The Gustavus Environmental Studies (ES) program celebrated its annual spring picnic on Tuesday, May 14. Thanks to an unseasonably warm May day (temps at 97 to 100 F), the picnic goers gravitated to the inside. Besides another great round of ES trivia (thanks Joel Carlin and Laura Triplett) and recognizing a great bunch of the seniors who are about to graduate, the ES program acknowledged transitions for two people who have made significant contributions to Gustavus sustainability efforts.
Chemistry prof Jeff Jeremiason has led the Environmental Studies Program for the past 11 years. During that time, many students enjoyed the benefits of his management of the program and his support for campus sustainability efforts. Dr. Jeremiason will continue teaching ES and Chemistry, but he is turning over ES program leadership to James Dontje, the Director of the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation. During the ES spring picnic, we had a chance to thank Jeff for his work on behalf of the ES program. The ES faculty gave Jeff a canoe paddle, recognize the many times he has taken his students on canoe outings.
The picnic was also the occasion for a farewell. Jim Gilbert, who was the Linnaeus Arboretum Executive Director from 1998 to 2006, continued teaching the Interpreting the Fall and Spring Landscape classes even after he stepped down as Arboretum Director. Alas for us, he is teaching the class for the last time this spring. We will miss Jim’s keen outdoor observational skills that have introduced many students to the natural world was well as his persistent encouragement for good environmental work. We planned a public thank you to Jim for his service at the ES picnic, but unfortunately for us he was not able to attend–something to do with the birth (that day!) of a new grandchild. Thank you, Jim, for all you have done for Environmental Studies and sustainability at Gustavus–best wishes on your retirement.