Paul Zinke

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Name Comments Date
Thomas AleyRemembering Paul Zinke Tom Aley; B.S. 1960; M.S.1962. Paul was my most important professor and mentor, both at the time of my classes with him and in the subsequent 46 years. What I gained from him has greatly aided my professional career and I have thought of him many, many times since leaving Cal. Paul was the chairman of my master’s committee. Courses I took from him included dendrology, forest influences, a seminar in forest influences, and then about 12 other additional units in guided readings, guided research, and in the preparation of my master’s thesis. I worked for him for about two years as a teaching assistant and research assistant. Paul did an incredible number of kind things for me. After my masters I changed to the Geography Department to focus on water issues in karst areas. There were no assistantships available in Geography, and Paul somehow arranged for me to continue assistantships in Forestry as his assistant. Thank you, Paul. In the spring of 1963 I went to Jamaica for two months on a grant from the Office of Naval Research to study caves. This was right after the Cuban missile crisis when the U.S. was concerned that missiles were being hidden in caves and I was in the right place at the right time to study caves on islands near Cuba. When I got home I stopped in to see Paul and he asked what I was going to do for a job. I told him I didn’t know and he said that he had “neglected” to turn in my termination papers and if I wanted I could continue as his research assistant. I never believed the “neglected” business. Thank you again, Paul. I got married in June 1963. A few weeks before the wedding Paul asked what I (we) were going to do during the summer. When he learned we didn’t have much arranged he said that the National Park Service (NPS) had asked him to do a type mapping and regeneration study in the giant sequoia groves of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, but that he didn’t have the time and wondered if I would be interested in the job. I went over to San Francisco and met with the Park Service contact person and a few days later had a purchase order for the job. It was a wonderful project. Forty-three years later I am still doing contract studies for the NPS; I am currently working on the Buffalo National River in Arkansas. Paul gave me the first critical “foot-in-the-door” project. Once more, thanks Paul. Paul was always interested in anything new and willing to try something different. He once put an old oak cabinet with lots of drawers in his office and labeled the drawers “8 to 9, 9 to 10, 10 to 11” etc. At the changing of the hour a bell would ding and he would gather up all the papers he had been working on and throw them in the appropriate drawer and then extract the contents from the next drawer for another hour’s work. After a couple of weeks he concluded that the system didn’t work for him. I think that watching Paul do this was my first exposure to multi-tasking; perhaps Paul invented it. We had a dendrology test where one of the questions was to identify the wood of choice for the sides of men-of-war sailing ships. Several students complained that he had never mentioned this in a lecture and Paul replied that he had pointed out that red oak was the best choice for lanes in bowling alleys due to its resilience and that foresters needed to take data and extrapolate it. He then asked how many people had gotten the correct answer; I was one of the few who thought that cannonballs must be a lot like bowling balls. However, Paul got me later on the final exam that consisted of about a hundred numbered twigs that we were to identify to species. All leaves or needles had been removed. I passed Paul in the hall a few days later and I asked how the grading was going on the test. Paul replied “you don’t do twigs, do you, Tom”. Paul was great at finding gaps in one’s knowledge and skills. Over the years I have done quite a bit of expert witness work in court and have learned to try and fill in the gaps in knowledge and data before appearing in court since I may encounter a lawyer who will throw a bunch of twigs at me. In closing, I really appreciate and fondly remember the many things I gained from Paul. My condolences to the family that I never had the opportunity to meet. Tom Aley, President Ozark Underground Laboratory 1572 Aley Lane Protem, MO 65733 2006-10-12 06:30:31
Kathy Granillo, BS Forestry (Wildlife emphasis) 1979I remember Paul's enthusiasm! He made dirt fun and interesting. I will never forget the time at Forestry Summer Camp when we were out on a field trip, and Paul was teaching us about different soils and their influences on everything associated with them. He hiked us out to a place where you could see a sharp demarcation between two soil types (I remember one of them was Cohasset, don't remember the other - sorry Paul). He jumped onto the line between these two soil types, ripped off his outer shirt and had on a t-shirt underneath with one of the soil names on the front, and the other on the back. That was typical of his creativity, his constant efforts to make science interesting, and his dedication to teaching. 2006-10-16 12:19:21
