Orin Gelderloos named professor emeritus of environmental studies

August 11, 2021

The U-M Regents name Orin G. Gelderloos, professor emeritus of environmental studies.

At their July 2021 meeting, the U-M Regents named Orin G. Gelderloos, professor emeritus of environmental studies. Below is his retirement memoir and the video of his Legacy Lecture presented on May 21, 2021.

Orin G. Gelderloos, Ph.D., professor of environmental studies in the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, retired from active status on June 30, 2019.

Professor Gelderloos received his A.B. (1961) degree from Calvin College, his M.A. (1964) degree from Western Michigan University, and his Ph.D. (1970) degree from Northwestern University. He joined the University of Michigan-Dearborn faculty as an assistant professor in 1970, and was promoted to associate professor in 1973, and professor in 1977.

Initially, Professor Gelderloos’ research focused on biological rhythms of the desert iguana and transitioned to humans and their impacts on urban environments. Through grants from the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, he directed many multi-year educational programs for middle and high school teachers to incorporate environmental studies and science into their curricula. Professor Gelderloos also connected with the community by developing a mobile app for a historical self-guided tour of the Rouge River Watershed. Throughout his career, Professor Gelderloos strongly advocated for holistic environmental education locally and globally. He regularly taught Ecology of the Indian Tropics, a course offered in Tamil Nadu, South India and supported by the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies.

Professor Gelderloos served in numerous administrative roles at the university. He initiated the Environmental Studies and Environmental Science programs, served as chair of the biological sciences discipline, director of the Environmental Interpretive Center, director of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, and chair of the earth and environment discipline. He also served as chair and board member of the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, and served three terms as a member of the Board of Trustees of Calvin College. Furthermore, he was a frequent guest presenter on the annual Friends of the Rouge Dinner Cruise on the Detroit and Rouge Rivers.
Among the many distinguished awards bestowed upon him, Professor Gelderloos was awarded the prestigious and inaugural Eugene Arden Award for Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research in 2012. He was also the recipient of the STEM Professor of the Year Award in Michigan in 2014 and was recognized as a Green Leader of Michigan by the Detroit Free Press in 2010.

The Regents now salute this distinguished biologist by naming Orin G. Gelderloos, professor emeritus of environmental studies.

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