Eric introduced me to the California pygmy octopus, Octopus micropyrsus, which would proceed to fascinate me for the rest of my undergraduate career. I saw more of them in jars than I ever did alive, though I kept doggedly digging through kelp holdfasts trying to find them. Reclusive little beasts.
Loan Program Specimen, John Sanborn for SDNHM
Anyway, the POINT is that Eric Hochberg is one of my heroes, and he's just retired after a long and fruitful career:
“Eric is a wonderful and rare human being with a remarkable range of talents. He is not only an acclaimed scientist, but also a great naturalist, an artist, an author of both scientific and popular writings, and a great mentor of young people,” said Dr. Karl Hutterer, Museum Executive Director. “His contributions to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History have been enormous, but his impact goes far beyond the walls of our institution.”Of course, scientists are terrible at retiring, so Eric is actually going to keep working as a Curator Emeritus and mentor to students in the museum's teen program. They're lucky to have him.