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Letter from Dr. Bill Harman

Harman: ‘My Thanks to All’

Wow! I am honored, humbled and thankful for the tremendous article (“Harman reflects…”, 1/25/24) and all the touching tributes shared in “The Freeman’s Journal” and the “Hometown Oneonta” papers, regarding my retirement. Thank you.

The list is long, and I cherish every one of the expressions made by Martha and Paul Clarvoe, Chip and Nancy Northrup, Otsego County Conservation Association, Otsego 2000, Otsego Land Trust, the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, Sam Smith’s Boatyard, the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership, SUNY Oneonta, the Cooperstown Graduate Program,, Jane Forbes Clark, and the directors of the Clark and Scriven foundations.

Quotes from individuals mentioned in the article and others are especially appreciated since they are among the many people and organizations who have contributed to our efforts. These include SUNY Oneonta President Royal Netzer in 1968 for the opportunity to develop the BFS. The continuing support of administrators, faculty, staff, and students to this day, the entire BFS team, especially long-timers Matt Albright and Holly Waterfield. Steven C. Clark, who originally donated the land for the BFS, Jane Forbes Clark and the Clark and Scriven foundations for their ongoing support, Rufus J. Thayer for the farm. Willis D. Hadley, Louis Hager Jr., W. T. Sampson Smith, Dr. Ted Peters, Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, Robert Poulson, Donna Vogler, the Watershed Supervisory Committee, Upstate Freshwater Institute’s Dave Andrews, Dean Tracy Allen, Joe Homburger and the many others that supported us over the years.

My work for the past six decades has been my passion and a labor of love. I truly appreciate the accolades, but would emphasize that it takes a community—our community of concerned stakeholders—who have provided long-term support and contributions to the efforts at the Biological Field Station. Once again, my thanks. I am grateful for the outpouring of congratulations and acknowledgment of our efforts. But it’s truly your endeavors and support that has made all the difference. I am confident that the work that has been accomplished in the past will continue.

It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with so many concerned, active, able, and willing individuals, groups, and agencies to maintain the quality of our Lake Otsego and the surrounding environment. My thanks once again to those who have contributed over the years to the success of our work; we can all be proud.

Dr. Willard N. Harman


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