Terry Siegel is 2015's MASNA Aquarist of the Year!
Whether for Advanced Aquarist, the Marine Aquarist, or Aquarium Frontiers, nearly every Marine Aquarium Society of North America's past Aquarist of the Year honorees have written for a Terry Siegel publication.
Finally, it's Terry's turn to be recognized for his contributions to the science and art of aquarium-keeping.
Terry Siegel's impact on our hobby is nothing short of profound. Terry helped transform aquarium-keeping (particularly marine aquariums) into the data-driven hobby that it is today, ushering in an era when snake-oil salesman, anecdotal observation, and loose marketing statements stood accountable to science. Aquarists who only started their journey in this hobby within the past couple of decades can not fully appreciate how far our hobby has come nor how much Terry has played a role in its progression.
Congrats, Terry, on the most deserving (and, quite frankly, overdue) award. Thank you for all you've done for our hobby.
And now, MASNA's 2015 Aquarist of the Year himself:
Fellow Aquarists, and especially to those who have become coralaholics,
Thank you very much for this award. I actually remember when I began this splendid journey of aquarium keeping; it began over 70 years ago. When I was about seven or eight years old I was invited to have lunch with a friend of mine at his house. And in his house was a room divider between the kitchen and the dining room. As I recall, it was approximately 4 feet high and on it was a 20 gallon aquarium. The aquarium was filled with giant Sagittarius, which grew from the gravel bottom to the surface and then bent over some. On many of the leaves of the Sagittarius were red snails. There was also a school of at least a dozen neon tetras.
I suppose you could call it love at first sight. It was not long after that that I had a 5 gallon, 10 gallon, and 15 gallon freshwater tanks in my bedroom. Eventually, those tanks were replaced by a large discus tank, then a variety of saltwater tanks, which housed marine fish. Eventually, fish-only tanks were replaced by reef tanks.
In those early days, John Miklosz and I started a publication called the Marine Aquarist. After that publication, Julian Sprung and Danny Ramirez and I started Aquarium Frontiers, and now I edit Advanced Aquarist. As I said it has been a splendid journey - a journey that is still going strong.
I want to mention three individuals that are no longer with us but who were important to those publications: Professor Doug Robbins, who did most of our book reviews, Greg Schiemer, who was as good at reef keepers as anyone I’ve ever known and who did most of the product reviews for Aquarium Frontiers. And finally, my dear friend from Switzerland, Peter Wilkins, who in my estimation was the true father of reefkeeping. If you’ve never read any of his books, you owe it to yourself to do so.
Once again, thank you very much for this award.
- Terry Siegel