Melanie Mattson was one of the founding Editors of the FluWiki, its initial “public face,” the official publisher, and our colleague. More importantly she was our friend. We are grieved to announce her unexpected death.
On her blog, Just a Bump in the Beltway, Melanie was among the first on the internet to understand and write about the significance of reported human cases of avian influenza as a potential harbinger of a pandemic. She joined forces with us to start the FluWiki in June 2005 where she was a dedicated and innovative practitioner of a new medium, collective information generation and dissemination. At the time of her death she was engaged in expanding what she learned from her blog and FluWiki to a wide range of natural disasters.
Melanie was a wonderful human being, a lovely person and a Grand Lady in every sense of that term. Melanie sometimes used salty language, could be bluntly honest and had an irreverent and earthy sense of humor, so she would no doubt be amused to be referred to as a Grand Lady. But that’s what she was and still survives in the affection of those of us fortunate to have known her. She’ll be missed.
–DemFromCT, pogge, The Reveres