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In Memoriam

Robert R. Buell (1922 - 2014)

Bob’s roots and connections to the preserve and the university were extensive. He cared deeply about the environment, having been active member of the The Nature Conservancy as well as a docent at Edgewood Park.  For over two decades, Bob was one of our most active docents and birders, with deep affections from staff to researchers to the docent community. Amid all this activity, Bob also found time to go camping and international travel. Bob was well known for his willingness to help familiarize students and new researchers to the natural history of the preserve, and was happy to share his opinions with staff. The Jasper Ridge trails are a little lonelier without his presence.

Jean Y. Clark

empty benchJean's roots at the preserve ran deep as she met her husband, Bill, in high school on the beach at Searsville Lake well before the preserve was formally established. She married Bill in 1941 and they had four children. Jean graduated from one of our earliest docent classes in 1978. An avid birder, she and her late husband Bill, who became a docent in 1981, completed the first JR bird list and together, started the preserve's ongoing bird monitoring program. For decades, Jean and Bill were a regular and active presence at the preserve. Like the JR redwoods Jean adored, she brought a sense of grace to all her activities and many in the JR community felt a deep and lasting connection to both Bill and Jean. Like her husband Bill, Jean was an inextricable part of the preserve's history and her passing reminds us all of the richness they brought to this community.

Al Butner (1937 - 2013)

Al Butner became a Jasper Ridge docent in 1994. While he is best known as a surgeon of great skill and compassion, and a recipient of this year's Excellence in Healthcare Hero of the Year award, he has always had a deep and passionate interest in the natural world as well as an avid backpacker. He was especially interested in all things reptilian and never missed an opportunity to learn more about the flowers at the preserve as well. He was one of our most generous and informative tour guides, a regular purveyor of his good wine at JR events, and someone who brought easy conversation to any situation. Al was always good for an enthusiastic story about his grandchildren at JR get togethers and field trips. His stories, NY accent, kind presence along with his drive to learn more about the preserve is a real loss to us all.

Kimberly (Kye) Epps (1969 - 2011)

road aheadKimberly (Kye) Epps, an accomplished soil scientist and a post-doc in the lab of biology professor Peter Vitousek, passed away in December, 2011. Kye was part of the Rising Environmental Leaders Network, the five member team, that authored the report, Mountain Lions at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve: An Exercise in Management and Policy Options (see for a video report of that project with Kye speaking on the issue). Her ability to communicate with colleagues made her the "glue" of that group, facilitating discussions so as to acknowledge everyone's contributions. Kye also brought her positive energy and diverse experiences to the Ecological Society of America's, Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) program. She served as a Stanford SEEDS mentor during both the 2009 and 2010 ESA annual meetings, and mentored students during the 2010 Bay Area SEEDS leadership meeting. Kye was an outstanding communicator who could convey complex scientific issues to an audience in a way that provided the essence of the issue making it memorable. But it may have been her ability to ask questions that get to the heart of any matter that made her such a valued contributor, both in scholarly work and in daily conversation. She had an extraordinary sense of wonder about life and the natural world in particular and she will be sorely missed by all her family, friends, and colleagues.

Bill Clark (1918 - 2011)

Bill Clark, one of our longest-tenured docents, died July 30, 2011. Bill became a Jasper Ridge docent in 1981, three years after his wife, Jean became a docent. Bill and Jean started the JR bird monitoring program in 1982 and it has been going on ever since. Bill loved the preserve and the community and he, in turn, was one of its most beloved members. His kindness and enthusiasm were always on display when he gave tours. He loved sharing his knowledge of the preserve, including the stories of his early years basking in the sun on the beaches of Searsville Lake, when it was still a recreational concession. Bill often noted that his affiliation with the preserve added 20 years to his life. But as far as the preserve is concerned, he will always be remembered for his warmth, willingness to share his knowledge, and the many years of life and joy he brought to the preserve.