frank goddard '74My condolences to all of Paul Zinke’s family and friends. I am very sorry I cannot attend the celebration of the life of a special person. Thank you for accepting my own remembrance. As I recall, which after 30 years is not an easy task, I was first introduced to Professor Zinke in his Forest Influences course in my first quarter at Cal. From that day on, Paul was my favorite instructor during my two years in Mulford. I seem to remember Professor Zinke’s method of lecturing involved starting at one side of the chalk board with a piece of chalk in one hand and an eraser in the other so as he worked his way across the board he could write and erase at the same time. This often left the chalk board in an overlaying pattern of bits and pieces of concepts from various passes across the board that might boggle a causal observer. But given my form of note taking, at the end of a typical Zinke lecture my notebook somehow seemed to mirror the kaleidoscope of lecture notes on the board, whatever that may reveal. The second remembrance has some similarity to the story of Paul suggesting Dr. Biging needing to learn to read Japanese. At one point Dr. Zinke was helping me design a very simple pentitrometer to measure the difference in compaction of forest soils from rubber-tire skidders vs. track-laying bulldozers. About the same time Paul knew I had applied to join the Peace Corps and that one of my choices was Brazil. Paul suggested that I find a beautiful Brazilian or Portuguese woman who wore stiletto high heels and while I push her heel into the forest soil by holding her leg while “measuring” the relative resistance going into the soil, I ask her to speak to me in Portuguese as preparation to going to Brazil, which I never did – neither find the beautiful Portuguese-speaking woman nor go to Brazil! As a first generation American, I am proud to have a degree from the University of California at Berkeley and I feel honored to have met someone as sincere, creative and unique as Paul Zinke, whom I will never forget. frank goddard 2006-10-16 12:29:07
Lini Wollenberg, MS 1986, PhD 1991Paul was a one-of-a-kind, pioneering human being who left a legacy and mark upon the world. He modeled every day the joy of curiosity and self-reliance. His agile imagination was always in play. He made novel connections between things most people would not have the knowledge to begin to connect. He was the eternal optimist. I will miss him. Paul gave me a lifelong love of soil and ecology. I remember the elation of being able to go on a field trip with him. He showed us how a tree might feel taking up nitrogen. It was a happy tree and Paul, with arms outstretched, moving rapidly this way and that, eyes filled with glee-filled, worked his magic. As quickly as it had begun, the mystical moment was suddenly over, the arms flew quickly down to the sides in that happy, matter-of-fact Paul way and we moved quickly on. Thank you Paul. 2006-10-17 10:12:46
Tom LakustaColleagues and Friends, I was a student of Paul's between 1985-1987. He garnered huge respect from his peers, colleagues, students and collaborators. I went on a trip overseas with him. His energy level and enthusiasm for truth, rational thought and creating intellectual linkages never seemed to waver. I remember when he became a full professor. He was the least excited person on the floor. I remember him giving me the oldest studies and research reports to review. This seemed to be because the early reports had the highest percentage of "new" information. He was a unique and wonderful character that I was fortunate to have studied under. The world is a lesser place because of his passing. Please pass my condolences to his family and friends. Tom Lakusta 2006-10-18 16:09:03
Rick Holmes, UCSF&C Camp '73Zinke was so passionate about forest soils, and so contagiously so, that he convinced me to dig trenches for him on a SUNDAY while at forestry camp. When I'd finished my second down to six feet, he retrieved me, with cold beverages in hand. In large part due his influence, I still travel the forests with a shovel in the back of the truck. Thanks, Paul!2006-10-20 15:19:52
Richard HarrisI knew Paul as a teacher and as a colleague who worked with me in the mid-1970's when I was an environmental analyst at Marin County. He was also on my Ph.D. committee. As a teacher, I remember him as eclectic and stimulating. But, my best memory is of a visit he made with me to a proposed development site in Inverness in 1975. I had retained him as a consultant to help me understand the impacts of the development on the vegetation. I recall how he pointed out to me the replacement of understory and vine vegetation by German ivy. It was remarkable how the ivy had displaced poison oak. This was the first experience that I had with the potential devastating effects of exotic vegetation on natural communities. Since that time I have made similar observations, e.g., displacement of willows in riparian zones by giant reed. Whenever I see something like that I cannot help remembering that time in Inverness. I have to add that although in recent years, Paul didn't prowl the halls at Mulford quite so frequently, I can still see him moving through at break-neck speed. I will miss that face and that attitude. With Paul's passing nearly all the links with the faculty that shaped my academic and practical understandings of forest ecology and management have essentially disappeared. I feel extremely fortunate to have been instructed by a cohort of teachers that included Paul, Arnold Shultz, Harold Heady, Ed Stone and Henry Vaux. All of these, and others, contributed to California forestry and natural resource management in so many ways. 2006-10-30 11:35:20
Geri Bergen (class of 1962)I remember Paul Zinke fondly. He was my very first personal contact with the School of Forestry at UC Berkeley. Early in my undergraduate studies, at the University of Nevada--Reno, I came down to Berkeley to find out more about studying forestry; and as I was wandering about Mulford Hall, Paul came down the corridor, and asked if he could help me. Since he was then the Undergraduate Advisor, this was a great contact, and he gave me excellent advice that stood me in good stead throughout my college career. In 1960 Paul was the instructor my first morning at Summer Camp. Forty young men had been surprised to see a girl join them at Camp. When it came time for a rest stop as we tramped along the trail, Paul handled what could have been an awkward moment adroitly, when he said, "Okay, all the boys on the left side of the trail, and all the girls on the right!" I remember his Dendrology class well, too. Although he gave open-book exams, you were lost if you hadn't studied and knew all the information, or where to find it, intimately. His lectures were so well-organized that I still have a complete, useful notebook from this course, tabbed with dividers! Although I did receive an "A", it was a struggle -- and good training for what was to come! Paul was always warm and always interested in his students; it was great to see him and chat with him at Alumni functions over the years. I will miss him! 2006-10-31 15:40:58
