Dinner at the Restaurant Huaca Pucllana in Lima with Yi Chao (a GHRSST meeting)
David G Foley
  • 47 years old
  • Date of birth: Mar 3, 1966
  • Date of passing: Dec 8, 2013

This website was created in memory of Dave Foley who passed away on December 8, 2013. He was a dear colleague who touched many people in his work and life. He will be sorely missed. 

There was a memorial service for Dave on Friday Dec 20, 2013 at the Monterey NOAA lab where he has worked for the past 10 years. There are pictures from that event. It didn't seem quite right to post them here, so I have posted them on a flicker account:


Thank you to everyone who attended. 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Sean&Val Cawley on 17th March 2016

"This is to wish peace to Barbara, Stephen and the extended families of Foleys, Bolts, Martins and Cawleys, following the saddening events of the last few years. All miss a jovial Dave and a growing list of those who have joined him, as our little granddaughter wrote, "beyond the stars"...Sean..."

This tribute was added by Candan Soykan on 8th March 2016

"My sentiments echo those already expressed here. I came to know Dave through one of his satellite courses and was amazed by his generosity. He was so eager to help researchers and facilitate science. What a great loss for the scientific community as well as those who knew him personally."

This tribute was added by Roberto Venegas on 8th December 2015

"Se recuerda con cariño..."

This tribute was added by Ashley Wilson on 8th December 2015

"Thinking of you, Dave.  You are missed."

This tribute was added by Sean&Val Cawley on 11th December 2014

"Dear Steve and Babs, remembering Dave and you both. So sorry Val cannot join me in this. I went through some of her treasured keepsakes, one struck a particular cord, she had kept a cutting from a Long Island newspaper announcing Dave as a school child, winning an energy conservation competitiion! A smart cookie, Requiescat in pace et in amore."

This tribute was added by Andrea Aguiar on 11th December 2014

"Thinking about you, Dave...  We hadn't seen each other in nearly 20 years when you passed on, but the memories of our time together are very strong and dear.  Wherever your spirit is, I hope it is filled with peace, love, and the beautiful music you shared with so many of us."

This tribute was added by Miranda Massie on 11th December 2014

"Missing you, Wave."

This tribute was added by stephen foley on 9th December 2014

"A year has passed, and I see the folks that knew David still have him in mind, as mum and I do on a regular basis.  I wanted to personally thank each of you for your kind words, and know that I have read each and every post left here on David's memorial.  That would probably have surprised David!

This tribute was added by Tom Myers on 8th December 2014

"I can remember four or us at about 11 years old or so sitting outside on the steps and deciding we were going to be the Beatles. I played drums at the time, so I was naturally going to be the Ringo. Our two other friends were going to be the Paul and the George. And Dave? He reserved the role of John for himself. Lennon, much like Dave, was the cool one, the rebel. From that day on, I always thought of Dave as Lennon like.

It was not until this morning, on the first anniversary of Dave's passing, that I realized December 8th is also the day John Lennon was killed.

Dave would have loved the irony."

This tribute was added by Yi Chao on 8th December 2014

"Every time when I look at that picture with you raising the wine glass, it feels not too long ago, when two of us took the taxi to that local seafood restaurant in Lima/Peru.  I enjoyed the many meetings we were spending time together.  We all miss you very much!"

This tribute was added by Ashley Wilson on 8th December 2014

"Missing you, Dave.  Everytime I listen to 94.7 The Wave radio station I think of you and your way too soon passing."

This tribute was added by Ken Casey on 8th December 2014

"One year on and we are missing you as much as ever Dave... we're fighting the good fight and working hard to carry on your efforts!"

This tribute was added by Malcolm Palmer on 23rd January 2014

"I was just informed of Dave's passing last night, my heart just sank. As I stood atop of the old Briarcliff school hill watching my two boys sled down with their friends, I began to remember Dave. We both grew up in the Village of Shoreham on Long Island. I believe we first met in school or through our parents because they worked at the Brookhaven Lab. I can remember playing tennis with Dave countless times, our matches were always close and intense. It seemed we both had the same frustration with our game and when I would scream out some obscenity he would just smile....I can still see his face in my mind. I can remember his silver Head racket that i envied so much.  I have to laugh at the times he would slam the net in frustration and scream out.I have not seen Dave probably since high school (1984)I can still picture his old jean jacket with some heavy metal rock group patch sewn on back. It saddens me to think that we shall never chat again, may you rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Tim Rotella on 23rd December 2013

"I am so sorry, Dave was a great guy and one of the smartest people I ever met.  I have lots of great memories hanging out with him and others in the first years after high school.  To his family, I am so sorry for your loss."

This tribute was added by Tom Myers on 23rd December 2013

"With tears in my eyes, I sit here trying to collect my thoughts.

Dave has been my friend since age seven, and so much of what I am today came through our adventures of growing up together.

We shared a love of music, the beach, Jimi Hendrix, hanging out, riding bicycles, computers, Dungeons and Dragons, Science-Fiction, Benny Hill, camping, girls, the Beatles, wit, humor, Monty Python, adventure, pranks, jokes, swimming, learning and pushing the limit.

After he graduated from Cornell and went out west, his visits back east to Shoreham became less and less frequent and we gradually lost touch.  

I had hoped that with our upcoming 30th high school reunion I would have the opportunity to give my dear friend a big hug and melt away the years, but, alas, that is not to be.

Looking back at his life's work, I know that in a quiet moment, after the sun had set and as he stood on the deck of a ship or on some distant beach, he would gaze upon the vast ocean and, with fondness, recall those wonderful nights when our small coterie of friends would sit around a fire staring out into to Long Island Sound and enjoy each others company. I know I do."

