Fred Van Dyke, Ph.D. : photo

Fred Van Dyke, Ph.D.

(231) 587-8686

Executive Director

Fred Van Dyke is Au Sable Institute Executive Director. Prior to coming to Au Sable, he served as professor and chair of the Biology Department at Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, and the director of their Environmental Studies Program.

Fred received his Ph.D. in environmental and forest biology from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York-Syracuse. He has served as a wildlife biologist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, a scientific and management consultant to the National Park Service, and an ex officio member of numerous interdisciplinary management teams of the U. S. Forest Service. His studies of wildlife ecology, plant ecology and fire ecology have been published in The Journal of Wildlife Management, The Wildlife Society Bulletin, Journal of Mammalogy, The American Biology Teacher, and in the books, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Redefining America's Wilderness Heritage (Yale University Press 1991) and The Complete Book of North American Mammals (Smithsonian Institute Press 1998).  Fred is author of the widely and internationally used textbook, Conservation Biology: Foundations, Concepts, Applications (Springer 2008).

Fred has taught on numerous areas of environmental science as well as the intersection of the natural world with ethics, policy, and theology.

Along with Au Sable’s Associate Director, Dr. David Mahan, he co-authored the book, Redeeming Creation: The Biblical Basis for Environmental Stewardship. His latest book, Between Heaven and Earth: Christian Perspectives on Environmental Protection was published in 2010.

Show Full Bio
David C. Mahan, Ph.D. : photo

David C. Mahan, Ph.D.

Associate Director and Registrar | Mancelona, MI

Since 1985, Dave Mahan has been serving Au Sable Institute at the Mancelona campus. Currently, he is the Associate Director and Registrar for the Institute. Dave earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Stream Ecology from Michigan State University.

Dave’s interest in ecology came from his childhood growing up in rural Michigan, where he spent much of his time outdoors.

Prior to coming to Au Sable, he was a biology professor at Western Michigan University and a Field Representative for the Michigan Field Office of the Nature Conservancy. These educational and occupational experiences helped him acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to teach courses at Au Sable and nurtured his life-long commitment to the conservation and restoration of land and water resources.

Dave has authored many papers on the topic of stream ecology and creation care and co-authored a book, Redeeming Creation: The Biblical Basis for Environmental Stewardship, with three colleagues, including Au Sable Executive Director, Dr. Fred Van Dyke.

Dave says, “It has been a privilege to work with the students, professors, staff and board members who have been part of this effort. Because Au Sable is a relatively small organization, all our staff wear many hats. In my case I have managed finances and people, taught multiple courses, recruited students to our program, developed relationships with leaders in the academic community all over North America, done some foundational ecological research, and been privileged to be a learner in many different settings. As our participants discover, Au Sable is more than people, buildings and the natural world. It is the synergy (and energy!) that develops when these elements are all brought together in concert with the grace of God.”

Show Full Bio
Paul Wiemerslage, M.Ed. : photo

Paul Wiemerslage, M.Ed.

Environmental Education Program Coordinator | Mancelona, MI

As Environmental Education Program Coordinator, Paul works with local schools to deliver hands-on, field-based K-12th grade environmental education experiences through our Environmental Education Program.  In addition, Paul leads the Environmental Education Internship Program (EEIP), which works to equip college graduates with the skills necessary to be effective environmental educators.

Paul took classes at Au Sable while working towards his Biology degree at Bethel University in St. Paul.  Upon graduating, Paul participated in Au Sable's Environmental Education Internship Program (EEIP) and later took on the position of the Institute's Program Assistant.  In 2009, Paul left Au Sable to pursue a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.  While completing his degree Paul worked as an instructor for the North Cascades Institute in North Cascades National Park.  Additionally, he volunteered with the Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force, leading lessons designed to raise awareness and appreciation for salmon and salmon habitat.

Paul says, "I am grateful for the transforming role Au Sable plays in so many people’s lives.  I witnessed it as a college student years ago, and I continue to witness it today in the lives of our students.  It is a testament to the importance of place, and the power of community."

An avid outdoor enthusiast, Paul loves fly-fishing, mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and photography. Slightly spontaneous and leaning towards the impulsive, he enjoys slowly working his way through no less than four books at a time.  He has never learned to sleep comfortably in a hammock, is naively optimistic about his cribbage play, and instinctively trusts anyone with dog hair on them.

