Longtime director of Itasca retires

CBS Professor and Director of Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories Dave Biesboer to retire at the end of 2017.
December 07, 2017

After nearly four decades at the University of Minnesota, David Biesboer will retire at the end of this year. A faculty member in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, Biesboer served as director of the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories for 19 years.

“Under Dave’s leadership, the station has grown and evolved into what it is today — a thriving space for education and exploration that is a key piece of the College’s identity for many students and alums,” says College of Biological Sciences Dean Valery Forbes.

“I recruited and chose Professor David Biesboer to serve as director of the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories because of his obvious enthusiasm for biology and the outdoors,” says former College of Biological Sciences Dean Bob Elde. “His enthusiasm proved contagious as evidenced by the impact he had on thousands of our undergraduates as they experienced Itasca through Nature of Life.”

Biesboer’s skill as an educator resulted in a number of collegiate and university honors including the Horace T. Morse Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education in 1995, the U of M Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 1999, and the Stanley Dagley-Samuel Kirkwood Undergraduate Education Award in 2004.

As director, he also played a fundamental role in fundraising for the station, including for the new Biome Center, and making the case for support.

“I've seen Director Biesboer's passion for the place through his overwhelming dedication to promoting Itasca to everyone he meets,” says Laura Domine, program administrator for the station. “Over his tenure as director, he has brought life to Itasca by being our strongest advocate for the place.”

Jonathan Schilling was named the new director of the station and will take up the role at the beginning of 2018.


About the image | Dave Biesboer at Itasca in the field with a group of students at Nature of Life.