In Memoriam: Celeste Fowler


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death March 21, 2004 of Joint Program student Celeste Fowler in Boston at age 32 after a brief battle with cancer.

Celeste was a first year graduate student working toward a Ph.D. degree in the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department under her WHOI advisor, Hanumant Singh. Diagnosed two months ago with metastasized melanoma, she faced her death with dignity and grace while optimistically hoping for a miracle.

Celeste attended St. Mary's School in Oneonta, NY through eighth grade and graduated from The Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA in 1990. She attended Princeton University, graduating in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in computer science. Following graduation Celeste worked for Silicon Graphics computer systems as a senior engineer from 1994 to 1999. She then worked briefly with Jules Jaffe at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography researching copepod behavior before joining the staff at AvantGo in 2000 as a senior software engineer and manager.

After leaving AvantGo in 2002, Celeste moved to Kona, Hawaii, where she worked at, a stock photo company, and pursued her passion for SCUBA diving and underwater photography. Celeste was a published photographer; she had NOAA research diving certification and worked with underwater photographer Doug Perrine.

Celeste applied for and was accepted into the MIT/WHOI Joint Graduate Program as an MIT Presidential Fellow in 2003. Her calm demeanor and unflagging spirit led her to work on a variety of research problems at WHOI, including CT scans of coral with Anne Cohen in the Geology and Geophysics Department and imaging and robotics research at the Deep Submergence Laboratory in the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department.

She is survived by her parents, Dennis and Margaret Fowler of Otego, NY, several aunts, uncles and cousins, and many friends. Funeral arrangements are private.   A celebration of life will be held in Woods Hole on Saturday, April 3, at 2:00 pm in Redfield Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Exhibit Center, 15 School Street.


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Celeste Fowler

Celeste Fowler