Bob PowersPaul was one of my most important mentors when I was a grad student in the late '70s. I remember him especially for his kindness and open, outgoing demeanor and for his delight in exchanging ideas. He treated me as a colleague, and his enthusiasm was infectuous. He also was a cofounder of the California Forest Soils Council in 1981. Paul advocated that besides our professional responsibility, membership in the Soils Council's should always be fun. Paul participated actively in our field trips and our scholarship fund has been named in his honor. He left an important legacy, and I'm incredibly fortunate to have known this great and humble gentleman. 2006-11-02 11:29:29
Katie Milton, Professor, Department ESPMWhen I was a very new professor at Berkeley in 1980, I was working with the Maku, indigenous people living in a remote region of the Brazilian Amazon. I became interested in factors contributing to the formation of what are known as "blackwater" rivers as all of this area of northwestern Amazonia is dominated by blackwater. I returned to Berkeley with many leaf samples, soil samples and the like but needed a true soil expert to help me figure out how to proceed. Dr. Zinke immediately filled that role! We set up a series of experiments in his lab with sandy soils, clay soils, other soils and then made extracts from the leafy matter--some leaves from blackwater forests and some from other tropical forests in non-blackwater areas. What we discovered was that all tropical leaves produce similar blackwater. It shows up in rivers in the sandy regions of the Amazon (making them appear "black") because the net effect is that of leaching phenolics and other materials through glass beads--no clay particles or other substances do anything to alter the dark color of the leached leaf compounds. This was clearly a discovery well ahead of its time. In particular, our results did not sit well with Dan Janzen, who was then king of tropical speculations. Nonetheless, this is why blackwater rivers in this area of Amazonia are black and I owe this finding to Dr. Zinke, his boundless enthusiasm and his laboratory skills and equipment. As the saying goes, Dr. Zinke was the real thing! 2006-11-02 13:18:34
marty olsonPaul had a tremendous influence on me, in terms of how I view the natural world, as a scientist, and as a teacher. His passing brings great sadness and yet immense gratitude for the effect that he had upon me. I appreciate this opportunity to share some of my memories of Paul, and regret that I will (likely) be unable to be present to show my respect to Paul and his family in person on Nov 5th. I was around the department (of Forestry & Resource Management and then its successor, ESPM) from 1986 through 1997, as a student (and a post-doc). I had frequent contact with Paul during that time. Paul was the first professor in the departmen that I met with when considering a return to school for additional studies. At that first meeting, I had only been talking to Paul for 15 seconds before he asked me to wait, while he literally ran down the hall to ask another professor (Jeff Romm) to come and listen. I was struck immediately by the image of Paul (in his 60s) running down the hall ostensibly for me. and then by the patience of both Paul and Jeff as I rambled an explanation of what I was looking for and trying to do in my professional life. It was their counsel that led me to attempt to join the graduate program. that was in the end of June 1986. That summer, I found myself sitting in the library everyday reading scientific journals and textbooks, trying to school myself in ecology. Paul tutored me. We didn't call it that or talk about what he did, but that is what he did. Each day, 15 minutes. questions, guidance, discussion. That fall semester I took his Forest Influences class, and the subsequent year, his Forest Soils class. I have so many great memories of Paul from those classes. But what I remember most about Paul is how hard he worked on his lectures, even after teaching the class for 40 years. Virtually every weekend I would be in the computer room working. Usually it was just Paul and me in the room in the middle of the semester for any length of time. I would see Paul for hours in that room (back and forth) over the weekend working on a graph that he would present to the class for 5 minutes on Monday morning, and then I would never see that graph again. I remember too Paul's accessibility. and then there was his enthusiasm. But I also remember fondly his gentle sarcasm deflating ideological positions or the arrogance of a grad or undergrad student. Sometimes it was difficult to know that he was chiding us (or me). He seemed so sincere. (... and in rhythm as he'd anticipate the question you thought you were about to ask, only to realize that Paul would state the question you should be asking.) I also remember just how cutting edge he always seemed to be. at least to me (which may not be saying much). In my later years in the department, well after Paul had become an emeritus professor, I would commonly see Paul in the lab working. I would often go into the lab to see what he was up to. He would always stop and talk. At the end of my stay, in summer of 1997, he was digitzing and doing voice overs of the videos he had taken of the landscapes he had studied all over the world. His voice over would include his memories of watching the landscape change over the prior 50 years. It was fascinating to listen to his recollections. and rather stunning to think about what he had experienced and what he knew about his fields of study. Paul was not on either of my graduate thesis committees, but I remember writing in the acknowledgments to my dissertation my gratitude to Paul to the effect that Paul represented to me what I had always envisioned the best of Berkeley professors to be. He certainly was in that class. he was an inspiration.2006-11-02 15:18:20