This tribute was added by mike meier on 22nd December 2013

"I have many fond memories of Dave from High school, He will be missed by many... Gods Speed Dave"

This tribute was added by Marybeth Kamibeppu on 22nd December 2013

"I have been completely out of contact with Dave for many years, but knew him in elementary and middle school. He was in the same violin lessons with me at school. He was always so smart and uniquely funny. As my own children have gotten older and even attended the same Middle School that we attended, I have recently thought of Dave and Bobby and wondered what had become of them. I just reconnected with Bob via facebook and the first posting I saw was his remembrance of Dave. So sad. Glad to read about his dynamic professional life. Hope you guys can manage the Hawaiian shirts."

This tribute was added by Valerie Cawley on 22nd December 2013

"My sister’s son David was known to me more in youth than latterly but jovial whenever we met on the East coast. It may have been in Ireland when David truly came face to face with biology in the raw. We took the family to the Bog of Allen, inspired by Ken’s enquiring mind. The irregular ups and downs of the uneven ground was too much for the diminutive David at the time, so Ken piggy backed him. Deciding that he would jump over a looming bog hole, Ken landed on a deceptive tuft of moss which gave way under foot, as moss will do. He and David hit the oozing soft ground head first.
I am sorry that neither Ken nor David will have the opportunity to relive the experience.
I will pray for them and for Babs and Stephen.


This tribute was added by Frank Schwing on 21st December 2013

"When the NOAA CoastWatch operation was relocated from LaJolla in 2003 it was PFEL’s good fortune, because it brought Dave Foley back to the mainland and to Pacific Grove. Dave was imminently responsible for modernizing CoastWatch from a regional data base that “turned the crank” on routine products and images, to a dynamic center that moved huge volumes of satellite data and science-based products and assessments, often customized, to scientists and other users around the world.

Dave epitomized the two-pronged data service and research philosophy of the original Pacific Environmental Group and the innovative spirit of ERD today and, hopefully, in the future, regardless of its form and location. Dave was an adept technician and programmer. But he also was quite an insightful and productive scientist. He was sought out by researchers on grants and papers not for his pedigree but based on his proven knowledge and insight of oceanography. Dave’s keen ability to integrate across disciplines and data sources took CoastWatch and PFEL data services beyond archiving and map making, to developing truly useful and informative analyses and products critical to the stewardship of living resources and healthy ecosystems.

To the degree that Dave was an iconoclast, he fit in perfectly at PFEL. He freely shared his opinion about red tape, but understood when it was necessary to feed and care for the bureaucratic beast. Anyone who worked with Dave had the experience of deliberating about some task, and Dave ending the discussion by declaring “Oh, I’ll just go do it”. And he would “go do it”, well and on schedule.

As lab director, Dave made PFEL - and me - look good and deliver big countless times. We are less for his premature departure from our world, but greater for having Dave as a co-worker, a colleague, a friend.

Aloha Dave..."

This tribute was added by tom foley on 21st December 2013

"We are shocked by the news about David and send our sympathy to         Barbara and Stephen.
Our memories are mainly of David as a young child and teenager. My brother Ken brought the family over to South Wales and Sheffield and we visited them on Long Island
He was a good looking, clever, shy boy with a very good sense of humour. I tried to outsmart him using the British sense of irony but he soon got onto it.
He once said of me, “Uncle Tom was very funny but now he is just a Funky Phantom”
I saw similar characteristics in him to those of his father. Ken was a working class boy from South Wales who won a scholarship to Oxford, gaining a D Phil in Physics and a career in Particle Physics at Brookhaven Labs L.I. There was the same dedication to work.
David lived life to the full and as well as working very hard, perhaps too hard, at his job, he always found time to have fun with his many friends. He also inspired many young students by showing them that science can be great fun if you work hard enough.
He will be remembered by his family and his friends in many walks of life for the contribution that he made to their lives."

This tribute was added by paul foley on 20th December 2013

"I am so shocked and saddened to hear about my cousin david passing away. living in Sheffield ( England) i we only met a few times over the years. first time was south wales in the 70s, also new York long island, how time goes , then in 1989 new York ( long island) again  this time for nans 80th who came with us from England,all the foleys togeather but for the last time. rem the great smile you had and also  a very easy going person you seem to be. now your on that great wave in the sky with that smile on your face ( never forget that great smile you had as a kid) from paul/clare foley and sons oliver/luke/joseph. the stories will live on, my sons will be told of a great uncle they never met."

This tribute was added by Raphael Kudela on 20th December 2013

"I am truly saddened at the news. Dave and I were collaborating on various projects up to about a week before I heard the news. I knew Dave when we were grad students together and it was such a great opportunity to renew our friendship and work together when we both ended up in central California. He is truly irreplaceable as a friend, colleague, and positive spirit."

This tribute was added by Tim Kostolansky on 20th December 2013

"My deepest condolences go out to Dave’s family and friends.

I first met Dave and got to know him our freshman year at Cornell, we were on the same dorm room floor in Baker Hall. I must admit it took me a little time to gain an appreciation for Dave’s unique wry humor and way of seeing things. We became good friends even though we didn’t always quite agree.
I knew Dave was wicked smart, and liked that he was (almost always) modest and unassuming about his talents - he could hit a great baseline tennis shot, wing a Frisbee, and who knew what a good cook he would become?

Though our paths would not cross as often as we would have liked after college, I had great fun and memorable times with Dave over the years in LA, Hawaii, and CA. I never knew what to expect, and that always had the best results – stopping by LA to catch up would turn into a ride on that sail boat up the coast would then become a house party with new interesting people to meet. Dave never hesitated to hop an island or drive hundreds of miles to give a ride for his friends. I guess one of Dave’s greatest gifts was his generosity of spirit, his love of the journey. I wish he could have taken better care of his health.

I did not see Dave very much in the last handful of years, and this is my loss. I am very happy that Dave had the chance to meet my wife Hifumi and our sons – all became fast friends. They were good times seeing Dave get down on his hands and knees and play with little children.

