After 15 years with the management team for ARM’s Tropical Western Pacific site office, Larry Jones is saying goodbye to his co-workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and colleagues throughout the ARM Facility. He said that ARM’s overall purpose toward improving climate science made him proud of the work he did every day, and he will especially miss the closeness of the TWP team, including their overseas operations teams.
“This is the best job I ever had; I am so lucky,” said Jones. “It was a really hard decision to retire.”
Jones stepped into the TWP operations manager role just after the Manus Island site on Papua New Guinea was installed in 1996. He then helped lead the subsequent TWP installations at Nauru Island and Darwin, Australia. He also assisted his colleagues at LANL in the deployment of the first ARM Mobile Facility. In July 2011, he transitioned to a part-time role focused on special projects for the TWP and AMF1, such as coordinating the Recovery Act upgrades.
Through the years, he was continually amazed at the dedication of the local operators and educators at the island sites. He said that working one-on-one with people from completely different backgrounds day-in and day-out gave him a better appreciation of the world in general, but also helped him understand that we’re all basically the same, “just trying to live a good life and get by.”
“This was a really special job with extremely personal relationships,” he said, advising anyone in this role to “appreciate the situation of each site, and above all, treat everyone with respect.”
Kim Nitschke, Facility Oversight for the TWP site office, said that friends, colleagues and acquaintances that Larry made over the years will miss his friendly and above-and-beyond efforts not only in support of the ARM Facility but also for his genuine appreciation and care for local community groups and schools.
“His colleagues at Los Alamos recognize that they have huge flip flops to fill and he will be sorely missed,” said Nitschke.
Jones joined LANL in 1988 and worked in the facilities engineering department before joining the ARM team. He said he plans to return to engineering consulting on a part time basis, while making time to do “a lot more fishing” and traveling with his wife, Tina.
Best wishes, Larry!