John Battles, ESPM facultyMy first meeting with Paul is probably the same as many of his Summer Camp with dirt on his hands standing in front of a soil pit. I was new professor at Cal and this was my first day at Summer Camp. It was an educational tour-de-force for reasons we all know. His knowledge, his enthusiasm, his uncanny ability to engage every student. He made those arcane soil terms come alive! He was inspiration. There is not a day I teach at Camp where I don't aspire to teach like Paul. 2006-11-02 15:55:15
David ThomasI first met Paul in 1972, when I was a student in the Ecology of Renewable Natural Resources course that he team taught with Arnold Schultz and Ed Stone. At that point, I had recently dropped out of law school and was re-starting my college education with a second bachelor degree. Still uncertain about what direction to take, I stumbled into that course on the advice of Harvey Doner. But it was Paul’s enthusiastic explanations of his vision of the world around us – made much more real by his incredible collection of large format slides from many places, including the mountain agroecosystems of “farmers in the forest” in Northern Thailand – that captured my imagination and set me on a new course. As I was still recovering from the trauma of being in the war in Vietnam, Paul was also one of the few people in the academic community who understood what that meant, and even made some special effort to help me accept the past and incorporate that experience into building a new future. The inspiration he provided somehow integrated intellectual and spiritual realms, and was amplified through his own personal example. A few years later I returned to Southeast Asia with a completely renovated frame of reference. I was especially pleased to have an opportunity to work with Paul during a consultancy he made in Thailand during 1979, when he introduced me to many of his colleagues and friends here. Although there were many very memorable aspects to that experience, I particularly remember one evening at a watershed unit on a very remote mountain in Northern Thailand, where Paul’s presence prompted various junior foresters to offer up their own stories about working with him in the past. Among their favorites were stories about Paul waking them up in the middle of the night. Dressed in his rain gear, flashlight in hand and full of energy, he said, “It’s raining! Let’s go!!”. Thinking at first that Paul must have gone crazy, they reluctantly got dressed and followed him out into the storm. Once there, however, they soon learned what he was trying to show them – that you can never really understand how storms result in flash floods and soil erosion until you go out and observe and try to quantify the processes for yourself. One result for them was to see how much soil erosion was resulting from poorly constructed and maintained roads, rather than from mountain agricultural fields. What most people saw as an excuse for staying inside was for Paul an excellent opportunity to go observe nature in action. The foresters never forgot their experience, and they never lost their respect for this crazy professor named Paul. Although Thailand was just one little place in Paul’s vast mental landscape, his time series of periodic collaborations here have made him a figure of almost legendary status among a generation of foresters, soil scientists, anthropologists, and geographers. Many of the introductions he made for me have resulted in enduring relationships, and a significant part of my own identity here is still related to my having been one of Paul’s students. When I returned to Berkeley for various periods during the 1980’s as I worked on my doctorate degree, Paul was once again a great source of inspiration, ideas and encouragement. At one point I was particularly struggling with how much analysis of the mountain of data I had collected during field research in Northeast Thailand to include in my dissertation. Paul’s gentle reminder was that “a dissertation is supposed to mark the beginning of a career – not the end of a career”. That simple thought helped me immensely at the time, and I have now repeated it numerous times with graduate students I have advised. They have appreciated the advice as much as I did. I think one of Paul’s most important legacies is the effects of his infectious questioning, curiosity and creative thoughts. The joy that he seemed to take in experimenting with ways in which innovations in one discipline might help improve understanding in other disciplines was one of his signature traits. Another was when you passed a tentative new idea by him, and he responded by immediately digging through the card catalog files in his office and offering up half a dozen new and often quite obscure references for you to ponder and consider. For him, accepted assumptions of all professions and disciplines needed to be continually reassessed in light of expanding human knowledge, experience and ability to measure the previously unmeasurable. Moreover, the energy he poured into his work throughout his life was always positive. Never seeking to build himself up by attacking the work of others, he only sought to build his own examples of how knowledge could be improved, and to encourage others to do the same. He will indeed be missed. 2006-11-02 20:47:44