Christine Andrews (1919 - 2011)

green overhangChris became a Jasper Ridge docent in 1984. She was a native Californian, a lifelong careful observer of its wildlife even as she pursued her abundant artistic talent and raised five children. At the preserve, she expressed this talent through technically accurate, informative, and very beautiful drawings of its plants and animals; these will be an important archival resource for a long time to come. She left a significant collection of photographs she used as references as she drew. She also spent many days on the trail with docent Carol Zabel as they sought to locate, identify and document plants known from the past, but not seen for many years. Chris was a valued companion on and off the trail, a dedicated contributor, and a friend who will be missed.

Ted Chandik (1937 - 2011)

Ted joined two monthly birding groups at Jasper Ridge in 1997 after his retirement as a naturalist for the City of Palo Alto in 1996. He worked with the point counts and the transect counts. Occasionally he was asked to lead a public tour at Jasper Ridge for a group particularly interested in birds. Before that he was an enthusiastic interpreter of nature to visitors in Palo Alto's Baylands and Foothills Park and also to students in the Junior Museum's classes. Birds were his specialty. Formerly he had gathered, edited and written up field observations of birds for the American Ornithologists Union Field Notes with Alan Baldridge of Stanford's Hopkin's Marine Station in Pacific Grove. His love of nature and especially birds started in the Chicago area in his teen years as a Boy Scout. In college at Indiana University he assisted in leading bird walks for an Ornithology class. As you can see his specialty was birds, birds, and more birds. (He also had another intense interest in Jazz.) He traveled all over the world to see birds, and in 2007 had seen all the families of birds of the world. In 2011 he had seen over 5000 species of birds of the world. No matter how many times he saw a bird, its behavior and appearance were always of interest to Ted. For the last thirty years or so he also led monthly bird trips for his own group "Fly by Dawn" throughout California and more recently a smaller group birding just the Bay area twice a month called "Cheep! Cheep!". Many will miss his 55+ years of leadership in birdwatching.

Eugene John Bulf (1919 - 2010)

Gene Bulf died on November 30, 2010. Gene came to Jasper Ridge as an Environmental Volunteer in the early '80s after his retirement. When it was suggested that he become a docent, his heart skipped a beat and he immediately enrolled in the class. He always met visitors and members of the community with an infectious smile and made one feel as if they were the only person in a room and loved taking people to his favorite corner of the preserve, the redwood grove. In his later years he was noted for his collection of colorful and varied styled hats. He spoke several languages, taught himself to play the accordion, clarinet and the harmonica and loved to dance. Gene met his wife Mary while folk dancing in the 1960's. Gene is present in the hearts of all those he touched and will be missed, but not forgotten.

Jennefer Lloyd Wineman

Jennefer Lloyd Wineman died on November 26, 2010. Jennefer became involved with the Jasper Ridge community through her spouse, Jasper Ridge docent Paul Wineman. Shortly after the Leslie Shao-min Sun Field Station was completed, Jennefer became interested in the sustainable/green features of this award winning building. At that time she was board president of Chartwell, a leading school for dyslexic children located on the Monterey Peninsula. She arranged for the board to visit Jasper Ridge and learn about our new building and the benefits of green design. These visits lead directly to Chartwell's decision to build new buildings which became the first LEED certified platinum school campus in the U.S. ( From that first meeting, Jennefer made her presence felt at the Preserve with her enthusiasm for children, all things Chartwell, as well as the Preserve. Her presence is surely missed.

Carol Graham (1927 - 2010)

Carol became a Jasper Ridge docent in 1981, and from the very beginning took an active role in leading tours and engaging her skills as a committed teacher. As neighbor to the Preserve, she took a deep interest in the natural history of the region, with a particular passion for flowers and the history of human settlement in the preserve and the surrounding area. Carol treasured her docent name badge and revered the Preserve and shared her passion with her family as well. She also became a docent in the Environmental Volunteers and took great pleasure teaching natural history to children that came out to the preserve as part of the EVs. Carol proved to be one of the most passionate and dedicate docents in the program's illustrious history and her presence at the preserve will be greatly missed.

