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Emeritus faculty member James Zischke dies

By Kari VanDerVeen
December 14, 2012

Professor Emeritus of Biology James Zischke, 78, died December 6.

Zischke taught at St. Olaf College for 33 years before retiring in 1996. He was an active researcher who was known around the state for his pioneering work in using insect diversity to monitor stream and river health. He received numerous grants to support his work, which frequently involved St. Olaf students.

"He was ahead of his time in developing cooperative research projects with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership that included local teachers and students as well as St. Olaf students," says Professor of Biology and Curator of the St. Olaf Natural Lands Kathy Shea.

While at St. Olaf, Zischke was awarded fellowships and visiting positions with a wide range of organizations that included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

Zischke earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin, a master's degree from the University of South Dakota, and a doctorate from Tulane State University.

Funeral services will be held in January 2013 through Gearty-Delmore Funeral Chapels.

Read Zischke's obituary.

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or