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Edward L. Miles


1939 - 2016
Edward L. Miles Obituary
Edward L. Miles

1939 ~ 2016

Edward L. Miles, husband, father, grandfather, Bloedel Professor Emeritus of Marine Studies and Public Affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle, and an internationally recognized authority on the regional impacts of climate change, ocean acidification, and other global problems involving the climate and marine environment died at his home in Seattle, Washington on May 7, 2016, surrounded by family.

Born in 1939, to a seafaring family in Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Miles lost his mother at an early age and developed a strong bond with his father and sisters that would last his lifetime. Family remained tremendously important to him and he devoted special attention to his children and their development, even as his work took him overseas for weeks at a time on a regular basis. A bon vivant who loved a good story, food, wine, and music of all kinds, Miles was a great host of parties, for which he enjoyed doing the cooking. He also was passionate about the arts, especially opera, and served on the board of directors for the Seattle Opera from 2006 to 2012.

Ed Miles immigrated to the United States in 1959 to attend Howard University, where he graduated in 1962 with a B.A. magna cum laude, in History. He earned a Ph.D in International Relations from the University of Denver in 1965. Miles joined the University of Denver faculty that year. In 1974, Miles moved to Seattle to become one of the founding faculty members of the Institute for Marine Studies (now School of Marine and Environmental Affairs) at the University of Washington. Miles remained actively involved as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Washington until his retirement in 2010.

Over the course of his career, Miles produced over 70 books, articles, and papers. In 2003, Miles became one of the first four African-Americans inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, as well as its first member who did not hold a science degree. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. A long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Miles served on numerous other distinguished bodies in the U.S. and around the world over the course of his career.

He is survived by his wife of ten years, Adrienne Karpov; children, Anthony Miles (Erica) and Leila Miles; children by marriage, Miriam Karpov, Mia Karpov (Stefan Kamola), Aneil Singha, Jeramy Jiracek (Amanda), and Maile O'Hara

(Kofi Bentsi-Enchill); grand-children, Kayla, Yasmin, Blake, Lars, David, Kojo, and Kobi; his sisters, Monica Bowyer and Yvonne Farmer of Trinidad, and Janice Reid of Jamaica; several nieces and a nephew; and a global network of cherished friends, colleagues and former students. Miles's first marriage to Wanda Numen, who survives, ended in divorce, and he was preceded in death by his second wife, Margaret O'Hara.

Plans for a public memorial will be announced in the future. In lieu of flowers or other contributions, the family requests that those wishing to make a gift in tribute to Ed's life please consider furthering his legacy by donating to the Ed Miles Memorial Scholarship Fund (UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs) in support of students focusing on the effects and management of climate fluctuations, and/or the Climate Impacts Group Innovation Fund (UW Climate Impacts Group), in support of science-based efforts to build climate resilience for ecosystems and communities. Information on making a donation to these funds is available at the UW Foundation Website or by calling 206-221-6808.

A public website for sharing memories and tributes to Ed can be found at http://www.inlovingmemoryofedmiles.com/.
Published in The Seattle Times from May 19 to May 20, 2016
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