ScienceWoman reflects on the sad news of the death of Dr. Elizabeth Sulzman, an apparent suicide (Go read the post and comments. I'll wait.). Sulzman was an Associate Professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State University. Her faculty web page is now a tribute to her.
"Elizabeth brought soil science to life for her students," said Russ Karow, head of OSU Crop and Soil Sciences Department. "Her collegiality, dynamic personality, and infectious enthusiasm for active learning and scientific inquiry were her hallmarks."And her science:
From a childhood of tumbling rocks in the basement and dreaming of becoming "Jaquette Cousteau," Sulzman had always been in love with the outdoors. She worked for a time with the Peace Corps in the Central African Republic, helping villagers build a dam.
"It was quite a challenge," Sulzman recalled. "I had no knowledge of the local trade language and the people I worked with had little knowledge of engineering or hydrology." Yet, by the end of her stay, Sulzman and the villagers had completed 80 ponds to provide a source of protein for the people in the area.
Elizabeth is described by those who worked with her as "possessing an astonishing level of curiosity", a "hands-on person", and "one who has leaned the fundamentals of 19th Century Soil Science and can apply it with biogeochemistry, isotope chemistry, and atmospheric sciences to solve the problems of the 20th Century."What a sad loss for her family, her students, and science.
More: KGW News report
Edited to Add: Last Sunday (June 17) The Oregonian ran a long article about Sulzman's life and death.
I've noticed the arrival of lot of visitors searching for information on Elizabeth Sulzman. Please feel free to leave a comment if you knew Elizabeth (or even if you didn't)!
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