Elisabeth Hansot

Elisabeth Hansot, a Jasper Ridge docent since 2007 and Stanford University senior lecturer in Political Science, passed away peacefully at home September 9, 2010 following a recurrence of cancer. Elisabeth cared deeply about animals, the environment, and essential social opportunities. She worked with great dedication to create positive change in her community.

Leo Holub (1916 - 2010)

From the moment Leo arrived at Stanford in 1960, he helped produce photographs of Jasper Ridge, including providing graphics support for the earliest campaigns to establish the preserve. His early photos of Paul Ehrlich's research in the serpentine were used to formally establish the preserve as a biological field station. After providing graphic support for several Stanford fundraising campaigns, he became an art lecturer at the university, but his connection and visits to the preserve never waned. While Leo's photograhic talents received broad recognition (including photos in the Smithsonian Archives), several of his photos were used in the initial and early Jasper Ridge annual reports. His unassuming, kind, and gentle demeanor left an indelible mark within the JR community.

Bill Lane (1919 - 2010)

Bill Lane will best be remembered for his remarkable generosity of spirit, for having the vision to help protect our most precious lands, and his capacity to find ways to make life richer for all those around him. As neighbor, equestrian, and donor, he left an indelible mark on the preserve. While the preserve represented only a small part of his generosity and active life, Bill and his wife Jean (a Jasper Ridge docent for over 35 years) made the lead gift that gave life to the campaign for the award winning Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station. Like so many others, the preserve is a better place thanks to Bill's enthusiastic support and generosity. His familiar, boyish grin will be missed.

Judy Robertson

Judy Robertson, JRBP docent class instructor, former president of the California Lichen Society, and an expert on local lichens passed away peacefully at home, on July 10, 2010, following a two-year battle with cancer. This past spring, unable to teach a formal lichen class for JRBP, Judy still contributed significantly to student work by identifying specimens from the redwood canopy that had been collected by Stanford undergraduate Samantha Larson. Judy's enthusiasm for teaching and sharing her encyclopedic knowledge of lichens inspired many JRBP students.

Stephen Schneider (1945 - 2010)

The world of climate science has lost one of its greatest minds and strongest voices. Steve was a leading member of the climate science community for over 40 years, working from a base at Stanford from 1992-2010. An expert in both the physics and impacts of climate change, Steve published more than 450 scientific papers and advised the administrations of 8 presidents. Although prodigiously productive as a scientist, Steve probably realized his greatest impacts as an educator and spokesperson. A gripping and eloquent speaker, he had a remarkable ability to help people understand why they should care about an issue. With torrents of words, clear analysis, and memorable jokes, Steve could turn a phrase that not only crystallized an important idea but also lodged it in your memory. Steve's message was one of single-minded focus on scientific integrity, clear communication, and passing a sustainable world to future generations. 

Tom Mudd (1942 – 2007)

Tom was known by the Jasper Ridge community as a man of great wit, charm, craftsmanship, curiosity, and generosity. He combined these traits in his passion for bats as he set up a permanent acoustical monitoring station (and later, four more), trained high school students to collect data, led night-time bat walks, and interpreted a complex, five-year data set consisting of eight million bat calls. Tom was a Jasper Ridge docent and received three degrees from Stanford -- a BS, and then a master's and PhD in engineering. This training shaped his approach to a career that spanned air pollution research, conservation, and wine-making, as well as his bat studies at JRBP. He imparted to us a fascination about bats and a monitoring network that will continue to elucidate the abundance and diversity of these vulnerable animals.

