Jack S. Wood obituary

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of Jack S. .


Dr. Jack S. Wood, professor emeritus of biological sciences at Western Michigan University, died Sept. 18 in Battle Creek, Mich. He was 80.

Wood, of Hickory Corners, Mich., came to WMU in 1963 and retired in 1991 after more than 28 years of service to the University. Serving the public was a hallmark of his tenure at WMU, and he is fondly remembered as the founding director of Western's Office of Public Service, which is no longer in operation.

Wood also assisted in the creation of a program to address the problems of maintaining professional competency among postdoctoral scientists in both education and industry. In addition, he helped develop, organize and direct the Southcentral Michigan Planning Council and with a faculty group, developed WMU's Institute of Public Affairs.

He served as associate director of that institute from 1972 to 1980 and helped obtain grants that resulted in a Science for Citizens Center being established there to serve citizens and governments throughout southwest Michigan.

Wood took on numerous administrative and volunteer roles at WMU, including directing the biomedical science program while it transitioned into a separate department, chairing various campus committees, holding leadership positions in the Faculty Senate and serving as WMU's liaison to the state's Legislative Science Office and Technology Transfer Network.

An expert on biomedical sciences, animal physiology and wastewater management, Wood testified at U.S. congressional committee hearings and was a former vice chair of the Michigan Association of Conservation Ecologists and the Michigan Academy of Sciences. During his academic career, he helped more than 30 lake associations resolve local water-quality issues.

He obtained grants from federal funders such as the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and National Science Foundation. Just before retiring, he garnered considerable attention working with the state to reintroduce wild turkeys to West Michigan.

Wood served in the Army during the Korean War. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Maine and master's and doctoral degrees from Michigan State University.


Memorial gifts may be made to New Hope Church or a charity of choice. Visit farleyestesdowdle.com to leave a personal message.