As Herb Ward's thirty-plus years as ET&C Editor-in-Chief draw to a close, we can only offer our thanks, great respect, and sincere appreciation to him for his leadership and the effort he has put into the Journal over these past decades. Were it not for his direction and tenacity, the Journal would not have become a highly regarded publication – SETAC's original calling card in global environmental circles. Herb provided a steady hand at the helm and his sure sense of the vision for the Journal and his sustained focus on publishing the best science possible have made it highly recognized in this field. All of this was achieved with great human spirit and humor that has made Herb one of the most sought-after people at SETAC meetings.
Herb's journey with ET&C has been a great adventure, beginning with the modest gathering of SETAC founders that assigned him the Journal as a personal mission. The Journal has matured as SETAC has grown, with Society membership approaching 6,000 worldwide and ET&C's stature having risen commensurately. Beginning quarterly in 1982 with Pergamon as publisher and an annual page count of 358, ET&C as a monthly now boasts an annual page count exceeding 3,000 with a still brighter future ahead. Throughout it all, Herb has ensured the maximum standard for published science and worked constantly to bring the cutting edge to ET&C. Like Herb, ET&C has simply improved with age.
Few, if any, of the founders of SETAC have had greater impact on the development and success of the Society than Herb Ward. In recognition of his contributions, the first SETAC Exceptional Service Award was given to Herb in 1990, and in 1999, the award was renamed for him. In 1998, Herb received the SETAC Founders Award, the Society's highest award in honor of a truly outstanding career in the environmental sciences. Outside of SETAC circles, his accolades have included a plethora of prestigious national and international honors, such as becoming a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Society of Industrial Microbiology; receiving the Charles Thom Award, McKee Medal, Frederick George Pohland Medal, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Remediation; being named the Foyt Family Chair of Engineering at Rice University, and a host of others. Indeed, SETAC has been fortunate to have such a distinguished leader. On the most human of levels, SETAC members of all ages and generations have enjoyed Herb and his endless store of SETAC anecdotes, told best over a late-night libation at one of our great annual meetings. He always has encouraging words for students and frequently greets colleagues with “I have this really interesting paper I need reviewed….” Who can refuse?
We join our fellow members of SETAC in thanking Herb for all he has done for ET&C and for the Society, and wish him the best as he passes the journal leadership to Allen Burton, himself a SETAC stalwart and former Society President. Thanks for everything, Herb. We look forward to seeing you at SETAC for many years to come.