near future. The fact is that I couldn’t do this without you people. And the truth is, I wouldn’t want to.