Wave, my friend, I will miss you.
On to that distant shore."

This tribute was added by Miranda Massie on 20th December 2013

"I had the same idea as Lesley in the previous post of sharing emails and ended up pulling an all-nighter (a very Wave move) reading them and thinking about him. Our correspondence was a delight and I will sorely miss it. Wave and I were friends in college and reconnected a few years back, a piece of luck for which I'm hugely grateful. He was one of the smartest, oddest, most playful, and best people I've known. Wave, sending you love, thanks, and a sorrowful goodbye."

This tribute was added by Lesley Thorne on 20th December 2013

"I got to know Dave after spending the past two summers in Monterey working with him and some friends at the ERD lab.  I arrived during a difficult time for him and, to some extent, for me, and I am strangely grateful for that since I don’t think we would have become such good friends in any other situation.

My thought for this post was to trawl through the many short emails Dave and I exchanged in the hopes of producing some sort of collage his hilariously quirky and witty character.  But as I looked through these emails, what struck me was not his humor or his whimsical style (which I am always aware of!) but what a good friend he has been to me.  Aside from our regular chats on gmail, I found dozens of emails from Dave checking in on me through various moves, trips, holidays, birthdays, and many cat-related fiascos. I wish I could remember the details of what I didn’t realize would be our last brief chat last weekend.

Dave found amusement and absurdity in so many small things.  I think the list of things that most remind me of Dave demonstrates this well:  carrot juice, armadillos, origami, “zen banana slugs”, EFH (I can explain, Elliott), ninja outfits, mola high fives, the colour purple, CLIOTOP wives, “Victoria Island”, bean bag chairs, butterfly cookies, rationed meat food, the wanderings of albatrosses…

Dave, you will be missed."

This tribute was added by sarah mesnick on 19th December 2013

"My heart is filled with the wonderful messages that everyone has left for Dave.  I knew Dave only a little, but feel that I have come to know him from the warmth and humor pouring from these pages.  My thoughts are with everyone,"

This tribute was added by Isabelle duvivier on 19th December 2013

"Dear Dave,

I first met you more than 20 years ago when you where one of the ringers on our softball team, the Young Guns.  I think you played center field because you where so fast. Remember we won first place in our division in the LA league.  At that time you lived in the Marina Del Rey and worked/taught at USC, I think.  You took me on a research vessel with your students who where studying habit quality just off coast from the Hyperion Treatment Plant. The theory was that the sewage-overflows were creating abundant nutrients for fish species.  It made me so mad that something as bad as sewage could be good.  That was typical of you, Dave, always dispelling my prejudices.

Now in hind site I believe it was these discussions with you that lead me, an architect by training - a builder of structures, to becoming a proponent of watershed health and reduced urban runoff.

You had a way of often redirecting my anger aimed at humans.  I was always spouting on about “healing” the earth and educating people about the negative impact of their behavior on the environment.  You made fun of me, in a nice way, saying the planet will be just fine.  

Later I visited you in Hawaii with my sister.  And again we visited you in Monterey with our 3 rambunctious children. The kids drove us crazy but you where cool as a clam.

The last time I saw you was unexpectedly at a World Ocean Conference in Long Beach.  You seemed frenzied, off to another conference.  We didn’t have time to talk.  

You emailed me about 2 weeks ago that you have moved to Santa Cruz.  How I wish I had picked up the phone to chat.  

Dave, you had a way of putting everything/everyone's needs in front of your own.  You are my only friend at NOAA.  I felt good knowing you where working for an organization that studies and protects the ocean's health. But you didn’t look after yourself.  Thank you for your service as a friend and a fellow ocean lover.
Love and will miss you

This tribute was added by Elliott Hazen on 19th December 2013


I honestly don't know what to say other than you were one of my favorite collaborators, a great traveling partner, and consummate friend. Dining in Charleston with you during the satellite course was such a treat. Your appreciation of food, including the amazing food you cooked for us when we had Phoebe was unforgettable. Thank you so much.

You will be missed."

This tribute was added by Niamh Cawley on 19th December 2013

"As I celebrate my 47th birthday today, I look back on the few times I was able to hang with my cousin, David. We were born in the same year, so our parents would exchange parallel stories from across the Atlantic as we grew up and of course we would receive the annual package of clothes from Aunt Barbara, that were just too small for David but just right for me since he was 9 months older. As a young boy, I was in awe of my mysterious cousin, seeing pictures of this ultra cool guy at the beach, relaxed, in thought, happy. Our paths did not cross much through life but I was aware of where he was and what he was doing and I was impressed by him. I get a sense that this was not uncommon after reading some the messages here. I was thrilled to spend an evening with him for dinner at my house several years ago when he came to Washington DC for a conference. He met my family and we shared a nice meal and some good wine. There was something easy about being around David. I cannot say I knew David well but I was always happy to hear about him and the work he did. My heart is saddened by his death. I will remember David with fond memories of the brief visits I had in his home on Long Island and especially our evening spent catching up. Be at peace, dear cousin."

This tribute was added by Anne Petrenko on 19th December 2013

"I am so shocked and sad. Dave, Jerry, Darek  and I were students of Tommy Dickey in the 90’s at USC.  Dave was very bright, fun, helpful. He always had plenty of innovative and judicious ideas.  The cruise in Mamala Bay, HI (october 1994), but also some small « daily » ones around Los Angeles, would not have been the same without the help of Dave.
Dave had downloaded some software from our French web site at the end of November and had said " hi ".  My colleague and I answered; I was happy at the idea of reconnecting …. but the communication has stopped before I got to learn how he was doing.  This is a big loss.  
I want to express my heartfelt condolences to all his relatives and close friends.  Bon courage à tous,
Anne Petrenko"

This tribute was added by Steve Lindley on 18th December 2013

"I first met Dave at a JGOFS workshop in Scottsdale AZ back in the early 90s when we were both in grad school.  Our paths crossed periodically over the years, and he moved to our lab just a few months ago.  We are stunned and saddened by his untimely passing."

