William Goran (Bill), a long-time member of the SERDP and ESTCP family, passed away on March 5, 2015, after a courageous two-year battle with lymphoma. In recent years Bill became a national leader in environmental sustainability. He established the Army’s Center for Advancement of Sustainability Initiatives (CASI) in 2006 and was its first Director, and he co-founded the Federal Interagency Forum on Climate Change in 2007. Bill was named the federal government's "Climate Champion of 2014" and he received the Green Government Presidential Award for his pioneering efforts on climate change.
Bill played a prominent role in the early history of both SERDP and ESTCP beginning in the early and mid-1990s, and he continued to engage with SERDP, especially with respect to climate change, until very recently. Through various leadership positions with the Army Corps of Engineers, Bill became a strong advocate of cutting-edge, actionable science. He served on various technical oversight committees associated with the programs through the late 2000s and was a constant source of innovative ideas for SERDP Statements of Need (SONs) and ESTCP topics. Bill also was instrumental in initiating a dialogue between SERDP/ESTCP and the Army Corps Engineer Research and Development Center to coordinate research across the two organizations.
In 1998, at the request of then SERDP Executive Director Brad Smith, Bill was asked to lead the development of the initial SERDP Ecosystem Management Project (SEMP) management plan for execution at Fort Benning, Georgia. The concept of SEMP was to use an Army installation with significant land acreage similar to a National Science Foundation, Long-Term Ecological Research site to study military land-use impacts. Amidst other responsibilities, Bill then took on the role as Coordinator of SEMP and oversaw its implementation and management from 2000 to 2005. The successful SEMP effort led SERDP to a follow-on ecosystem-based research effort at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune starting in 2006 and ongoing today: the Defense Coastal/Estuarine Research Program (DCERP). Bill’s contributions to “cutting our teeth” in establishing these complicated endeavors are providing long-term dividends in advancing ecosystem science and making it meaningful to the Department of Defense’s management and stewardship of it natural resources within a military land-use context.
We here at SERDP/ESTCP will remember Bill as a lover of life, giving individual, and trusted friend. We will miss him.