Bringing the Ocean to Society
6 Mar 2019
Va multumim din suflet, Dr. Nicolae Panin!
EurOcean would like to thank Nicolae for his continued support, enthusiasm, dedication and passion that helped building our success.

Our friend and long-time collaborator, Dr. Nicoale Panin, told us at some point last year that the time for him to step down from the EurOcean organisation had arrived. Today EurOcean would like to remember the many highlights of his long career and his valuable contributions to our organisation.

Nicolae was born on 12 November 1938. He graduated as a Geologist from the Geology Faculty of the Institute of Mines and subsequently the Institute of Petroleum, Gas and Geology (1954-1959). He continued his specialization in Paris, where he presented his doctoral thesis in 1974.

He was the researcher responsible for the organization of the Marine Geology Laboratory at the Romanian Institute for Marine Research in Constanta (1970-1975). Nicolae was also the Head of the Marine Geology and Sedimentology Laboratory of the Institute of Geology and Geophysics in Bucharest (1975-1993), the Director of the Romanian Centre of Marine Geology and Geoecology (1993-1996) and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Geology and Geophysics at Bucharest University since 1988).

Between the years 1996 to 2008 he was the General Director of the National Research and Development Institute for Marine Geology and Geoecology (GeoEcoMar). During this time, Nicolae supported GeoEcoMar´s membership of EurOcean, which kicked off officially in February 2007. Since 2008, he has coordinated internal and international projects at the same institute. During his years, Nicolae organised in 2010 the 10th EurOcean Steering Committee, where he was able to share his love for the Danube Delta with all the Member representatives and Staff Officers, an experience that the selected few will never forget.

His contribution to Marine Geosciences was substantial and he published more than 90 papers and studies in Romania and abroad, as well as more than 190 reports and specialized studies.

Nicolae Panin is also the President of the Department of Geological Sciences of the Romanian Academy, President of the National Committee of the International Association for Physical Sciences of the Ocean, member of the National Geodesy and Geophysics Committee and of the Office of the Association of Geologists in Romania, among others.

In 1989, he received the Grigore Cobalcescu Prize of the Romanian Academy. He was awarded the title Palmes Académiques of the French Republic (1997) and the National Order Faithful Service as a Knight (2000). He was also a Corresponding Member of the Romanian Academy since 2003 and, since 2015, a Member.

Throughout the years, many among the EurOcean Members and Staff had the privilege to know, work and have fun with such a distinguished Romanian:

I have had the honor and pleasure of working with Nicolae for many years in EurOcean, learning to know a true gentleman with a fascination personal history and an excellent ambassador for GeoEcoMar and Romania. I have always appreciated his professional and personal opinions, giving me and many others new knowledge and insight. I was fortunate enough to visit the Danube delta with Nicolae as the host and guide on boat trips in the delta, learning from him, a true expert about the geological history of the area, and about the local communities and some of the history of the area. One of my best professional trips ever!

>> Per W. Nieuwejaar, IMR, Norway

I have been working with Nicolae since 1996, he is at the origin of the success of my career as a mentor for me and the work we carried out in collaboration was outstanding because of him. 

>> Gilles Lericolais, Ifremer, France

Panin was the treasurer of the EurOcean Foundation for many years. He carried out his duties conscientiously and professionally during that time. Also as the representative of GeoEcoMar to EurOcean, he prioritized his attendance at our annual meetings, contributing quietly and wisely to the discussions. He always had and continues to have at heart the interests of his country, the Black Sea and Marine Science, believing that it is through collaborations and human relationships that we can address together the challenges facing our Ocean and our Planet.

>> Ned Dwyer, former EurOcean Executive-Director, Ireland

I met Nicolae Panin for the first time at the EurOcean Steering Committee meeting in Capri, Italy. After shaking his hands and having introduced ourselves, I immediately thought he was that kind of wise man you would like to listen telling stories about his life and his long and eminent research career. I met him again one year after at another EurOcean event in the Azores. As soon as we landed in the island of São Miguel, he started to describe meticulously the rich geology of this beautiful volcanic island, taking my imagination back to thousands years ago, in some ancient geological era. While telling about layers of stones, volcano eruptions and incredible phenomena, his expression switched into pure happiness and excitement.

>> Margheita Zorgno, EurOcean, Italy

I only met Nicolae on a couple of occasions but every time we spoke, one word kept coming to my mind: inspiration. I have no doubts that his vast knowledge, his kind attitude and his friendly way of looking into our eyes made generations of ocean people highly admire him throughout decades and decades.

>> Tiago Garcia, EurOcean, Portugal