Loss of UO's Baldwin felt around the world.
John Baldwin was the kind of professor students always remembered years after they left college.
So it hasn't been a surprise that calls have been pouring into the University of Oregon ever since the popular teacher and researcher died last week after a short illness. Professor Jean Stockard, head of the department of planning, public policy and management where Baldwin worked, said she's heard from former students all over the world since his March 7 death at age 54.
"The impact he had on their lives was phenomenal," she said this week. "One student told me that every day he thinks of John in some way in the work he does. He has had an impact literally on people around the globe."
A memorial service for Baldwin will be held Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge of Gerlinger Hall.
Baldwin taught at the UO for 25 years and was the founding director both of the environmental studies program and the Institute for a Sustainable Environment. He was one of the first Western scientists to visit the area near the Chernobyl nuclear plant after its catastrophic meltdown and helped show people living there how to reduce their exposure to radiation.
He and a colleague returned to the region several times to map radiation contamination in the soil and help plan safer farming practices.
Baldwin's wife, Karen Jones-Baldwin, said those visits had no connection with the illness that caused his death. Baldwin died from a blood coagulation disorder unrelated to radiation or any other exposure.
Jones-Baldwin said her husband died peacefully in his sleep after spending time with her and their three children.
Baldwin was a leader in international sustainability and environmental education and his work took him around the world. But teaching and family were always foremost for him.
"He was extraordinarily dedicated to his students and hands-on community involvement," Jones-Baldwin said. "He was passionate about teaching, and he was inspired by his family."
He developed his zeal for environmental education as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, where he worked with the International Crane Foundation to help save the endangered birds. He also was inspired by work done by his father to try to stop construction of the Kinzua Dam in upstate New York and by his mother to protect the Hudson River Valley.
Baldwin was a member of numerous national and international environmental organizations and worked on projects ranging from growth in the Willamette Valley to environmental education in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. He also was active on campus, serving on many committees and as a member of the University Senate.
"He was just plain a nice person," Stockard said. "He was always optimistic to the very, very end. His students just meant the world to him, and he really devoted his life to helping them."
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|Title Annotation:||Higher Education; Former students of the environmental scientist will gather Friday|
|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||Mar 17, 2005|
|Previous Article:||FOR THE RECORD.|