Umpqua Watersheds Blog


Spring 2017

Published March 7th, 2017 in Outreach

Alan Bunce

In Memoriam….

I first met Ann Chamberlain while working with the Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers (PUR). Who was this vivacious lady who, like me, represented conservation on the PUR Board? Her biography on the PUR website reads as follows:

Ann Chamberlain is a teacher, an ecologist, a research scientist, and an avid bird watcher. She is currently teaching college credit Chemistry and Physics at South Umpqua High School.

She previously taught at Umpqua Community College, Monmouth University (NJ), The University of the West Indies, Rutgers, The University College of Rhodesia and the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle.

She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Zoology from the University of Michigan, and attended Connecticut College for Women. As a doctoral candidate, she worked in Rhodesia on a study of a pandemic parasitic infection.

In addition to teaching part-time, Ann is a Director of the Klamath Landscape Academy, a non-profit supporting graduate student research in the Klamath Mountains, a Director of The Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers, and active in several pure-bred dog associations. She has published several scientific papers, dog articles and two books on dogs.

In addition to those accomplishments, her good friend Cindy Haws informs me that Ann:

“Completed the Ford Foundation’s Leadership program, was a Director on the Umpqua Natural Leadership STEM Hub (UNLSH) Board, served on the USFS Title II Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory Council, was on the Myrtle Creek Library Committee, worked with the City of Myrtle Creek to plan and design a native plant educational garden in the park behind the library, helped a French geology student receive his masters studying Myrtle Creek, and was an amazing chef, gardener and food preserver – especially through fermentation.”

Knowing nothing of Ann’s past or credentials, I simply knew her as a colleague who was passionate about education, especially regarding educating local youth about the wonders of ecology. She served many years as the PUR Board Secretary, and fought hard to keep education a lively part of PUR’s mission. I have fond memories of Ann donning a fish-shaped hat and teaching salmon life cycles to long lines of youth participating in PUR’s salmon toss game at local events.

I’m very sad to say that we lost our good friend Ann recently to complications from Leukemia at a spry, youthful 77 years of age.

Cindy adds, “Well, it is very hard to talk about losing Ann. I saw her smiling face so much over coffee at least weekly since she just lived up the road. We had so much fun trying to ‘find a way’. We shared hours of education lessons, materials, ideas and community concerns and she gave so much of her time to community service. There were many miles carpooling to citizen action and education events or to speak to government officials to insist upon good science, protecting the environment, and real social justice. All this in just the 10 years I had the privilege to be her friend. Just an amazing woman. I feel such a loss, but so blessed to have had the chance to get to know Ann. The laughter and funny stories….. such wonderful time together.”

A celebration of life was held Saturday June 24th at the park behind the Myrtle Creek Library.

Friends, family, and students of Ann’s have started the Ann Chamberlain STEM Endowment Fund in effort to create a watershed sciences laboratory in her memory at the South Umpqua High School in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. Education will include some of Ann’s favorites; fluvial geomorphology, aquatic and riparian habitat, and water quality.

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