This tribute was added by Michael Ondrusek on 18th December 2013

"Dave was certainly a unique breed. At first I had trouble figuring Dave out, even when we shared a shack in the jungle in Hawaii, but then I realized, there was nothing to figure out.  Dave was what he showed and who you saw.   Only ran into him once every few years since we left Hawaii and it was always a good time over a cold beer.  I hope you can still come visit once in a while when you can.

This tribute was added by Oisin Cawley on 18th December 2013

"Cousin Dave, I wish you now eternal peace and happiness. I have fond memories of my "cousins in America" who we unfortunately did not get to meet and know enough. You were nonetheless a part of our extended family and we are all saddened by your passing."

This tribute was added by John Ryan on 18th December 2013

"I honor Dave's life and his wave of goodness that will continue beyond his time among us.  The shape and color of his wave is painted in many expressions of appreciation here.  I am grateful to have known Dave as a colleague and friend.  I will miss him."

This tribute was added by Curt Davis on 18th December 2013

"Dave was a great friend and colleague who will be missed.  Working with NOAA was always challenging, but Dave made it a delight.  We miss you Dave.  Fair seas and following winds."

This tribute was added by Peter Nesbett on 17th December 2013

"I first met Dave in the fall of 1984. My wife Shelly and I last saw him on December 28, 2008.

In 1984, Dave was a curious creature. He was my freshman college roommate (one of three). I remember waking up in the middle of the night or coming home late from a party and finding Dave sitting on the couch in the common area of our dorm suite, with the lights out and the television off. This seemed odd. I quickly got used to it. He was shy back then—I don’t really remember him coming out of his shell until later in college—so if I asked him what he was thinking about, he’d usually look away, and then with a grin say something about a mathematical or scientific problem that I didn't understand. At first, I thought he was ribbing me (early in our relationship he liked to tease me with such subtlety that I was never really sure when he was or was not being fecetious). In time, I began to realize that Dave really did like to be alone in those moments. It was his time to be with that extraordinary mind of his. Thinking back now, he appears to me almost sage-like.

Through college, Dave became more of a friend, though truth be told, he was closer to my then girlfriend than he was to me—they shared a disdain for the college social activities in which I indulged. When my girlfriend went through some tough times, Dave took care of her. When she and I graduated and moved to New York, Dave went West, though he would come back and visit. When she and I went through the roughest of our rough patches, Dave, who prided himself at that time on being both a matchmaker and a caretaker, tried to counsel us. He wanted us to be happy and together so badly that he talked me into waking her up one New Year’s eve at 3 a.m. and proposing to her, which I did while he waited outside the room. Even at the time I knew it was a bad idea, but I followed his advice. I figured Dave knew better than I did and that with commitment the situation would improve. The relationship ended before we made it to the altar.

I visited Dave in Los Angeles a number of times. One time I told that I didn't want to put him out so I was going to stay in a hotel. Wanting to play host, he talked me to stay with him instead. When I arrived, he picked me up in his art-car (covered in seashells) and surprised me with, “We aren’t going to stay at my place…I don’t have a place right now, but it is no big deal, I’ve got us set up,” and courtesy of a mutual friend who has also written on this site (Ashley), we stayed in a large Hollywood home where she was house-sitting.  The situation was perfect until the third night when the owner phoned to say that he was coming back early and Ashley needed to be out immediately. That night I ended up sleeping on the floor in Dave’s campus office (he kept a sleeping bag there) while he pulled an all-nighter working at his computer on a report that was due in the morning.

I never made it to Hawaii. David regularly traveled back to the mainland, and seemed to periodically ‘pop up’ in my life, often arriving on short notice. Visiting my now-wife Shelly and I in Seattle, I remember Dave almost bragging about the life he had made for himself out in the middle of the Pacific. I remember him talking about the incredible flora and fauna, of sea turtles, of living in near isolation “on the other side of the island.” He talked about his love of being on the water. About spending time on FLIP ships. And about having this second-life as a producer/promoter of local bands.

Then things seemed to change. As happens to all of us, he had what he saw as a professional setback. I don't remember the exact details but I remember that his aspirations to complete his PhD had been thwarted by some bureaucratic snafu. Understandably, he was very upset about it. He said that he would never be able to get the kind of job he wanted; that he would have to start his career over. I don't remember if he was still living in Hawaii when he told me this, though I think he was.

The next and last time I saw Dave was on December 28, 2008. I didn’t recognize him. He’d already been in Monterey by that point for probably five years. He emailed me on December 27th to say that he would be in New York the following day and that he wanted to visit. I told him to come up to the art gallery Shelly and I were running in Harlem.

Before lunch, a man and a woman walked into the gallery. The man smiled at me. I asked if I could help them. After a long, awkward silence, I realized it was Dave. Dave. Wow. He looked so much older. He had gained so much weight. His hair was cut short. Even knowing it was him, it took me a long time to see through the surface of this person who was standing in front of me to the person I had always known.

The four of us went and had lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, then headed back to our apartment, where we spent the next six-plus hours talking, laughing, and drinking rum. Dave didn’t look like he was in great physical shape—he was too, too big, there was no question about that—but he didn’t look anything like he does in the most recent pictures. (I am still in disbelief that this boyish creature could age so quickly.) He was in excellent spirits; he still had that puckish charm. We talked about everything—it seemed there wasn’t a conversation Dave couldn't carry--and he seemed to happy in his new life in Monterey, with new friends and colleagues, new work adventures, the softball team, and more. Well after dark, Dave’s friend Miranda motioned that it was time for them to go. I remember hugging his now large frame and him giving me a long, very sweet hug back. And I remember that when he left, I felt that he was leaving too soon.

