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UAF loses longtime science faculty member

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: (907) 474-7778


Doug Schamel
University of Alaska Fairbanks Associate Professor of Wildlife Biology, Doug Schamel has died at the age of 55. His death, apparently from natural causes, was sudden and unexpected.

Schamel made numerous contributions to the university over the 30 years since receiving his master's degree in wildlife management from UAF in 1974. He began his professional career as a research aide with UAF's Institute of Marine Science and the Institute of Arctic Biology, then became an instructor and assistant professor with the biology and wildlife department. After receiving his Ph.D., Schamel was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor in 2001.

"Schamel's public service leadership in the sciences inspired many teachers and students to become more involved in scientific endeavors," said UAF Chancellor Steve Jones in a letter sent to the campus community Tuesday. "He encouraged young scientists to submerge themselves in the world of science by first looking at the world around them." Associate Professor Doug Schamel inspects a sample with his Natural History of Alaska class.

In the past decade his focus was on science education. He co-founded the Alaska Statewide High School Science Symposium, was co-director of the UAF Alaska Summer Research Academy, initiated Fairbanks' first "Science Imaginarium" in cooperation with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and was a strong supporter and leader of the FNSB District Science Fair. He was instrumental in outreach to form partnerships between the university and local schools.

"Doug's death will have a long-term and significant effect on this community," said friend and colleague Gary Laursen, professor at IAB. "There's hardly a student, from the local elementary schools to the university, who hasn't been influenced in some way by his passion for science."

Schamel received the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Service Award in 1994, the Outstanding Science Teaching Award from the Society for College Science Teachers and UAF's Outstanding Advisor Award four times since 1999.

He received his bachelor's degree from Allegheny College in 1971, his master's degree from UAF in 1974 and his Ph.D from Simon Fraser University in 2001.

High resolution photos are available for download.

Share your thoughts about Doug Schamel. Messages will be compiled and presented to the family as a memorial keepsake.

A Celebration of Life memorial gathering for Doug Schamel will be held on the UAF campus Friday, April 8 at 4:30 p.m. in the Charles W. Davis Concert Hall. The community is welcome.

Visitors are encouraged to park in the lower campus parking lots and take the shuttle. There will be free shuttles running before and after the event. Watch for the signs at campus entrances directing you to the event parking. For parking questions please call 474-PARK, or 474-7275.

Doug Schamel's family has established a memorial fund to provide sponsorship grants to foster cooperation between UAF and the Fairbanks community. The fund seeks to promote science education and enthusiasm in K-12 age education. It will carry on Doug's personal commitment to encourage the innate curiosity of school children and instill a zeal for science. Contributions to the Douglas L Schamel Memorial Fund can be sent to the following address:

UAF Advancement Services
207 Eielson
P.O. Box 757530
Fairbanks, AK 99775 or give online at www.uaf.edu/giving

Read more about Doug Schamel in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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