Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area
Jerald J. Dosch
Visiting Associate Professor, Biology
9550 Inver Grove Trail
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
New Directions for Ordway (1998-2001)
Excerpts from a history written by Kelly M. Paulson in 2001 as her Honors Project
This most recent period in Ordway’s history has been characterized by renewed staffing and hopes for Ordway. The Resident Naturalist position has been revised and a plan has been drafted for Ordway’s future. New ideas are challenging the old ideas of how Ordway should be run.
Under new Management
Elizabeth Svenson left Ordway in August 1999. Macalester was unable to find a suitable candidate that was willing to take on the difficult position of teaching two labs and managing 280 acres off-campus, so the position of Resident Naturalist was again revised to include Ordway work plus Ecology lab teaching responsibilities on-campus, clearly a more compatible combination, and the name was also changed to Assistant Director to reflect the increased responsibility and authority at Ordway.
The Environmental Studies program description had not changed significantly since the late 1970’s, except for the addition of Philosophy and Political Science faculty around 1996. With the arrival of the first real Environmental Studies faculty member, Aldemaro Romero, the description changed slightly:
Environmental Studies is…based on a holistic understanding of environmental issues occurring at the local, national, and global level. The program offers students tools and perspectives from the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences to understand the causes and consequences of environmental problems and the knowledge to develop potential solutions.
Romero, who had some experience managing biological preserves, was named the Director of Ordway and he took the opportunity to find a new employee who was best suited to his idea of the potential for Ordway. Janet Ebaugh was hired in 1999 on the merits of her previous experience with managing large parcels of land and grant-writing skills.
Under the redesigned Assistant Director position, Ebaugh only teaches Ecology labs, but she is also very busy writing grants to support Ordway’s budget: according to the National Science Foundation itself, just doing the paperwork for one of their grants is estimated to take 120 hours, not counting writing the proposal.
A New Committee
The Ordway Committee was formed by Romero and Ebaugh in order to see that KONHSA grows into the future. This committee has been quite successful in attracting members from different interests regarding the area, including representatives from the DNR, the local schools, the city, the Koch Refinery, and nonprofit Mississippi River organizations.