Bill WatersPlease extend my condolences to Paul's family. He was a very fine teacher and researcher and a steadfast friend to me. He avoided academic politics, but was always firm in his vision and hope for a broad, contemporary mission of the College of Natural Resources. 2006-11-03 08:49:40
Nick Menzies (Wildland Resource Science 1981 - 1988)How did Paul know so much about so many different places and times? And how did he know so well which nugget of that vast knowledge would be most helpful when a student (such as myself...) would come to him wondering where to take a line of research that seemed to be going nowhere? A chat with Paul in that office full of files and index cards and objects half lost in the darker recesses of the bookshelves, and you would come away with new insights and ideas that would make that tedious dissertation exciting again. My own work did not fit easily into any of the normal categories of Forestry, Wildland Resource Science or whatever the field might be called at any particular moment. Historical perspectives on sustainable management based on mainly documentary research on traditional forest management systems in China. How obscure can you get? Well Paul trounced me there. During one conversation (of course, right from the start, he had found my topic exciting and wanted to keep in touch even though he was not on my committee), he said "forests as a barrier against invaders...Of course, you know that in forestry schools in East Germany [this was when the Berlin Wall still stood] military forestry is a part of the core curriculum, don't you." Of course... didn't everybody in Mulford Hall know the contents of the core curriculum in East German forestry schools? But that wasn't enough. "Since you are looking at historical aspects of the question, you must read this book. You will find it very interesting and relevant" He handed me a HUGE tome published in the late 1930s in a mix of Italian and Latin (!! Greg - he only asked you to learn one language, Japanese) about military defence installations on the Dalmatian coast during the Venetian occupation of the 14th and 15th century. Which he had read of course. We all miss you Paul, thanks for inspiring us for so long. 2006-11-03 10:00:35
Louise FortmannPaul was one of my very favorite colleagues. He lived his life and practiced his science with an infectious zest. He always had something interesting to tell you that he had just read or discovered in his work. He was one of the early biophysical scientists to work with social scientists, doing path breaking work on soils and swiddening in Thailand. He was an extraordinarily gifted teacher. When he spoke about his Thai work to my class (complete with recordings of the sounds of fire and local people's celebrations), everyone in the room, including me, was riveted. Someone once told me that Paul was in Rio for Carnival with a bunch of development mucky mucks who were given seats in some reviewing stand for mucky mucks. When Paul didn't turn up at the appointed time,they went on without him and sat watching the parade only to discover that Paul was IN the parade. That's how I remember Paul--always IN the parade.2006-11-03 11:33:05
Fred EuphratI was Paul's student for several years and his TA for Forest Soils and Forest Influences. I am honored to have worked with such a great man and wise teacher. Some instances where Paul was so unique: During a Forest Soils exam, Paul passed out a map of central Brazil and said "Just write up some salient points regarding what this map tells you about the soils of this region." Students were mystified. "But it's in Portuguese!??" "That's OK," said Paul. "All the important information is right there, and you can just read right through the language." In preparing for a Forest Influences test, Paul told the students not to study, just go through your notes and index them. It will be open book, open notes. You can't be expected to remember all this stuff, but organizing it will stay with you for life. Working with Paul on students' papers, I commented that I hoped to be as good a teacher as he. "Oh no," he said, "I expect you to go way beyond me. That's the role of students." 2006-11-03 12:49:29
Bill Beckett, Class of 1974It was my good fortune to have Paul as a professor in several forestry classes. Dendrology, forest influences, soils, and ecology were all subjects that I took from him. I remember his office in Mulford Hall was a wonderful place of knowledge and innovation. Once, he gave us an assignment to spend one quiet hour sitting in a place in the area forest and we were to notice everything in the environment that we saw. The job was to turn in our notes on the experience. What a remarkable way to teach us to look at things. Then there was the assignment to make a plant classification system for all the plants in Tilden Park’s botanical garden. Since it was winter, we were to use bud appearance and bark characteristics as the basis of our classification system. I learned to look at those plants carefully. There are many memories that I enjoy. As a young class, we were on a field trip to Inverness. Dr. Zinke introduced us to huckleberry. The group jumped in to taste the berry. After a moment of contemplation, he says that a such and such bug is in every fifth berry. That got a reaction. Then we figured out that he was joking. My best story has been about the final exam that was kept a mystery until exam time. We only knew that we should come prepared with lunch, warm clothes, sturdy shoes, etc. because we would be going somewhere. What a great outing we had. We got on a bus, then on a boat, to Brooks Island. We had a blue book to write in and an island’s ecology to write about. Three hours, it was a small place, little hill in the bay. We explored and tried to find something to say. In the end, I think many of us found observations to write about, and pass. I never knew he was in the 10 th Mountain Division. I was just an undergraduate and admired him greatly. But it makes sense. And I am so glad that so many people who knew Paul Zinke were able to write these message. I hope some of his histories are available. 2006-11-03 12:55:45
