DR. EDWARD CHIN
The Man Who Built UGA’s Marine Complex
Dr. Edward Chin, Bishop, GA, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away July 9, 2019, at the age of 92. He was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up a Red Sox, Braves and Celtics fan. But for nearly fifty years, he called Georgia his home and the Bulldogs his team.
Dr. Chin was a marine biologist and renowned research scientist. He moved to Athens in 1970 when he joined the University of Georgia and founded the Marine Extension Service with a budget of $20,000. The Marine Extension Service operated major research, technology transfer, and education facilities at Skidaway Island, Savannah, and Brunswick. He played a key role in obtaining federal funds to construct facilities for Georgia’s first seafood marketing cooperative, Bryan Fishermen’s Cooperative, at Richmond Hill. He also secured federal funds for the Marine Education building and dormitory, shellfish research laboratory, and library on Skidaway Island and the advisory building in Brunswick. He founded the Georgia Sea Grant Program in 1971. Under his leadership, the University of Georgia became part of the National Sea Grant College Program, and in 1980, it was designated as the nation’s fifteenth Sea Grant College by the Secretary of Commerce. In 1976, he formed the Marine Sciences Program as an umbrella for the Marine Extension Service, Sea Grant Program and Marine Institute. As director, Dr. Chin committed a few teaching positions to bring a marine emphasis to various academic departments. In 1992, the Board of Regents approved the program as the School of Marine Programs, housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. He retired from the University of Georgia as Professor of Marine Sciences and Director Emeritus of the School of Marine Programs in 1995, after more than 25 years’ service.
He was a proud World War II veteran. At the age of 17, after enrolling at Harvard University, he made the courageous decision to withdraw from school and enlist in the Navy to fight in the war. When asked why he enlisted, he would reply simply, “It was the right thing to do.” In WW II, he served as a Navy corpsman with a Marine Corps battalion in the South Pacific. He went ashore with the invasion forces in the Battle of Saipan and the retaking of Guam from the Japanese. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, the American Theatre Medal, and the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Medal. Dr. Chin was a Life Member of the Marine Corps League of Athens.
After the war, he returned to Harvard and completed his B.S. in Biology in 1947. Shortly thereafter, he joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doing research on marine mollusks in New England until 1951. He received an M.S. degree in Zoology at the University of New Hampshire and a Ph.D. degree in Fisheries Science at the University of Washington. From 1955 to 1962, he led the U.S. Department of Commerce’s research program on penaeid shrimp at Galveston, Texas.
Dr. Chin then joined the world-famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, spending nearly four years as Deputy to the Director of the United States Program in Biology in the International Indian Ocean Expedition. This program was part of an international research effort involving the U.S., Russia, Great Britain, France, Norway, Sweden, Austria, India, Pakistan, and other nations. This involved operating shoreside research laboratories in India and Madagascar and two major research vessels, including the ex-presidential yacht WILLIAMSBURG. During the Southeast Pacific Expedition, a new species of mysid crustacea, Hansenomysis chini, was discovered and named after him.
From 1965 to 1970, Dr. Chin served as Associate Professor of Biology at Texas A&M University, teaching marine invertebrate zoology, marine biology, and biology of crustacea. For more than a year during this period, he also served as Director of the National Science Foundation’s Southeastern Pacific Biological Oceanography Program, an international research effort on the waters off Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. While at Texas A&M, he was on loan to the National Science Foundation for one year to establish its Biological Oceanography Program and served as its first director.
Dr. Chin’s beloved wife of 57 years, Fern, predeceased him in 2009. He is survived by two sons and two daughters, Edward, Jr. (wife, Joan Robertson), Jean (husband, Randal Walker), Joy (husband, Robert Schwartz), and James (wife, Audrey Haynes), a granddaughter, Caitlin Walker, two grandsons, J.W. and Samuel Chin, two sisters, Dorothy Pon and Lillian Chin, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at Lord & Stephens West, Monday, July 15, 2019, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. His remains will be interred with those of his wife at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to the Oconee Veterans Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 1836, Watkinsville, GA, 30677.
Lord and Stephens Funeral Homes, WEST, Watkinsville, GA is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com