Show Full Bio
Eric Bond : photo

Eric Bond

(231) 587-8686

Director of Support Services

Eric Bond is the Director of Support Services, overseeing buildings, grounds, and logistics to ensure good, sustainable operations for all our programs. He also administers the Conferences and Retreats program.

Eric first came to Au Sable as a student while pursuing his Environmental Biology degree from Cornerstone University. That initial connection had him hooked. He gained Naturalist and Water Resources Analyst certificates at Au Sable, participated as an intern for the Environmental Education Internship Program, served as a teaching assistant for the Winter Stream Ecology ecourse, and finally worked as Head of Maintenance at the Pacific Rim campus for one summer and 5+ years at the Great Lakes campus.

In 2010, Eric began outdoor education work for Camptown, Inc., taking youth in Indianapolis, Indiana out into the wilds on extensive backpacking trips. This position allowed him to share his passion for God's creation with youth from diverse backgrounds with little exposure to the outdoors.

"It is exciting to work at Au Sable helping future generations have a terrific place to learn and experience the natural world around them. The youth of today seem to be losing their ability to interact with the tangible world around them, and Au Sable provide a place where transformational learning experiences occur."

Show Full Bio
Shirley Shane : photo

Shirley Shane


Office Manager

Shirley Shane serves Au Sable Institute in the Business Office of the Great Lakes Campus.  She is responsible for day-to-day office functions, as well as student admissions and record-keeping, bookkeeping and financial reporting, and human resources duties.  

Shirley’s affiliation with Au Sable began quite some years ago when she joined the Pathway Community Church family and came here as part of various church fellowship gatheirngs.  She is currently pursuing a bachelors’ degree in Anthropology.

Show Full Bio
John Farrell : photo

John Farrell


Food Services Manager and Support Services Associate

John Farrell is the Food Service Manager and Support Service Associate at Au Sable Insitute's Great Lakes Campus. He studied educational ministry and biology at Wheaton College. His experience studying the natural world compels him to seek to help people encounter God through immersion in wild spaces.

John worked with Wheaton College's wilderness learning program, called Highroad, seasonally over the span of 12 years before stumbling into the food service industry. He enjoys being hospitable and giving students the opportunity to 'TASTE and see that the Lord is good.' He believes food culture is an important area where we can care for God's creation and foster health and well-being. John enjoys being active outside, being creative in a variety of art forms, reading and hanging out with interesting people

Show Full Bio
Rolf Bouma, M.Div./Ph.D. : photo

Rolf Bouma, M.Div./Ph.D.

(734) 668-7421

Au Sable Graduate Fellows Coordinator | Ann Arbor, MI

Rolf Bouma coordinates the Au Sable Graduate Fellows program.  He is a pastor for Academic Ministries at the Campus Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he directs the Center for Faith and Scholarship, a Christian Study Center at the University of Michigan. He also teaches environmental ethics and public policy in the University of Michigan Program in the Environment. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School with an emphasis in Environmental Law, Rolf attended seminary and is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. He has served churches in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Framingham, Massachusetts. He also received a PhD in eco-theology at Boston University and has taught theology and environmental studies at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Rolf lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Sandy, a nutrition specialist at C. S. Mott Children's Hospital. They have three children – Dieter (now working for Au Sable), Lindsey, and Jalen.  In addition to enjoying life in a college town, Rolf & Sandy enjoy traveling with the family, taking extended bike rides, and tending their 1/4 acre of God's earth in the city of Ann Arbor.  His time in Boston made him a diehard Red Sox fan and he enjoys following baseball during the spring and summer, especially since his younger son plays collegiately at Eastern Michigan University. He thinks it best to remain silent about the state of the University of Michigan football team.
Rolf’s involvement with Au Sable dates back to a forum sponsored by the Institute in the summer of 1982. He served on the Au Sable Institute board in the early 1990s and began teaching Environmental Ethics during January term. He has also taught a course in science and religion during the summer session. Since 2002 he has coordinated the Au Sable Graduate Fellows chapter at the University of Michigan and in 2004 took on coordinating the overall Graduate Fellows program. He enjoys working with graduate students in the environmental and biological sciences and finds their enthusiasm infectious. A highlight each year is bringing a set of graduate Fellows to the Mancelona campus each winter for a snowbound retreat.

Show Full Bio