Dr. Stephen C. Hart, Professor of Ecosystem Ecology, NortherI am very sad that I am unable to be at UC Berkeley on Sunday’s Memorial (Nov. 5th, 2006) to Dr. Paul Zinke. I am also sorry to say I do not have any pictures of him to share. Below are some of my thoughts and remembrances of Paul. I have very found memories of Paul as an instructor, mentor, colleague, and friend. I first met Paul when I took a course from him in forest soils at UC Berkeley (Cal) in 1979, as a sophomore student in forestry. It was this course that paved the way for my future academic pursuits in forest soils. He was never limited by the dimensions of the chalkboard (frequently writing on the adjacent walls), and always had a creative way out of a difficult situation (like explaining that you could use the old tin Foster’s beer cans as a bulk density coring device in a pinch, or how to open a wine bottle by hitting it on a tree bole). My next major interaction with Paul was a week or so stint at Forestry Camp in 1980, when he had us running around looking at soils (he was a true lover of road cuts) of Meadow Valley. Based on these positive experiences with him as an instructor, I ended up taking a forest influences course from him in 1981 and again was amazed at how he sparked my interest in everything he discussed. When I returned to Cal in 1982 to pursue my Ph.D. in soil science after receiving my Master’s in forest ecology and soils from Duke University, I sought after Paul immediately to be on my Ph.D. examining committee. Paul also was a collaborator on the National Science Foundation supported project that I was working on, one of the largest ecology projects of its era. At that time, I took my fourth formal course from Paul, a graduate seminar on watershed management. Once again, I was mesmerized by his knowledge, grace, and ability to engage the students in learning. Even though Paul was not a member of my dissertation reading committee, I frequently hunted after him for input and advice. The following is a quote from the dissertation acknowledgement section of my 1990 dissertation. “I thank Dr. Paul (“Podzol”) Zinke for his fascinating discussions of soil-tree relationships. I always had a question in mind when talked with Paul. I don’t think he ever answered my original question once, but he always answered many others I hadn’t thought to ask, and thoroughly entertained me with his vast knowledge of forest soils.” After I graduated, it was always a pleasure and highlight to talk to Paul at professional meetings and during my visits to Berkeley. Paul was one of the best instructors I have ever had and I have tried to emulate his style and enthusiasm in the courses that I teach (which are very similar to those that I took from him while a student at Cal). As a professor myself, one of the greatest tributes that I can receive is from my past students telling me that I had some positive impact on their life and career. I know Paul felt the same way. I can honestly say that if I had not taken that forest soils class from Paul in 1979, I likely would not have become a soil scientist. I am greatly indebted to Paul; he will be missed greatly. 2006-11-04 10:00:02
Allan ,Joyce and Chris West Joyce and I will not be able to attend the memorial for Paul Zinke on Sunday.We truly wanted to be present to show our love and respect to a wonderful person,friend and colleague. Our paths first crossed in 1956 when I graduated from Cal and was preparing for graduate school.Paul was the influence to change my specialty to watershed management from plant Physiology.Paul became my advisor and guided me through my professional paper"The Influence of Forests on Snow". When I received my MF in 1957 I was not a US citizen and could not work for the US government.Paul worked out an agreement to put me on the payroll of the University with a contract from the PSW station,in those days the California Forest and Range Experiment Station.Also over the next several months he helped me go through all the hoops to become a citizen by November of 1957. I was assigned to the Snow Laboratory at Soda Springs (Donner Summit).Paul and his young family visited us often as they liked the snow and cross country skiing.During the seven years I spent at the Snow Lab Paul often brought students to participate in the many snow research projects. After leaving research and joining the Forest Service National Forest Systems our families continued to keep in contact with Paul.When my son Chris entered Cal Forestry school Paul always referred to Chris as "little Al" Joyce Chris and I express our condolences to Paul's Family and we will never forget what he did for us as a professor,supporter and friend.2006-11-04 11:46:30
Eugene ZavarinDear Colleagues, I am sincerelly sorry that some other commitments make impossible for me to attend Paul Zinke memorial. I remember Paul as an uplifting, inspirational person with a permanent warm smile and always enjoyed his company, although our professional interests did not quite overlap. As a person passes away, we are always left with some emptiness, that nothing can fill. And ultimately we begin to feel like in the midst of a desert, populated with only memories, like some ephemeral clouds of fog. God bless his soul. My sincere condolences to his relatives, Eugene Zavarin 2006-11-04 18:05:15