Dave, I am going to miss you so much. It is hard for me accept the fact that several years from now, you won't surprise us with a visit. If there is a heaven, I imagine you are sitting quietly on a cloud in the dark, with a bemused look on your face, while radical light plays like music in your skull.

From A.R. Ammons, who taught at Cornell when we were there. Perhaps you already know it:

"He held radical light
as music in his skull: music
turned, as
over ridges immanences of evening light
rise, turned
back over the furrows of his brain
into the dark, shuddered,
shot out again
in long swaying swirls of sound:

reality had little weight in his transcendence
so he
had trouble keeping
his feet on the ground, was
terrified by that
and liked himself, and others, mostly
under roofs:
nevertheless, when the
light churned and changed

his head to music, nothing could keep him
off the mountains, his
head back, mouth working,
wrestling to say, to cut loose
from the high unimaginable hook:
released, hidden from stars, he ate,
burped, said he was like any one
of us: demanded he
was like any one of us.""

This tribute was added by Jorge Vazquez on 17th December 2013

"When I  heard the news I was in tears. Dave was a special friend to the PO.DAAC always willing to share his knowledge and expertise.  He was instrumental in setting the standard for delivery of operational products. he warmth and  friendship will be missed."

This tribute was added by Peter Minnett on 17th December 2013

"The news of Dave’s death is both saddening and shocking. He was a valued member of the Satellite Sea Surface Temperature community, bringing novel viewpoints and experience to discussions. He had a unique perspective on how satellite data could be used to improve understanding of ecosystems and bio-physical interactions.  We will all miss Dave’s gentle sense of humor and cheerful demeanor. Deepest sympathy to his family and friends."

This tribute was added by Rob Sarison on 17th December 2013

"Dave the Wave. A sweet gentle soul with a puckish wit and a voice like an angel. Last time I saw Dave was about 6 years ago when he stayed at my place in San Francisco and we were up half the night running though our repertoire of all the songs we used to play together, first at Cornell and then especially in the year we both lived in LA, During that time we hung out often, taking amazing road trips to Joshua Tree and up  to SF. There was this "On the Road" magic we had, always meeting cool people and finding ourselves in interesting situations. I will miss harmonizing with you my old friend. Rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Christopher Perle on 17th December 2013

"Such sad news.
I am one of the many whose research depended on Dave's vast knowledge and, more importantly, willingness to help. In fact, Dave was the single most helpful and encouraging person I encountered while in graduate school--I might still be there spinning wheels without him.  He not only cared about my research, he cared about me as a person.  He quite literally saved my defense seminar when my computer blue screened and I was too stressed to fix it. He went far out of his way to support me on that day (and many others), and, in his gently way, he helped me deal with my father's slow decline and eventual passing.

I hope that we can all follow Dave's example, and not only store our vast personal wealths of knowledge and information, but share them, amicably, not for our own personal benefit, but for everyone's."

This tribute was added by Evan Howell on 17th December 2013

"I'm truly sorry to hear of Dave's passing.

Dave was my office mate and supervisor when I worked at the Honolulu Laboratory CoastWatch node in the late 90s. While there was a certain amount of Entropy working closely with Dave, it was always a dynamic time filled with some wonderful material for later stories.

Over time Dave moved on to great things at ERD, but with some irony I feel that the distance made us closer. Dave was always someone I looked forward to seeing, both as a colleague and a friend.

I watched Dave's career as it morphed from his early successes in bringing a suite of remotely-sensed products to "the masses" (ocean winds certainly comes to mind), to truly being an integral part of the scientific and academic communities throughout the nation, if not the world.

My hope now is that Dave can truly rest in peace, and that his legacy can live on through all those that he has touched. Here's to you Dave, and letting us know that the larger meaning in things can all be found in the "fiddly bits.""

This tribute was added by Leslie Rosenfeld on 16th December 2013

"West Coast CoastWatch is such an integral part of CeNCOOS, and Dave so integral to CoastWatch, it is hard to imagine how we will carry on without him.  On a personal note – I will always remember Dave best as a wonderful teacher.  I loved going to his talks because I always learned something new – and he has always made time to answer any question about satellite data.  What a resource!  Our whole community will miss him.  My condolences to his family and to PFEL."

This tribute was added by Sasha Ignatov on 16th December 2013

"Will miss you, Dave. We worked in the same organization, but thousands miles apart. We only met several times at various meetings, last time it was GHRSST in Woods Hole. Shared a dinner, you didn't look happy. Spoke about your diabetes. I said, never mind, Dave. My Mother in law has been a diabetic for some 20+ years. Now, won't see you anymore.. cannot believe this. Rest in peace, Dave."

This tribute was added by Fionn Cawley on 16th December 2013

"Cousin Dave, I am sorry to have missed your life. Just last month I thought of cousins whose lives parallel my own without intersection. I did not act at that time. Our meetings over the last 47 years have been few and far between, and always relatively brief. Good luck Dave, it seems like I missed out."

This tribute was added by John Chu on 16th December 2013

"Dave aka "Wave" was a good friend in our final years at Cornell as undergrads.  I once visited him as a grad student at UCLA and he gave me a tour of their labs after hours when the place was deserted.  He took me into this one large room that looked like a squash court and when I turned around he had a gun pointed at me.  In a split second my mind raced through and re-evaluated my entire history with "Wave" trying to find a reason why, what had I done to merit such extreme retribution, or perhaps he had gone insane.  Of course, the gun had blanks and he was simply demonstrating the endless reverberation of the echo chamber we had stepped into.  But that one mischievous gesture etched a lot of memories I had with him previous into my brain - and now they are playing back slowly, randomly, with sadness and joy."

