Geoscientist and National Geographic Young Explorers Grantee Andrés Ruzo will headline the Captain David R. “Chip” Herr, Jr. ’80 Memorial Lecture on Monday, September 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the FWCD Scott Theater. Ruzo is a scientist, author, science communicator and education, who in 2011 became the first geoscientist granted permission to study the sacred Boiling River of the Amazon. Ruzo believes that environmental responsibility and economic property can go hand in hand, and he uses science to unite both aims.
Geoscientist and National Geographic Young Explorers Grantee Andrés Ruzo
will headline the Captain David R. “Chip” Herr, Jr. ’80 Memorial Lecture
on Monday, September 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the FWCD Scott Theater.
Ruzo is a scientist, author, science communicator and educator, who in 2011 became the first geoscientist granted permission to study the sacred Boiling River of the Amazon. Ruzo believes that environmental responsibility and economic prosperity can go hand in hand, and he uses science to unite both aims.
Ruzo is the founder and director of the “Boiling River Project,” a nonprofit dedicated to understanding and protecting the Boiling River by bringing together modern science and traditional Amazonian knowledge.
A TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) speaker, TED book author, National Geographic explorer
and contributor to National Geographic
Learning educational materials, Ruzo holds degrees in Geology and
Finance from Southern Methodist University, where he is
currently finishing a Ph.D. in Geophysics.
About Chip Herr ’80
Herr entered FWCD as a fourth-grader, where his mother, Connie, taught middle school math. He excelled as a student and earned 11 varsity letters in cross country, soccer and baseball. He attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, where he earned a degree in geology and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marines with orders to the Basic School at Quantico, Virginia.
After the Basic Officer Course, Herr was ordered to flight school at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, where he earned designation as a naval aviator and pilot of UH-1 helicopters. Herr’s first tour of duty was with Marine Light Air Attack Squadron 369, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39, of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. It was from MAG 39 that Herr’s squadron was ordered to the Persian Gulf in August 1990, the first Marine squadron ordered into theater after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Herr’s helicopter malfunctioned and crashed in eastern Saudi Arabia during a noncombat mission on February 3, 1991. He was buried with full military honors at Greenwood Cemetery in Dallas.
The lecture series began in 2009 in response to a void that Bill Arnold '86, then Upper School history teacher and now head of Upper School, saw at Fort Worth Country Day. “We wanted a way to honor Chip’s memory and thought a lecture series would be fitting,” he recalled. “When Chip died, it was big news because he was the first known Desert Storm/Gulf War casualty in Fort Worth.”
For Arnold, this lecture series is also personal. He is friends with Herr’s mom who attends the lecture each year. “It is important to Connie that we do this,” Arnold noted. During the evening event, Connie will place a wreath on her son’s memorial stone, a duplicate of the headstone that marks his grave, which is located in the FWCD Veterans’ Garden. “This lecture series truly honors both Chip and Connie,” Arnold said.