UC Berkeley News


Christina Jordan

03 June 2005

Christina Jordan
Christina Jordan, an administrative specialist with the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (BSL), died of a brain aneurysm on April 27, not long before her 50th birthday.

Christina attended Berkeley from 1973 to 1977 (a Regents' Scholar all four years), earning a B.A. in biological sciences. After three years at Cal State Hayward, where she earned another B.A. (in studio arts) and graduated with high honors, she studied medical and biological illustration at UC San Francisco (M.A., 1984).

She began working at Berkeley as an illustrator with the Department of Entomological Sciences, College of Natural Resources (CNR), in 1985. She was a principal illustrator when she left the department (by then part of the new Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management) in 1996. She then spent two years with the CNR Dean's Office, working on the alumni magazine, Breakthroughs. After trying her hand at freelance scientific illustration and graphic design, she returned to Cal in 1999 as an Administrative Assistant II with the BSL. Just prior to her death, Christina had been promoted to administrative specialist (executive assistant to the director and contract and grant analyst).

Barbara Romanowicz, director of the BSL, recalls Christina as "a remarkable person: smart, resourceful, able to attend to both the big picture and the details, always ready to help in emergencies, always anticipating our needs. We have lost an exceptional member of our team."

Dave Smith of the Museum of Paleontology met Christina when they were both working for CNR. "Christina was one of the most caring and thoughtful people I've known," he says. "She was also an incredibly patient and talented artist — a perfectionist, as anyone who's seen one of her scientific illustrations could tell you."

An extraordinary scientific illustrator, Christina loved art (Jan Vermeer was her favorite artist). She also enjoyed reading, good food, baking, conversation, flowers and nature, the Florida Keys and the Everglades, and walking her cat, Ziggy, with whom she shared her Oakland apartment. (Ziggy, who had health problems, survived Christina by just one week.)

Christina is survived by her mother, Mary, and sister, Victoria, a veterinarian, both of San Diego.

There will be an informal gathering of Christina's friends at the UC Botanical Garden's Conference Center on Sunday, June 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. Memorial donations in her name may be made to Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders-usa.org/donate/, (888) 392-0392). Those with thoughts, memories, or photos of Christina to share may do so at seismo.berkeley.edu/memorial/christina_jordan/.