Robert L. Sanford, Jr. (Buck)Paul’s optimistic enthusiasm and wonderfully weird way of asking idea-questions are my best memories as a PhD student working under his guidance 1980-1985. Living in Bologna, Italy this fall, teaching parts of my University of Denver/study abroad classes in the Apennines – Paul Zinke has been in my thoughts frequently. Dejected after working long hours in the lab or back from months in the Amazon, I could always count on great smiling encouragement. Paul’s non-stop support was a ready smile and fast-format advice for moving aside obstacles. Nothing was too hard to challenge and change in his view. This was an essence of his major-professor/mentoring. Here's the other core of Paul's mentoring. Like other graduate students, I would loft ideas into discussions like great big rough-edged softballs, ready to be hit hard and sent out of play. Paul’s response to these crinkly spheres was to take careful aim and cut off a sharp edge with a tangential idea that just grazed the edge. His laser-like responses were deliberate attempts at bringing other important (but not obvious) information to light. Doing so repeatedly, Paul would help hone the idea’s rough edges into more of a smooth sphere and I came away often with something workable. Thank you Paul. I try to use this same approach with my graduate students today. My favorite quote from Paul (as he encouraged me to take a geology course): “I encourage you to do this Buck, too many soil scientists get hit over the head with the geological hammer all through their careers. Pun intended” Submitted respectfully, Robert L. Sanford, Jr. Professor & University Distinguished Scholar Biological Sciences, University of Denver 2006-11-05 03:51:20
Don GasserMy introduction to Paul was as a student at Camp in 1966. I had seen him in Mulford the previous year, always moving at a fast pace like he had something he wanted to explore. His engaging approach and friendly demeanor cemented one more reason to follow forestry and where it led. In taking his course 'Forest Influences' in 1966, Paul treated us to an unending flow of anecdotes and interesting asides, all while conveying to us how forests function. We were introduced to the Mattole River, which Paul described in vivid detail (as he could with almost anyplace you could name in California). He gave me an understanding of important forest processes that continue to affect my thinking. He became a recipient of the prestigous "Alpha 68 In Tree Award" for his fine teaching efforts. When I joined the faculty, I was treated much more often to Paul’s wisdom and wit, and his attendance at the faculty meetings with coffee in a beaker from his lab was a hallmark. Most often pleasantly imperturbable, he could become a staunch advocate speaking with passion and persuasion. I enjoyed him informally at meetings of the California Soils Council, of which he was a founder. I never saw Paul interject his ego, so common in academia, for he always seemed to be conducting a continual exploring and searching for truth, particularly as it involved soils. Even later in his life, I enjoyed his constant good humor, spreading knowledge wherever he went. Paul Zinke ranks in my life, and I am sure in many others, as one of the Great Ones, one who has deservedly gained great influence. I feel privileged to have known him. Don Gasser 2006-11-05 07:27:55
Steven DonaldsonI knew Paul Zinke through his son Michael who is both my business partnera and life long friend. Paul was a spark, a person of energy, out of time who saw the world with macro vision and appreciated everything of this world down to the micro level. He saw man as just another integral part of the natural world and was always observing, recording and collecting. 10,000 years of time was only a minor blink in his view of the great unfolding of human and natural history. I remember when he came up to our cabin in the Sierras just a year ago. He walked around casually examining the trees and in his usual manor, gave a brief rundown on the last 500 years of the forests life span, health, evolution and ecology. He's observations, his humor and his wit will be missed by all who knew him.2006-11-05 09:28:30
Don and Nancy ErmanPaul was always friendly. And he was perennially young and smiley and looked as if he'd just come in from field work. Here's a memory: Soon after Don and I arrived at Berkeley--must have been 1970 or 71--Paul and Mardy, Ed Stone and Gwen, and John Zivnuska and Marian arrived at our door at Sagehen one day. We were staying in the garage apartment for the summer. They must have all come over from summer camp. We took them for a hike to the Cirque Lake at the head of the basin and talked about logging practices and many other things. I remember that Mardy told me the best pie in the world was at the restaurant on the corner in Sierraville. We regret that we can't come to Berkeley on Sunday for Paul's memorial, but we're glad to know about it. 2006-11-05 12:49:32
Bob Coats, Forestry & Conservation '65; Wildland Resour. SciPaul was my major professor, mentor, friend and inspiration. I returned to Berkeley in 1969 to work on a PhD under Paul, pursuing an interest in nitrogen cycling that was first sparked by Paul’s 1964 class in Forest Influences. The early 70s were a time of turmoil on campus (as in the Nation), and Paul and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye on the hot issues of the day. That never mattered to me, and I don’t think it mattered to Paul. His door was always open, and I always came away from our conversations with a renewed enthusiasm for my own research, and deepened admiration for the breadth of his knowledge and boundless curiosity. Recently my research interests have turned to climate change impacts in the Sierra (the warming of Lake Tahoe, the shift in snowmelt timing, etc.). It was Paul’s Forest Influences class (and subsequent graduate seminar) that got me interested in energy budgets, snow hydrology and runoff hydrographs, and gave me the confidence to tackle such problems. Paul was truly a renaissance man of broad interests, but many forestry students will remember him primarily for his enthusiastic and inspiring teaching about forest soils. I offer the following in honor of Paul the soil scientist:

Ishi Pishi, Weitchpec Dubakella, Aiken a mesic Xeric Haplohumult if I'm not mistaken.

