Professor Spotlight

Posted on September 19th, 2008 by

This fall, I am taking an environmental studies course titled Interpreting the Fall Landscape.  The course emphasizes observing, recording, and interpreting the natural environment.  As a component of the class, we will make trips to deciduous forests, tall grass prairies, wetlands and other natural areas.

Not only did the description of this class sound interesting, but the professor is famous on the Gustavus campus for his enthusiasm about the natural environment.  The instructor of the course is Jim Gilbert.  Jim is a respected naturalist and recorder of Minnesota’s flora and fauna.  He is also a consultant for WCCO radio and his observations are often found in Minneapolis Star Tribune columns.

Jim is passionate about nature.  He often remarks with a smile, “now isn’t that neat” when a Black Capped Chick-a-Dee jumps about the ground, or as he pets a bumble bee gathering nectar.  On campus, Jim has showed his students different trees that produce edible fruit.  My favorite has been the wild plum, and since Jim showed me where this tree was, I have frequently made stops to gather some of its fruit.  He told my class with a chuckle that all of us who were enjoying this natural fruit should be called “Gustie Grazers.”

Jim is an energetic instructor, and he has increased both my knowledge and interest in our natural environment.


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