Philip Allen Neher, November 19, l934 - March 23, 2009

By Judith Neher

Philip Allen Neher, Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia, died on March 23, 2009 at his home in Philomath, Oregon. Professor Neher was born in Pasadena, California, the son of Dr. H. Victor and Sara Neher. His childhood was spent in Arlington, Massachusetts and later in Pasadena, where his father was a Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology.

Following his graduation from Pomona College in Claremont, California with a degree In economics, he enrolled in the Officers Training School in the U. S. Navy. Upon completing his training as a lieutenant, he flew carrier-based anti-submarine aircraft and served as the Avionics Officer in his squadron. When his four-year tour of duty was completed, he was accepted for graduate studies in Economics at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

He had completed one year toward his PhD, when he was called back into service in the Navy. His squadron was deployed to Guantanamo Naval Air Station in Cuba. After his release from active duty, he married Judith Colby, whom he had met in Claremont. He and his wife spent the next four years in Providence where he received his PhD. in 1966.

Following his graduation, he accepted a position at the Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia and was appointed Full Professor in 1975. His areas of interest included Capital theory, Economic Development, and the Economics of Natural Resources. He taught both undergraduate and graduate Courses in these areas, and was a dedicated and creative teacher. He wrote two text books and co-authored three others. Many of today’s active natural resource and environmental economists received their first exposure to dynamics through his handbook, Natural Resource Economics. He also published numerous articles and book reviews in Canadian, American, British and Australian professional journals.

One of Professor Neher’s major interests was in the development of practices for sustainable fisheries. With his colleagues in the UBC Natural Resources Study Group and in Iceland, a new model for sustainable fisheries was developed, and is now being implemented in many countries. In 1988 he and his colleague, Ragnar Arnason, organized and directed a conference, Scientific Foundations for Rights Based Fishing, which took place in Reykjavik, Iceland. He also served on the program committee for a conference, Operations Research and Management in Fisheries, which was held in Portugal in 1990. He continued to work actively in this area until his retirement.