Farewell to Mike Harvey
- AUTHORDeep South Challenge Team
- PHOTOGRAPHYEli Duke
Farewell to Mike Harvey
Me mihi poroporoaki ki a koe, e te pāpā, e te hoa pūmau o Lorna, e te hoa, haere, haere. Tangi ana te ngākau moū kua riro nei. Ko te utu o te aroha, ko te mamae, e moe, e moe, e moe.
We must farewell Mike – a father, Lorna’s loved and loving partner, our dear colleague. Our hearts weep for you and for what has been taken. What is the consequence of love? It’s pain. Sleep peacefully, friend, sleep.
It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the death of our colleague and friend, Mike Harvey. Mike, a climate champion and NIWA scientist for 29 years, has for some years been the lead of our Processes & Observations programme.
Olaf Morgenstern, long-term friend and colleague of Mike, and lead of our Earth Systems Modelling and Projections programme, says, “I have lost an esteemed colleague, a pillar of our science, and a friend. He was among the first Wellington NIWA people I got to know because he was leading the Lauder team [where Olaf first landed in Aotearoa]. I remember the funny conversations we had in the bike shed, where he would park his converted e-bike which he used regularly. He was such a balanced character, always calm, in good humour, and pleasant to be with.”
Mike joined our Challenge Leadership Team in 2019, after contributing as a researcher to our major Clouds and Aerosols project. He had a long-term interest in improving our understanding of processes that drive the climate system, and climate change, to better understand the efficacy of climate mitigation actions. Our previous Challenge Director Mike Williams says, “Mike had two roles in the Deep South Challenge. As a researcher, Mike was a leader in the measurement of clouds and aerosols in the Southern Ocean. He developed a strong collaboration with the University of Canterbury, which saw observational campaigns on several Tangaroa and NZ Navy voyages in the Southern Ocean. This work is highly regarded and has underpinned significant changes in how clouds and aerosols are modelled and hence how they impact climate projections. Mike was a quietly spoken but effective leader for the Processes and Observations programme. He coordinated funding to establish fundamental observation programmes for the Challenge and oversaw these with enthusiasm. Mike’s leadership in this space ensured that Challenge research was highly effective.”
Mike Harvey was one of those wonderful scientists who lived in alignment with the findings of his research. He was an innovator of tech to reduce his and his family’s carbon footprint, and was involved in many NIWA initiatives to count and track greenhouse gas emissions. In an interview in 2019, Mike said, “If I jump on to the wheels of emotion, I mainly feel optimistic. Trying out new things is always interesting and in finding things that work, I see there are practical actions I can take that make a tiny difference, but that can scale to something useful with collective action.”
There is still time to get it right.Mike Harvey
More recently, Mike contributed to our submission on the draft National Adaptation Plan in May. After a long discussion on the shortcomings of the plan, Mike chimed in, reminding us that, “There is still time to get it right.” This message of hope we will continue to reflect on.
The Deep South Challenge has always experimented with supporting or initiating different kinds of storytelling to drive climate adaptation. These long-form magazine features allow us to weave different research projects into new patterns, helping us to see our research in different ways.