karel ROGERS, PhD

Professor of Biology, Emeritus, Grand Valley State University

Karel L. Rogers, Professor Emeritus in Biology at GVSU, has enjoyed a successful career as a university professor, academic administrator, scientific researcher and community volunteer. Since retirement, she has started an environmental consulting business; her first book is currently being edited and will be published soon.

She earned her BS, MS, and PhD from Michigan State with specializations in Vertebrate Zoology, Herpetology, and Paleoclimate Reconstruction. Her research has been funded by over $300,000 in grant money including a series of grants from National Geographic and from the National Science Foundation (Climate Dynamics Program). She is the author of 25 peer-reviewed scientific publications and over 25 published abstracts on topics ranging from paleoclimate reconstruction to molecular studies that impact conservation of amphibians. At Adams State College in south-central Colorado, where she worked for 18 years, she was named to Outstanding Young Women of America twice, Outstanding and Dedicated Service as Science Fair Director, Outstanding Advisor of the year, Exemplary Service Award as Interim Dean of Graduate and Summer Programs and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Trustees Centennial Year Outstanding Teacher Award. Then, after two years as Dean of Science and Natural Resources at Lake Superior State University, she moved to Grand Valley State University as Chair of the Biology Department.

Through the years, service has been a high priority for her. She was an active participant at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has been involved in EPA Climate Workshops, and attended the Union of Concerned Scientists Science Summit in Washington, D.C. For 10 years, she was a board member and then chair of the board of directors for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council; part of that service included writing successful grant proposals for over $200,000 in support for WMEAC’s new LEED (double gold certification) facilities and for capacity building.

Currently, Karel is in the process of starting a third career as a writer, speaker, and environmental consultant. Over the years, she has delivered countless invited presentations to students in K-12, professional groups, industry groups, elected officials, and to the general public. In Colorado, her key topic was human population growth and its implications. Since coming to Michigan she has been working on global warming, especially the economic opportunity it presents for a renewal of our civilization into one based on equitable valuation of human, environmental, and economic concerns. Rather than just spout idealism, she has become active politically because she considers it a duty to be an active citizen of this country where we can actually change the course of our country and the world. Because she has traveled extensively in Madagascar, South America, Central America, and Mexico, she deeply appreciates the unique opportunities we enjoy in the US.