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A Warm Welcome to Au Sable’s New Faculty for 2016

Feb 09, 2016

It’s a bright new year in 2016 for Au Sable’s College Academic Program, and the Institute welcomes eight new faculty members, including four teaching in brand new courses. Au Sable’s fresh faces are Dr. John Bratton, Dr. Michael Freake, Dr. David Hoekman, Dr. Matt Ingle, Rachel Lamb, Drs. Eric and Andrea Nord, and Elizabeth Zwamborn. 

May Session

Rachel Lamb, who holds dual Master’s Degrees in Conservation Biology and Public Policy from the University of Maryland, will teach Au Sable’s new offering in Environmental Law and Policy. Formerly part of Au Sable’s Land Resources teaching team, Rachel brings her range of national and international experience as an environmental policy expert and activist to the students who will be part of this class. As the National Spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action and one of the Christian community's most influential and effective voices in creation care, Rachel was recognized in 2015 by the White House’s Champions of Change Program for her work on climate action in faith communities. Au Sable students will benefit richly from Rachel Lamb’s knowledge and global network of contacts in the field of law and policy.

Dr. David Hoekman, Assistant Professor of Biology at Southern Nazarene University, joins Au Sable’s May Term to teach Insect Ecology of Streams Forests and Fields. Formerly an Insect Ecologist with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) in Boulder, Colorado, David brings extensive research, publication, teaching, and professional mentoring experience to Au Sable students through his work with the NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium, an advisor in the nationally recognized McNair Scholars Program, and NSF-funded international research experience studying insects in Iceland (yes, there are many insects in Iceland!). Insect Ecology of Streams Forests and Fields will be an intensive and enriching experience for students with Dr. Hoekman. 

Summer Session I

Dr. John Bratton rejoins Au Sable’s faculty teaching team in Land Resources alongside Dr. Mark Gathany (Cedarville University) and Dr. Jonathan Peterson (Hope College) after a hiatus of several years. John spent four years with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at their Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, where he served as Deputy and Acting Director. Now a private environmental consultant with LimnoTech, Dr. Bratton brings years of professional and academic practice as a geologist before NOAA with the USGS Center for Coastal and Marine Geology in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and as an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University and several other institutions.

Joining John in Summer Session I will be Dr. Matt Ingle from The Master’s College (California) who will be teaching Animal Ecology, replacing Dr. Darren Proppe (Calvin College) who will assume the role of Au Sable’s Professor of Research Methods. An Assistant Professor of Biology at The Master’s College, Dr. Ingle is an expert in parasitology and mammalogy with an extensive and diverse background in biology teaching. Students will be well informed through his instruction in all aspects of the ecology of animals 

Summer Session II

Dr. Michael Freake will teach Research Methods II and Wildlife Ecology at Au Sable’s Great Lakes Campus in Mancelona Michigan. Professor of Biology at Lee University, Dr. Freake is a highly skilled field researcher with particular interest in an amazing but under-studied species, the hellbender, a large salamander inhabiting major river systems of the southeast United States. An Associate Editor with Herpetologica, one of the most widely respected journals on reptiles and amphibians, Dr. Freake will teach students in Wildlife Ecology both the theory and practice associated with this important discipline while he also shows Au Sable’s team of student researchers how to prepare their work for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

With her appointment to the Au Sable faculty at Au Sable’s Pacific Rim Campus (Washington), Elizabeth Zwamborn of Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia) completes a full circle journey that began with her own experiences as an Au Sable student, teaching a course, Marine Mammals, she once took as a student from Dr. Rafe Payne of Biola University (California). In her academic career, Elizabeth has studied the ocean and its marine mammals from both coasts of Canada in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Her passion for the marine world and its inhabitants will create an engaging learning experience for her students.

Dr. Andrea Nord and Dr. Eric Nord from Greenville College will form Au Sable’s first wife and husband teaching team, leading students in Au Sable’s new offering in Plant Ecology at the Pacific Rim Campus on Whidbey Island, Washington. Both professors in the Department of Biology at Greenville College (Illinois), Andrea and Eric each possess a Ph.D. in Ecology. With research and work experience in places like Honduras, Malawi, South Africa, and the US, Andrea and Eric bring a global scientific perspective to Au Sable students.

An enriched diversity of faculty experience and expertise will enhance the academic program and support the learning community that grows each year at the Au Sable Institute. Au Sable extends a warm welcome to the new faculty members who come this year. It’s a blessing and honor to have you with us!