Joe Burns Technology Transfer Specialist Office of Sustainability and Climate U.S. Forest Service
Remembering What Matters Whether as a scientist, planner, or engineer, public servant, consultant, or non-government conservationist; if you are reading this, there’s a Joe Burns inside you.
That inner voice looking forward to the day that transportation systems for humans coexist, maybe even harmoniously, with the natural systems that are vital to the quality and diversity of life on this planet; that’s the Joe Burns in you.
The belief in you that, with enough good information and conviction, we can solve even very big problems with a little collaboration; that’s the Joe Burns in you.
When you contribute your time and resources to the ecology and transportation community-of-practice, not simply because doing so fulfills a performance metric, but because you believe that – in so doing – the resulting relationships and achievements are worthy of sacrificed time and energy; that’s the Joe Burns in you.
And if you ever have big ideas that you feverishly communicate in so-many, maybe too-many words, but your audience listens intently anyway, because your enthusiasm for working together on innovative ideas is simply infectious; that’s the Joe Burns in you. Only weeks ago, we lost Joseph A. Burns: a friend to many, a founding member of this committee, and a ferocious advocate for collaborative conservation. So, at the 99th TRB annual meeting, and at many annual meetings to-come, those of us who knew or worked with Joe find ourselves solemnly mourning the loss of a friend and tenacious advocate for measurable and meaningful change. Going forward, it will be in what we achieve – together – that the legacy for Joe’s loving and indefatigable passion and selfless accomplishments will endure. So, whether or not you are someone fortunate-enough to have known or worked with Joe, chances are – if you are reading this – there’s a Joe Burns in you, too.
- written by Alex Levy, former Chair of ADC30 and Joe's friend and ally in transportation ecology