This tribute was added by Mitchell Roffer on 16th December 2013

"Dave worked with many others to gain the maximum utility of satellite data with fisheries and other oceanographic subjects. He was an honest and ethical go getter, always trying to improve the system. Climbed up working with others not  by stepping on them. We often got together at meetings for some drinks, laughs and good Asian foods. I will miss Dave as will the community. Words alone are not enough..."

This tribute was added by Tierney Thys on 16th December 2013

"Such a gentle, giving soul, so willing to take on more than any single human should ever commit to. There is a big Dave-Foley-shaped hole in our lives now and you are greatly missed. Our next paper is dedicated to you."

This tribute was added by Kent Hughes on 16th December 2013

"With great sorrow we learned of Dave Foley's passing on December 8, 2013. It goes without saying that the NOAA CoastWatch Program will miss our team member, colleague and friend of many years. But in the broader sense satellite ocean remote sensing has been dealt a serious blow.

When Dave first joined the Program as the CoastWatch Central Pacific Regional Operations Coordinator at the National Marine Fisheries Service, Honolulu Laboratory he was among the first to actually demonstrate what was to become our routine service delivery ethic. Dave was always on call - day, or night and regardless of where he was on the planet. Dave would always respond. His view point was always sought and important to consider. When Dave left Hawai'i to become the West Coast Regional Node Operations Coordinator he took his service commitment with him as well as his vision and energy for expanding the use of environmental satellites by oceanographers, fisheries scientists/managers, students and the public. Not to be overlooked was Dave's service in the State of Oregon via Oregon State University's educational outreach.

Dave's shoes will be difficult to fill in NOAA CoastWatch. As we move forward and expand into OceanWatch the goals he set for service, and his commitment to providing timely, useful, and quality data and products will not be forgotten. We all have learned valuable lessons from Dave ... his spirit and commitment will live on amongst Oceanwatch Team members, colleagues and friends.

Aloha, Kent Hughes, NOAA CoastWatch Program Manager"

This tribute was added by Ryan Collay on 16th December 2013

"Dave's willingness and commitment to supporting our Oregon outreach program was amazing--and reading other comments apparently typical of his commitment.  I will wear the shirt on Friday in memory of his smile and passion for sharing."

This tribute was added by Allison Strout on 16th December 2013

"When we were in college together, Dave wrote me a  memorable letter dissecting some personal problem I was having.   In the letter, he constructed a long metaphor where I was a small boat sailing in dangerous waters and our mutual friends were various nymphs and mermaids and other forms of sea life.  In this little story, Dave pegged himself as the lighthouse keeper for these chaotic waters.   Reading other people’s tributes, I realize that Dave was clearly a lighthouse keeper for many others through the years - a calm, steady guy who liked nothing more than protecting those he cared about."

This tribute was added by Alexey Kaplan on 16th December 2013

"Dave joined the IC-TAG group at the recent GHRSST meeting, and we all were looking forward to talking and working with him for years to come... His passing is such a shock! Very sad."

This tribute was added by Tomo Eguchi on 16th December 2013

"Dave was an amazing guy. When I was out in the Gulf of Mexico to pick up oiled turtles offshore (the BP spill), he would send us an up-to-date map of where oil was found the night before by 0500 Eastern time! When did he sleep?! I truly enjoyed working with him. His insights into satellite oceanography data and wicked sense of humor will be truly missed."

This tribute was added by Ted Strub on 16th December 2013

"Dave had a rare combination of scientific understanding, technical competence and a deep desire to help others; i.e., he was a geek with a heart, along with a calm and gentle soul. In the end, we are all stories, as represented by our interactions with others. Dave's story continues in the hundreds of people he touched in his professional and personal life. He will be sorely missed."

This tribute was added by Cindy Bessey on 16th December 2013

"I was fortunate to have known Dave as a talented co-worker with a brilliant mind, but more than that, I was truly blessed to have also known Dave as a friend.

Dave was a worthy tennis opponent and we spent many an evening under the lights of the Monterey Tennis Courts.  In fact, we were there so often that we were invited to join in the Monterey Tennis Tournament one year.  We entered in as doubles partners which led to the most outrageous lose in Monterey Tennis Tournament history … maybe I’m exaggerating, but I don’t think so.  After that, we settled on early morning weekend rallies at a more obscure tennis court, which I reckon was much more in-line with Dave’s style anyway.  He possessed a cross-court shot that never failed!  I had the pleasure of being Dave’s softball teammate, Big Sur Relay teammate, and golfing companion on many occasions.  

Dave’s kindness and generosity was evident through his cooking … his ginger, apple and rhubarb pie was the best I’d ever eaten, and his ceviche was exquisite.  The mere watering of Dave’s plants would result in a present from wherever in the World he had just been to share his incredible knowledge of satellite data and oceanographic data products.  

Dave was extremely intelligent, witty and quirky, and I would often seek him out for advice in his freezing cold trailer, where he could be found hiding behind his shrubbery.  But truth be told, sometimes I would just seek him out to talk about the live golf scores that we would both undoubtedly have on a browser in the background if our favorite Canadian Tour player was playing.

I will cherish my many fond memories of a brilliant man that I was fortunate to have shared some time with … rest in peace Dave … you will be missed."

This tribute was added by Mike Laurs on 15th December 2013

"A tribute to Dave Foley by Mike Laurs

I first met Dave in the late 1990s when I hired him to operate the NOAA Central Pacific CoastWatch site located at the NMFS Honolulu Laboratory where I was then the director. We had a very good working relationship during this time. In 2004 the NOAA West Coast CoastWatch site was to be moved to NMFS laboratory in Pacific Grove, CA where I was then the director. Dave was interested in relocating back to the mainland and I recruited him to manage and operate that facility. He did an absolutely superb job making improvements and running the operations at both locations. Dave played a vital role in developing and producing ocean satellite remote sensing data products tailored to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of users ranging from eminent scientists to young school kids. He possessed outstanding capabilities and skills including a solid understanding of the strengths as well as the limitations of ocean satellite remote sensing data, a broad knowledge of physical oceanography and amazing computer skills. In addition, Dave was very generous with his time and had a wonderful ‘can do’ attitude with all of those who sought his advice and assistance. He leaves a legacy of numerous collaborations with marine scientists which resulted in many significant contributions to ocean science.

