Roy T. Tsuda (1939-2020) earned a PhD in botany with a minor in zoology from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee awarded in 1970. He also held an MS and BA in botany from the University of Hawai’i, awarded in 1966 and 1963, respectively.
Tsuda worked as a research associate with Botany-Herbarium Pacificum, Department of Natural Sciences at Bishop Museum in Honolulu since 2004, and was professor emeritus of Marine Biology at the University of Guam.
Although Tsuda officially retired from the University of Guam in September 1989, he returned to serve in various capacities and has made countless contributions to the university. Tsuda served as a researcher and consultant for the University of Guam Marine Laboratory from 2001 to 2004, where he conducted independent basic research on marine benthic algae, and did limited contractual work on UOG Laboratory projects as a licensed consultant. In 2000, Tsuda accepted the appointment from the Board of Regents to serve as University of Guam interim president. During his tenure from December 2000 to October 2001, Tsuda worked with the university community to erase its probational status issued by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Tsuda held several titles throughout his career of over 20 years at the University of Guam. From 1984 to 1989 he was vice president for Academic Affairs and concurrently served as interim president from 1987 to 1988. He was dean of Graduate School and Research from 1978 to 1984 and concurrently served as interim vice president for Operations and Support Services from July 1983 to October 1983, as well as, Sea Grant coordinator from 1978 to 1984. Tsuda administered all graduate programs, coordinated research units at Micronesian Area Research Center, Marine Laboratory and Water and Energy Research Institute and served as the East-West Center and Fulbright-Hays Program representative for Guam. He also served on numerous committees throughout his time at the university including the University Academic Affairs Committee, Committee on the Future of the University and Board of Regents Student Financial Assistance Committee.
Tsuda was director of the Marine Laboratory from 1974 to 1976 and was general editor of Micronesica, journal of the University of Guam from 1973 to 1976. From 1974 to 1989, Tsuda held the title of professor at the Marine Laboratory and was the first faculty member to be granted tenure by the Tenure Committee and Board of Regents in 1977. Throughout his career at the UOG Marine Laboratory, Tsuda completed numerous environmental surveys in Guam and throughout the islands of CNMI, FSM, Palau, and the Marshalls.
Tsuda’s teaching experience at UOG included undergraduate courses such as General Biology, General Botany and Plant Classification, and graduate courses such as Marine Botany, Biological Literature and Scientific Writing, and Marine Ecology. Additionally, Tsuda served as a visiting lecturer in the Department of Botany at the University of Hawai’i.
Dr. Tsuda’s experience also included chief of environmental services for Guam firm, Dueñas & Associates from 1990 to 2000. From January 1990 to March 1990, he worked as a foreign visiting researcher at the University of the Ryukyus, Sesoko Marine Science Center in Okinawa where he did independent research and published journal articles on seaweeds and sea grasses of the Ryukyu Islands.
Tsuda served on and chaired many regional, national and international scientific committees including the Coral Reef Committees of the Pacific Science Association and International Association of Biological Oceanography. He has also held several short-term regional and international assignments in New Caledonia, U.S.S.R, Philippines, Indonesia, China and Chile.
His research has been widely published as book chapters, technical reports and journal articles. He has also served as principal or co-principle investigator for research grants from organizations such as U.S. Sea Grant Office, University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program, USAID via University of Washington, Guam Coastal Management Program and Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, NOAA.
Dr. Tsuda was lauded for his efforts in the form of several resolutions from the University of Guam and he is also the recipient of awards from the Government of Guam, the Guam Legislature and University of Hawai’i.