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Reed W. Fautin* - 2006 Outstanding Former Faculty
Zoology and Physiology
Reed W. Fautin acquired a deep appreciation and respect for wildlife and pristine land as a result of a childhood lived on homesteads and farms. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and both his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois. Pursuing his professional career in the Rocky Mountain Region was Fautin’s greatest desire, so the offer to join the faculty at the University of Wyoming was met with great enthusiasm.
Fautin arrived on the UW campus in the spring of 1946, and the first course he taught was terrestrial field biology at UW Science Camp. Throughout his career Fautin enjoyed all of his academic duties, but he found special pleasure in teaching at the science camp, which he did until his retirement in 1973. “I first met Reed Fautin in 1956 at the UW Science Camp,” says Professor Emeritus Donald W. Boyd, Department of Geology and Geophysics. “It was my first summer on the camp staff, whereas Reed was a 10-year veteran. It was apparent that he had become a mainstay of the operation. He was a key member of the small team of biology professors who combined with Sam Knight’s geology group to offer a diversified menu of summer field courses based at the facility above Centennial.”
A dedicated educator with high expectations for himself and those with whom he associated, Fautin supervised nearly 30 graduate students and touched the lives of countless undergraduates. Former student Ann Mullens Boelter notes, “I was always very impressed with Dr. Fautin’s dedication to the field of zoology and to teaching. His classes were carefully prepared, thorough, and fair. This professionalism, combined with an infectious enthusiasm for the subjects he taught, made his classes stimulating and enjoyable.”
“Genial and pipe-smoking, Dr. Fautin was the best of companions out in the field,” recalls former student Dorcas MacClintock. “His students’ profound observation would be met with a smiling, ‘you bet’cha.’ As a teacher, he was demanding. At the end of the summer camp session, a paper on the four weeks’ survey of ecological communities was due. A few of us labored well into the night to turn in what to each of us then seemed as daunting as a graduate thesis.”
Fautin was respected in his field and published numerous scientific works and collected many specimens, particularly of birds, for the Department of Zoology and Physiology. He served as director of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Program between 1949 and 1973. Fautin was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Biological Science, the Colorado-Wyoming Academy of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and the Wildlife Society, and Sigma Xi (the scientific research society).
In 1958, Fautin moved his family to Kabul, Afghanistan, to participate in the University of Wyoming US-AID Program, a project aimed at providing technological skills, knowledge, and equipment to poor nations throughout the world. For two years, Fautin served as advisor to the dean of the Kabul College of Agriculture and Engineering. This experience deeply enriched Fautin and his family.
Fautin and his wife June had three children Daphne, Donna, and Charlie. Upon his death in 1983, Fautin’s family, friends, colleagues, and former students endowed a scholarship in his memory, which is awarded annually by the Department of Zoology and Physiology to students who demonstrate a passion for learning and field science.
*In loving memory.