Dave was not only a colleague, but special friend of mine. I fondly remember lively discussions we had about gourmet food and recipes, and many fine meals that we enjoyed in restaurants in Honolulu, the greater Monterey area, and various other places around the globe. Also, when we both were working in Pacific Grove, we frequently enjoyed brisk walks near the sea during lunch time and wine tasting often on Fridays after work with a group of folks at the Monterey Wine Club.

I will miss Dave. My hope is that he has been granted the Peace and Serenity that he so much deserves.

Death is a friend that alone can bring the peace his treasures cannot purchase and remove the pain his physicians cannot cure.  ~Mortimer Collins"

This tribute was added by Ed Armstrong on 15th December 2013

"I too remember Dave as a great and warm person.  I never had a chance to work took closely with him but was always impressed with the suite of satellite datasets in his domain and tools/services he built to deliver them. I was often a user !  Always had great presentations and focused on the application of science and satellite data which was a common interest. I had hoped to get him nominated to the GHRSST science team next year.....  He will be missed by many."

This tribute was added by Janet Trowbridge on 14th December 2013

"Dave the Wave. My brilliant, loyal, funny companion, roommate, confessor and friend. He kept me safe and warm and smiling through through many adventures and trials in Ithaca and beyond.  I would not have made it through unscathed without this wonderful magical man.
Ah those Welsh dimples."

This tribute was added by Ashley Wilson on 14th December 2013

"Dave was a dear friend of mine in college and later in Los Angeles.  He taught me how to drive stickshift, walked me home on many a late night, and was always up for an adventure.

Dave was always generous with his warmth and support.  After college, when I was moving to Los Angeles, I drove with a friend to San Francisco.  Dave then flew up or got a ride up to meet me, so I would have someone to drive with for the rest of the trip.  He then let me stay at his place while I found an apartment. That was very typical of Dave.

Dave was fun.  There was a brief period when he and a bunch of his fellow graduate students bought a rickety boat together.  I would go out with him and friends.  We would bounce around the waves, having a blast and happy if we made it back to the shore without capsizing.  Around this time, he was doing a lot of karaoke singing.  Dave could belt out a mean, "Mustang Sally."  

I know very few people who loved his friends as fiercely as Dave did.  He was loyal to a fault.  I have missed him often over the years and I am truly sorry that he has passed away."

This tribute was added by Andre Boustany on 13th December 2013

"Such incredibly sad news.  Dave was a brilliant scientist and all around decent human being.  He was so incredibly generous with his time and his science, especially to those of us who were students or early career scientists when we interacted with him.  Dave, you will be terribly missed personally and professionally.  Thanks you for everything you've done for all of your friends and colleagues over the years."

This tribute was added by Sean&Val Cawley on 13th December 2013

"The sad news hit Valerie and I devastatingly. Thousands of miles away from us as an academic, scientist and clearly jovial friend to many, he was to us a baby boy, an energetic child and a devoted adult son to his mother Barbara and brother Stephen. He shared with his acclaimed deceased physicist dad Ken, an appreciation of fine food, a good barbeque and a proclivity for a fine wine. He was of an age with Barbara sister’s, our sons, who are with us in a state of shock. We regret that we will not again enjoy his company at table. We extend, at this sad time, our wishes that Barbara and Stephen may have the strength to suffer these days."

This tribute was added by Jeffrey Polovina on 13th December 2013

"Dave was good colleague and a leader in the field of satellite oceanography. He had a wonderful understanding of ocean dynamics and its influence on ecology. As a result he constructed images and time series from multiple data streams that produced new insights into physical-biological linkages. He will be greatly missed."

This tribute was added by Deborah Yamaguchi on 13th December 2013

"I am so very saddened at Dave’s passing. He was a unique personality and I always liked him. When I think of Dave, I remember when he was locked in our Annex I overnight. PIFSC had recently installed automated 2000 lb pressure magnetic locks and who should be working late when the locks malfunctioned? Dave! We were shocked to find him the following morning locked in the building. His take on the situation? “Well, I had water and a toilet (the water fountain and restroom were located directly across his office), so I was okay and I knew someone would be in the next morning.” Thanks to Dave being the guinea pig, Admin literally took off the door from its hinges that blocked access to the one exit he could have used to get out of the building. I always laugh when I think of this incident. Dave just rolled with the punches. Before he left, I congratulated him on his job move and he wrote back and said, “… it's been seven years, the statute of limitations is up: I can go back to Cali.” He was going back to where he wanted to be. I’m so glad he spent his last years where he wanted to be and closer to his friends and colleagues. He will be missed."

This tribute was added by Kevin Weng on 13th December 2013

"There is a big field of people who probably could not have completed graduate school without Dave Foley.  I am most certainly among that group. His was extremely generous with his time (and his code), and provided everything with such a delightful gritty humor. Dave, we miss you."

This tribute was added by Craig Donlon on 13th December 2013

"Dave provided endless dry wit, a keen eye for innovation, represented his communities (and he had many) with devotion and professionalism, had an in-depth knowledge of the ocean and its mechanics and, enjoyed time to share another story and his time with us all.

He has made a fantastic impression on many, many people around the world and leaves a legacy of great ocean science.  His presence and his smiles will be missed.

