Paul Igag as we usually saw him, smiling and laughing
This online memorial was created in loving memory of Paul Igag. Paul touched many people around the world. He was generous and a superb teacher. We hope we can build a good profile of Paul's life here and create a lasting record and tribute of all his accomplishments and all the ways he kindly helped others. Please add to the guest book and help us build a biography that will be both a tribute and an inspiration to those who follow him. Paul was a leader for our team of biologists and was affectionately known as "Uncle Paul." Anyone could go to Uncle Paul for help and he could always keep us happy and grounded in what is really important when worried or stressed. His loss is sorely felt already.
Paul was PNG's first home-grown ornithologist. He bridged the world of village PNG and Western Academia. In the field Paul worked well with local assistants and he always trained up a good team of young men and women to help with his various field projects. Back in town, Paul collaborated with top ornithologists worldwide.
Paul's research covered many topics, but his real passion was large parrots. He made important discoveries about Palm Cockatoos and Vulturine Parrots that have and will continue to help guide conservation of these threatened species.
Outside of work, Paul was alwayse generous and big hearted. We would know something was seriously seriously wrong if Paul seemed to become angry, because Paul was always happy and keeping us laughing even in the most aggravating or infuriating circumstances. Often from my office I would hear Paul telling a story, then break into his infectious laugh at the punchline and everyone else would laugh too. When this happened I knew it was time to stop working and go hear the next story.
One person's words are not enough, so please add to this tribute to Paul. We all grieve, but we should also celebrate how lucky we were to have been in the presence of such a wonderful man.
UPDATE 1 December 2010: For information on special viewings of the documentary on Birds of Paradise commemorating Paul go to: http://boothfilms.com/articles/2010/11/9/a-sad-goodbye-to-ornithologist-paul-igag