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RIP George Folkerts

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#1 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 05:09 PM

The Center for North American Herpetology
Lawrence, Kansas
18 December 2007

George W. Folkerts was born on 26 November 1938 and died 14 December 2007 at his residence. He was a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University for the past 38 years. He earned a B.A. degree in zoology and a M.A. degree in botany from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in herpetology from Auburn University. During his career as a teacher and researcher, George studied every aspect of nature. His comprehensive knowledge of the plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates inhabiting the southeastern United States was second to none, and he was a renowned expert in the ecology of disappearing habitat types and declining species. George's passion for conserving nature made him a leader for local, state, and national conservation efforts. Part of his legacy for these efforts was his being honored by having multiple native species named after him, including most recently the Dwarf Blackbelly Salamander (Desmognathus folkertsi).

In the late 1990s, he led a successful effort to save Auburn University's Davis Arboretum from building encroachment and ensure its preservation as a sanctuary from native plants. During his tenure as a faculty member at Auburn University, George was a dedicated teacher who loved teaching and was loved by his students. He won numerous teaching awards and exposed countless students to the wonders of the natural world both in the classroom and field. His courses were truly inspirational and his classroom teaching style was one in which students were simultaneously challenged and made to feel comfortable in the presence of a friend or mentor. He has successfully trained many graduate students who have gone on to secure positions as teachers and scientists across the United States. George was kind to all who met him, generous with the time he offered to others, and humble despite his exceptional accomplishments. He had a magnetic personality that enlivened every gathering and made him a beloved member in the local community. He is survived by his loving wife, Debbie, his sister, Trudy, his daughters, Molly and Merrill, and his son, Evan.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Nature Conservation, or plant a native tree in memory of George.

#2 Guest_Brooklamprey_*

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 09:56 PM

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Nature Conservation, or plant a native tree in memory of George.

In the spring a Shumard oak will be dedicated to him on the grounds of our facility.
Dr. Folkerts will be sincerely missed and his contributions will always be remembered.

#3 Guest_RedBeard_*

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 10:33 PM

I really miss George. I was fortunate to call him a friend. I learned so much from him.

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