Craig Donlon"

This tribute was added by chelle gentemann on 13th December 2013

"If it had been a heart attack, the newspaper
might have used the word massive,
          as if a mountain range had opened
                     inside her, but instead

it used the word suddenly, a light coming on

in an empty room.  The telephone

fell from my shoulder, a black parrot repeating
              something happened, something awful

          a sunday, dusky.  If it had been

terminal, we could have cradled her
as she grew smaller, wiped her mouth,

       said good-bye.  But it was sudden,

how overnight we could be orphaned
& the world become a bell we'd crawl inside
& the ringing all we'd eat

Sudden by Nick Flynn"

This tribute was added by Linda Stathoplos on 13th December 2013

"The CoastWatch Program has lost a dedicated, energetic champion for data sharing. I can hardly imagine how "his" CoastWatch node will endure without his oversight, skill, and genuine care for all customers. He was certainly a bright light to everyone in CoastWatch; my sincerest condolences to his close friends and family for a life ended too soon."

This tribute was added by Andrew Thomas on 13th December 2013

"I'm shocked and saddened. We have lost one of the good people. Dave brought such a good natured, straightforward, honest and light-hearted approach to getting really good things done. We frequently bounced satellite data thoughts off each other. I'll miss that, but more than anything, I will miss the jovial spirit that always was Dave when he was in the room or on the end of the phone or e-mail."

This tribute was added by John Quinlan on 13th December 2013

"I met Dave a few years ago in a fairly tense and complicated situation. I knew a bit about Dave’s work, but had never so much as spoken with him. At some point he just cut through everything and said “I’ll just do it.” And then did just that. I really didn’t understand why he did this and called him up. We had a long conversation and I started to understand, but found later that this was probably characteristic Dave – he just made things happen.  

In subsequent years, I crossed paths with Dave during various small meetings. Dave became someone I really enjoyed being around. His science was top notch and insightful – often pushing boundaries; his views on sharing information and skills were open and honest; he was always kind with me; he would even teach me if I asked. Each time I met him in a setting like this, I felt as if I were running into an old friend whose scientific capabilities I tremendously respected and who I very much liked as a person.

This past summer, I went through the satellite course that Dave co-taught with Cara. It was clear again that Dave was about sharing information and finding ways for people like me to do a better job. I realized then that Dave was having some trouble and I left thinking about how important this person was to the broader community. The thought ‘something of a national treasure’ came to me then, and comes to me now.  

To those of you who were truly close to Dave, I know there is very little that anyone can say. For me, Dave was far too young, had far too much to offer, and was far too decent a person - Dave was truly exceptional and I will very much miss him."

This tribute was added by Ken Casey on 13th December 2013

"Personally, I will miss Dave's gentle wit, calm demeanor, and collaborative spirit.  He had a deepness of presence that is hard to describe… quiet yet strong.  If you've been fortunate enough to enjoy the unique feeling of a swim call on a fair day in the middle of the ocean, a thousand miles from land with 5000m of water below your feet, having Dave around was something like that.


This tribute was added by Carlos Rivero on 13th December 2013

"I'm so sorry to hear of Dave's passing.  I greatly appreciated his programming prowess, his expansive knowledge of satellite data, but most of all, his sense of humor.  He was a wonderful human being who would not hesitate to lend a helping hand or provide guidance.  He will be missed by many.   My heart goes out to those closest to him since he leaves a void that will be incredibly difficult to fill.  

Dave, I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you and share some laughs over my crazy stories."

This tribute was added by Roberto Venegas on 12th December 2013

"I will miss you Dave, thank you for being yourself and all of your mentoring..."

This tribute was added by Sam Pooley on 12th December 2013

"Dave was a great colleague, both while he was here in Honolulu and later at Pacific Grove. His creativity was probably his top achievement, but his warm personality is what drew us to him. (Ok, sometimes it was a gruff personality but it was filled with good humor.) I'll miss him greatly. Aloha."

This tribute was added by Ron Hoeke on 12th December 2013

"I was shocked and saddened to hear of Dave's passing.  He was very much a mentor to me when we were both in Hawaii. He, far more than anyone else, gave me a foundation in scientific programming, all the while infecting me with his hilarious, often brilliantly ironic sense of humour.  I will miss him greatly.  Best wishes to all of Dave's friends and family during this sad time."

This tribute was added by Rick Stumpf on 12th December 2013

"Over some 15 years, I've worked on and off with Dave
on both Hawaii and California.  
He always brought both humor and skill, and a remarkable
capability to make things happen.  If I need to solve a bloom
on the west coast,  Dave somehow made a product today from a
conversation that took place yesterday.  If we needed a
test of an idea, he made it happen.  He was refreshing, direct
and positive.  It would have been a pleasure to work next door
to him, instead of 2500 miles away."

This tribute was added by Julie Stewart on 12th December 2013

"I am so sorry to hear about Dave. He was an incredible mentor, colleague and friend. I feel very lucky to have been able to have worked so closely with him; he taught me so much and was incredibly generous with his time and knowledge. My dog that Dave loved is named after the Terra satellite used by CoastWatch.

Dave, you will be missed."

This tribute was added by Harold Batchelder on 12th December 2013

"I'm truly shocked to learn that Dave has passed.  He was one of the the more entertaining colleagues I knew in Oceanography.  Our collaborations within PICES and through CIOSS at Oregon State University will remain with me forever.  I'm so sorry to hear of this.  He will be dearly missed by all who knew him and enjoyed his good humor and company.  Those of us who learned about accessing CoastWatch products from him really appreciated his efforts to educate us about the value of open access data sets and delivery modes.  Those who did not know him surely missed out on something great.  My sincerest well wishes to all of David's family and friends in this time of sorrow."

This tribute was added by Ben Holt on 12th December 2013

"The remaining teams of the fantasy baseball Bush League will miss the participation of Dave and his team, the Ocean Bagels, in our league. He greatly enjoyed baseball and the Dodgers."

This tribute was added by Jason Hassrick on 12th December 2013

"I'm so sorry."

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