A Pachic Argiboroll
peds subangular and blocky
A dystric Lithic Xerochrept,
thin, skeletal and rocky.

Solonetz and Solonchak
B horizon dark and sodic
a frigid Typic Duraquod
B horizon hard and spodic.

Musik, Chaix, Chawanakee,
all weathered from D.G.
In looking closely see the truth
of C.O.R.P.T.

And now that you have heard my verse
I hope you'll learn soils better'n I've,
and think about the debt we owe
to Zinke and Dokuchaiev!
2006-11-07 09:43:44
Harley DavisI was privileged to have Paul Zinke as my major professor from 1973-1975. Paul was always gracious toward me. He was also a man of great patience to which I can personally testify. During my second year I was in need of a job and Paul put me to work in his soil and plant lab. It proved to be a valuable experience in more ways than one. We periodically had to fill a smaller container from a larger bottle of concentrated NaOH by gravity from the counter to the bottle on the floor. One day I busy doing some weighing of samples and forgot about the siphoning, Paul came into the corner office by the lab and in a very calmly manner said “it would take me about 2 hours.” I wondered what he was talking about. Then I remembered the NaOH! He was right; it was extremely slimy and time consuming to clean up. He was very calm, patient even with this particular grad student’s “environmental spill.”2006-11-07 13:16:36
Dr. Doug Piirto, NRM Dept. Head, Cal PolyI will always know him as "Dr. Zinke". I don't know if I told you that I went in to see Dr. Zinke in one of my very low moments as a UCB graduate student in the early 1970's. I was worried that I might be too focused in my studies at the UCFPL. I told Dr. Zinke all of my concerns in our meeting. He graciously smiled and said: "Doug you are doing good work here at UCB. You projects at UCFPL with Dr. Wilcox, Dr. Parmeter, Dr. Wood and others are most interesting...Dr Zinke went on to conclude: When you finish up here at Cal and you will finish up here at Cal...the world will open up to you in many wonderful ways. You will be able to apply your education in any number of ways. So don't worry so much about the future, concentrate on getting the job done now." I did and now I am doing a wonderful teaching and applied forestry sabbatical assignment here in Finland for the Fall 2006 quarter. I never thought when I was at UCB that oneday I would be teaching in the Finland in the community where my grandparents were born and raised. I miss Dr. Zinke. I send my regards via this e-message to all of Dr. Zinke's colleagues, friends and family members. 2006-11-10 21:44:59
Bob Zuparko, BS 1975, PhD 1995My connection with Dr. Zinke is rather tenuous – I was a non-forestry undergrad who took his Vegetation Dynamics class in the fall of 1973 – but I still remember him quite fondly. He worked that board like crazy, not caring how much chalk he got over his coat, while his manner of constantly correcting himself during lectures had a distinct “Hank Kimble-ish” (the farm agent from the TV show “Green Acres”) flavor. He was, without doubt, my favorite lecturer at Cal, and I was greatly saddened to hear of his passing. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and associates.2006-11-12 16:12:11
Kata Bartoloni-Tuazon, M.S. 1984When Raul, Francesca & I traveled through Italy and the Emilia-Romana region earlier this summer, we reminisced about Paul’s great stories of working with the resistance during WWII in the area around Gaggio Montano, which also happens to be the town where my grandfather was from Here’s to Paul, a man of many talents and experiences2006-11-20 14:04:23
Nancy Diamond, PhD 1992Paul was a real one of a kind. I remember his great rumpledness, his wonderful giant map of the world with all the flags for places that he had been, his VW camper van with the personalized licensed plates and his great appeal as a teacher. He kindly agreed to be on my dissertation committee. He was cheery, without fail, and always helpful and constructive. He was very smart and humble - an uncommon combination. I did not stay in touch with him but the world seems a little less friendly today, knowing that he is not there…2006-11-20 14:08:22
Pam Muick, PhD 1995My first memory of Paul is walking into his office and talking with him as he flooded his mangrove tree, which led to a long and fascinating conversation. His enthusiasm and passion for life was infectious, I'll toast him today.2006-11-20 14:13:11