Aquaculture couple killed in avalanche

An avalanche in Idaho claimed the lives yesterday of Marsha Landolt, dean of the Graduate School and vice provost at the University of Washington, U.S.A., and her husband, Robert Busch, who worked for a division of ALPharma Inc and was an aquafeeds researcher.

January 4, 2004

Marsha Landolt joined UW as an assistant professor in the School of Fisheries in 1975, and in 1996 became dean of the Graduate School.

"This is a terrible loss," UW President Lee Huntsman said. "Our hearts go out to Marsha's and Bob's families. Marsha spent her whole career here, was a brilliant scientist, and a forceful and effective advocate for graduate education both here at the University and at the national level. The University is in mourning on this very sad day."

According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the avalanche swept down the face of Soldier Mountain and buried them and five other family members inside their family vacation cabin. The couple died; the rest of the family survived.

"They both were outstanding people," Ron Hardy, director of the Aquaculture Research Institute at the University of Idaho told the paper. "They were quite a team."

Busch, 58, had taught at Humboldt State University, Hardy said, then in early 1980s moved into industry, doing research on fish feed and aquaculture.

In 1990, Busch became the general manager of Biomed Inc., a Bellevue-based developer and manufacturer of aquaculture bacteria used to immunize fish against disease.

More on this story in The Seattle Post Intelligencer: