Matsushita, known to staff by his nickname Dr. Mat, visited HAO in 1955 and was invited to join the fledgling lab shortly thereafter. He spent the next three decades at HAO building an international reputation as a scrupulous scientist and a prolific publisher. "Many times I have gone to him for help when I couldn't understand a paper or talk on aeronomy or geomagnetism," recalled HAO and NCAR founding director Walt Roberts after Mat's death in March 1984. "He was never too busy to give help, and in his critical but gentle way, he would tell me what he thought was right or wrong about the matter I was trying to comprehend."
In 1986, Mat's wife, Kyoko, and sons, Hiromi and Hidemi, established the travel fund, enabling graduate students within HAO to attend scientific meetings, workshops, and colloquia to interact with colleagues and present results of their research. The family donated $1,000 per year during the ten-year life of the fund.
HAO kept a log of the participating students, noting the trips funded and the benefits gained. The log was presented to the Matsushita family by HAO director Michael Knölker as part of a scrapbook assembled by administrative assistant Veda Emmett. "We also included some of the original letters of appreciation that were received when a book of Dr. Matsushita's writings was compiled," Veda says. The editor of that book, Wally Campbell, a long-time scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey and NOAA, was on hand for the party. Also in attendance were four of the last five HAO directors. "We also had some former HAO staff from the 1950s and 60s," says Veda. Bob MacQueen, director of HAO when the fund was established, provided the group with some professional and personal reminiscences about Mat. BH
Other issues of Staff Notes