Lincoln Moses (1922 – 2006)

Lincoln spent most of his professional life at Stanford, earning a bachelor's degree in 1941 and a doctorate in statistics in 1950. After joining the faculty in 1952, he became a leader for nearly 40 years in moving statistics from a purely academic discipline to the powerful applied field now known as biostatistics. He loved the central California hills and coast and knew them intimately, and was an avid backpacker who hiked the John Muir Trail. He became a Jasper Ridge docent in 1995 and worked on the bird census project and the ant research project. His connection to Jasper Ridge actually goes back to the late ‘50s: each summer the Statistics Department held a picnic at Searsville Lake, and the dry ice used to cool the food was a big draw for the children. His interests extended beyond California—he visited Zimbabwe several times to provide statistical consulting services to AIDS prevention programs, and he and his wife Mary Lou traveled the world in pursuit of birds.

Ruth Porter (1934 – 2006)

Ruth's many contributions to Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve were made with a cheerfulness and efficiency that all who knew her will miss for a long time to come. A member of the 1976 docent class, she gained an extensive understanding of the preserve's natural history, with a particular focus on its flora. She became sought after as a teacher, committee member, and organizer. Perhaps most notably, she took on management of the several thousand plant specimens left to the preserve by Stanford professor John Thomas. With Toni Corelli, she shaped these into the Oakmead Herbarium and Collections in the Sun Field Station. Ruth was actively occupied with this work until the end of her life. She was dedicated, effective, and a wonderful friend.

Etheline Robinson (1968 – 2006)

In December 2006, Ethel lost her battle with lupus. Ethel was the seventh child of eight to Jasper Ridge caretaker Leonard Robinson and Bertha Robinson; she grew up on Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve with five brothers and two sisters. She graduated from Woodside High School in 1975. Despite bad health, Ethel continued her education, graduating from Bryman College in San Jose, California. She worked as a fashion coordinator and director of Positive Vibration clothing store in San Jose. Ethel’s tireless work ethic and dedication to detail had a profound impact on everyone she touched. Ethel will be missed but never forgotten.

Alan Weiss (1925 – 2006)

Member of the docent class of 1995, who followed his sons to Jasper Ridge, and walked the trails measuring wheel in hand so that we might know how far we have come already and how far we have yet to go.

Byron "Bill" Brown (1930 – 2004)

Emeritus Stanford Professor of Biostatistics, Byron "Bill" Brown, Jr., died November 30, 2004. He was 74. Recruited from the University of Minnesota faculty, Bill joined Stanford's statistics department in 1968, serving for a number of years as chair of health research and policy. A kind, thoughtful, and modest man, Bill worked mainly as a consulting statistician in the design of clinical trials and assessment of new medical technologies for their effectiveness and safety. A colleague said, “Bill was constantly teaching how to seek the truth while warning us of how difficult it was.” Author of numerous journal articles and several books, he was nationally recognized and honored. He retired in 1998. After retiring, Bill became a valuable JRBP birding affiliate, and was a regular on monthly counts until his death. He is missed.

Edward Fryer (1916 – 2005)

As an educator, Ed felt strongly that great professors should not only teach, but also inspire their students. He spent 20 years in academia teaching physics and believed passionately in liberal arts education and excellence in undergraduate education. A Jasper Ridge docent since 1984, Ed loved the preserve and was as comfortable teaching on the trail as he was in the physics classroom. A rock, a twig, a feather, the spring wildflowers, or a view of the lake were often starting points for teaching and certainly for life-long learning. All of us at Jasper Ridge are deeply saddened by the death of our long-time friend and docent. We shall remain ever grateful for his generosity, sage wisdom, extraordinary knowledge, and sweet inspiration. 2003-04

Bill Kirsher (1910 – 2004)

Bill was a remarkable man, loved and admired by the docents and staff of Jasper Ridge and greatly appreciated by visitors to the Preserve. He had a contagious enthusiasm and an enduring curiosity about the natural world and a broad knowledge of it. An effective and energetic teacher, he delighted in sharing that knowledge with others. We shall miss this unique friend and colleague. Robert Shelby 1920 - 2004 Robert B. Shelby, longtime Portola Valley resident and JRPB docent since 1987, died at The Forum in Cupertino, June 27, 2004 following a short illness. He was 83. A native of Colorado, Bob had a lifelong interest in natural history and a passion for music. He was leader of a “Barber Shop Quartet” and played several instruments including the piano. A respected psychiatrist at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic from 1954 to 1986, he changed his focus, after retirement, to his love of natural history as a member of the docent class of 1987. He was a familiar figure on the Preserve in his khaki vest (pockets bulging with books and demonstration specimens), field hat, and graced with his warm, welcoming smile. Bob loved the Preserve and its people and will be missed.

