About

Staff

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.

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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.”

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Dieter Bouma, M.S./M.P.P. : photo

Dieter Bouma, M.S./M.P.P.

(616) 617-0209

Communications, Development, and Recruitment Coordinator | Ann Arbor, MI

Since 2010, Dieter Bouma has served as the Assistant for Recruitment, Development, and Communications at Au Sable. He is responsible for coordinating outreach to prospective Au Sable students, faculty representatives at our partner and participating colleges, and alumni, supporters, and groupies throughout the world.

His involvement with Au Sable, however, goes back to his days as cook (Summer 2002), student (2004 and 2005), and Au Sable graduate fellow (2007-2010). Still, his favorite job remains as broomball player, instructor, and personal trainer (1992-present), which he began when his dad first started teaching ”Environmental Ethics” at Au Sable during January Term.

Dieter completed a MS/MPP program at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in 2010. It was during his three years at UM that he participated in Au Sable’s Graduate Fellowship program [link to grad fellows website]. His Master’s research brought him to the mountains and hills of Nepal where he studied community-based conservation and adaptation efforts. Dieter’s passion is for heeding God’s call to be good environmental stewards and seeking justice by finding ways for conservation, development, and human rights to coexist.

Prior to entering graduate school, he worked as a watershed specialist for the Huron River Watershed Council and the City of Ann Arbor. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in International Development from Calvin College, where he coordinated the Calvin Environmental Assessment Program (CEAP), served as member of the Environmental Stewardship Coalition (ESC), and contributed as a member of Grand Rapids Mayor Heartwell’s Environmental Advisory Council.

Dieter says, “Au Sable has impacted my life in such a profound way, it is difficult to disentangle the ways its shaped, and continues to shape, my path toward caring for God’s creation in important and meaningful ways. I love working for Au Sable because I get to invite students to come to a place that will have that type of enduring impact on the rest of their lives as well.”

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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.

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Lynn Drew : photo

Lynn Drew

Admissions Office Manager | Mancelona, MI

Lynn Drew is the Admissions Office Manager at Au Sable Institute. Her job is all-encompassing, from helping students register for courses to aiding a faculty member in getting a motorboat started out on Louie’s Pond.

Lynn’s passion for creation care and nature goes back to her days at Michigan State University where she received her B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife. Lynn received her teaching certification in Biology and took Master’s-level courses in school administration at Grand Valley State University.

Lynn has taught middle and high school science and even homeschooled her two children through 8th grade. She and her family moved to the Mancelona, Michigan area because they wanted to work and live where they always spent their vacations.

She says, “I enjoy working here because of the community created here. It is not just a place to work, but a place to build relationships.”

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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.

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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.”
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Susan Norman : photo

Susan Norman

(616) 526-9952

Business Manager

Susan Norman is the Business Manager for Au Sable Institute. She received her B.S. in Accountancy from Calvin College, and has used her skills in accounting to aid non-profit organizations in practicing sound fiscal management. 

 

Working part-time from Au Sable's Grand Rapids office, Susan supports the ministry of the Institute by translating financial data and reports into meaningful information for biologists.  

Susan credits her father for instilling in her an interest in nature, specifically birding and gardening, saying, “I grew up thinking that everyone had a 'life list'!" Her gardens get an extra dose of rain water through the two rain barrels she's proud to have attached to her home.

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