On 29 October 1999, just months after Leg 184, Dr. Luejiang Wang, our friend and a member of the Shipboard Scientific Party, died in a diving accident off the coast of Hainin Island in the South China Sea. At the time, Luejiang was leading a joint Japan-China paleoclimate study supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education. The team was in its last day of field work, preparing to core a massive coral head.

Luejiang was born in Beijing in 1963. He enrolled at Beijing University in 1980 and majored in paleontology. After graduation in 1984, he joined the Marine Micropaleontology Program at Tongji University, Shanghai, to do postgraduate work. As a research student, Wang demonstrated his ability to address key scientific questions and made a significant contribution to paleoceanography in China. In 1989, he was invited to give a plenary presentation to the Third International Conference on Paleoceanography in Cambridge. This was followed by an invitation from Bremen University to lecture on similar topics. In the same year, Luejiang completed his doctoral dissertation, which was reviewed by Professors James Kennett and Michael Sarnthein. The thesis, "Late Neogene Sea-Surface Temperature History in the Western Pacific: An Experiment on a New Technique in Transfer Function," was well received and ranked in the highest five percent among top institutions.

Luejiang continued his research on the South China Sea at Tongji University until 1992, when he was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. He then pursued his research on paleosalinity in the North Atlantic at Kiel University with Professor Michael Sarnthein. In the spring of 1994, Wang sailed for two months in the South China Sea as a core member of the German-Chinese joint cruise Monitor Monsoon aboard the Sonne. Afterward, he worked for several years with Dr. Sarnthein’s group on this project, greatly contributing to the understanding of late Quaternary paleomonsoon history using high-resolution records from the South China Sea. In view of these contributions, Wang was invited to deliver plenary presentations at the Fifth International Conference on Paleoceanography in Lisbon in 1998 and then at the International Quaternary Conference in Dublin a year later.

In 1998, Luejiang joined Hokkaido University in Japan to work with Professor Tadamichi Oba and continue his research on the South China Sea. Here he coauthored the Ocean Drilling Program proposal that led to Leg 184. Luejiang was to analyze the upper part of the sequence recovered from Site 1143 in an effort to assess the Pliocene–Pleistocene history of the Western Pacific Warm Pool, a continuation of the theme begun in his Ph.D. thesis. Judging from his work on site 11470 from the Sonne cruise in 1994, this new work appeared extremely promising.

Luejiang devoted his short but significant career to the South China Sea, where he began his paleoceanographic work and where he ultimately lost his life. The entire Shipboard Scientific Party is greatly saddened by his sudden death. We dedicate this volume to Luejiang Wang, in honor of his friendship and his contributions to our knowledge of South China Sea paleoceanography. As Professor Nick McCave noted, Luejiang was the rising hope and star of Far Eastern paleoceanography. We will miss our friend greatly.

The following is a list of Luejiang’s publications:

Wang, L., 1994. Sea surface temperature history of the low latitude western Pacific during the last 5.3 million years. Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol., 108:379–436.

Wang, L., and Oba, T., 1998. Tele-connections between East Asian monsoon and the high-latitude climate: A comparison between the GISP 2 ice core record and the high resolution marine records from the Japan and the South China Seas. Quat. Res. (Tokyo), 37:211–219.

Wang, L., Sarnthein, M., Duplessy, J.-C., Erlenkeuser, H., Jung, S., and Pflaumann, U., 1995. Paleo sea surface salinities in the low-latitude Atlantic: the d18O record of Globigerinoides ruber (white). Paleoceanography, 10:749–761.

Wang, L., Sarnthein, M., Erlenkeuser, H., Grimalt, J., Grootes, P., Heilig, S., Ivanova, E., Kienast, M., Pelejero, C., and Pflaumann, U., 1999. East Asian monsoon climate during the late Pleistocene: high-resolution sediment records from the South China Sea. Mar. Geol., 156:245–284.

Wang, L., and Wang, P., 1989. An attempt at paleotemperature estimation in South China Sea using transfer function. Chin. Sci. Bull., 34:53–56.

———— , 1990. Late Quaternary paleoceanography of the South China Sea: glacial interglacial contrasts in an enclosed basin. Paleoceanography, 5:77–90.