Konrad B. Krauskopf

Krauskopf, a pioneer in the field of geochemistry, a member of the Stanford University faculty since 1939 and a Jasper Ridge geology instructor, died at his campus home on May 4, 2003 at age 92. Krauskopf was one of very few scientists in the late 1930s who helped define the emerging field of geochemistry, which combined the concepts of physical chemistry with those of geology. Krauskopf “provided scientists with the original defining texts in geochemistry and physical geology,” according to Gary Ernst, Jasper Ridge instructor and Stanford Professor of Earth Sciences. In a career spanning more than six decades, Krauskopf led numerous geological and mapping expeditions to such places as the Pacific Northwest, the Sierra Nevada and White Inyo Ranges, the Transmexican Volcanic Belt, and coastal Norway. His pioneering research and academic achievements earned him numerous honors, including the Legendary Geoscientist Award from the American Geological Institute in 2000 and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Mineralogical Society of America in 1994. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Herbert Dengler

Long-time JRBP naturalist, docent, teacher, and friend, died on September 19, 2002. Docent Sunia Yang contributed the following poem in Herb’s memory: Walk with this man who knows where he belongs. Seventy-eight years, ten thousand walks, with this place– in its greatest change from hunting lands and cattle range to island of wildness called Jasper Ridge. Listen and hear a man marked by the presence of a place– a love for all its creatures, the gracious hospitality of one deeply at home. Follow him down a trail of tales– the comings and goings of Holey Oak and Tidy Tips, the march of Albert the newt, the passing of clouds and larks across the grassland, the arrival of Dirca's golden drops, the bloom of this year and last and scores of blooms before. Butterfly catcher, Indian runner, cabin builder, trail maker, land walker, plant watcher, story keeper, beloved teacher.

Mabel Crittenden

Docent since 1976, died on July 1, 2002. Mabel Crittenden was a talented naturalist, botanist, teacher, illustrator, and author. A long-time resident of Portola Valley, Mabel brought her passion for wildflowers to everything she did. In her 15 years as librarian for the Portola Valley School District, she developed a popular and successful system for teaching children about wildflowers, and later, with her col- league Dorothy Telfer, turned that system into a book, Wildflowers of the West. Mabel went on to write several more books on wildflowers, trees, and ferns. She will be missed not only for her passion for teaching, but for her energy, sense of humor, and generosity.

David Regnery

JRBP Researcher, died May 9, 2001. Professor Regnery joined Stanford's biological sciences faculty in 1947 and began research at JRBP years before its designation as a biological preserve. He and his wife Dorothy were among the original residents of neighboring Westridge in Portola Valley, and he became well acquainted with the area soon after moving to Westridge. Professor Regnery's first permit to enter the "Jasper Ridge Biological Experimental Area" was issued in 1966 for collecting small mammals. Over many years he live-trapped voles, mice, brush rabbits, and other small mammals as part of his studies of the genetics of disease resistance and the natural history of viral diseases in native mammals.

Minna Sandmeyer

Docent since 1999, died on July 13, 2001. Minna was loved and admired by many of the people she touched in her active life. She was an avid biker, dedicated forest activist, longtime singer in the Stanford Chamber Chorale, green builder and craftswoman, founding member of the Stanford Organic Farm, and above all, a compassionate friend and loving human being. Minna inspired many of us as she biked across the country, built earthships in a sustainable community, got her hands dirty in the garden, sang, and took the time to listen to friends and family. While at Stanford she served as a docent for Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Minna will be missed dearly by all who were blessed by her incredible presence.