Dordt College News

Wheaton professor of field biology discusses “What is land for?”

January 23, 2012

Wheaton College Professor of Field Biology and Department Chair Fred Van Dyke will present a lecture titled “What is land for?” on Monday, January 30, at 7 p.m. in classroom SB101 of the Science and Technology Center on the campus of Dordt College. His lecture is a fitting follow-up to a presentation held in the fall 2011-12 academic semester by UW-Madison Professor Calvin De Witt titled “What are people for?”

Van Dyke provides a unique voice in the discussion of ethics in environment, with particular emphasis on how the Christian church can play a partnering role with environmental advocates. In the preface of his recently published book Between Heaven and Earth: Christian Perspectives on Environmental Protection, Van Dyke argues, “The Christian tradition of conservation needs to be re-discovered. It does not need to be reinvented.”

His research, publications, and professional experience focus on the management and conservation of animal populations, the study of successional processes to manage and preserve biodiversity in plant and animal communities, the effects of environmental disturbance on plant and animal populations, the values and ethics of conservation, and the development of a comprehensive ethic of Judeo-Christian environmental stewardship.

Before joining Wheaton’s faculty, Van Dyke served as founder and director of the Environmental Science Program at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.

In government service, Fred has worked as a wildlife biologist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, as a scientific and management consultant to the National Park Service, and as an ex officio member of numerous interdisciplinary management teams of the United States Forest Service.

He is the author of several books and periodicals including Conservation Biology, Science and Engineering Ethics, Trinity Journal, Evangelical Review of Theology, and most recently Between Heaven and Earth: Christian Perspectives on Environmental Protection.

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