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 Dr. David Mahan, former Associate Director at Au Sable, 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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Brian Keas, Ph.D. : photo

Brian Keas, Ph.D.

231-587-8686

Director of Educational Development

Brian is the Director of Educational Development working with faculty and staff to provide strong God-centered environmental programs at all educational levels through the College, Environmental Education and Graduate Fellows Programs.  

Prior to Au Sable, Brian served as department chair in the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences at Ohio Northern University and previously as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Study Abroad Director.

Brian’s passion for God’s creation began at an early age in the woods and waters of the Grand Rapids area, where he was born and raised, and was solidified at Hope College where he was fortunate to research swimmer’s itch in northern Michigan and successional ecology in Costa Rica.  He earned his M.S. from Wake Forest University studying aquatic host-parasite relationships and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University studying the conservation of Lake Huron coastal wetlands in the Les Cheneaux area of the eastern Upper Peninsula.

From his childhood days catching bugs, slopping through creeks, and exploring natural areas, Brian has always been amazed and inspired by the beauty and diversity of creation. The importance of restoring and redeeming creation is urgent, and Brian is excited to be part of Au Sable's mission to inspire and educate people in the care and protection of the environment so that we can help restore the beautiful earth God created.  

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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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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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Shirley Shane : photo

Shirley Shane

231-587-8686

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.

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Lindsay Barden : photo

Lindsay Barden

231-587-8686

Scientific Technician

Lindsay Barden serves as the Scientific Technician at Au Sable. Her work supports the courses and research that run at Au Sable through documenting and communicating them to stakeholders and the public.

Before coming to Au Sable she earned a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies from Redeemer University College in Ontario and a graduate certificate in Environmental Visual Communication from Fleming College through the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. 

After finishing school, Lindsay worked in marketing for a Toronto based LED lighting company, then volunteered for a shorebird research project on the sub-arctic James Bay coast of Ontario with the Canadian Wildlife Service. 

During her undergrad, Lindsay studied with the Creation Care Study Program in Belize for a semester where she discovered her love for photography and was inspired to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle.

In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys rock climbing, reading, photography/videography and any other kind of creative endeavor. She can almost always be found listening to music with a cup of coffee or tea nearby, and as a Canadian, Lindsay has a deep affinity for a good ol' double-double from Tim Hortons.

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John Farrell : photo

John Farrell

231-587-8686

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

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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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