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Near Retirement, Senior Biology Professor Starts Career At Another University

(People Do Not Simply "Up and Move" At This Stage In Life For The Fun Of It)


Lewis Oring, one of UND's senior biology professors and a nationally funded leader in shorebird research, will resign at the end of the year to join the faculty at University of Nevada in Reno.

Besides his teaching and research, Oring is director of a $6 million state and federally funded program to improve scientific research and education in North Dakota. He has been at UND 22 years.

"He's going to leave a big hole," Biology Chairman Richard Crawford said Wednesday. He said Oring would be a major loss to the department, and possibly the first of two or three biology resignations before the year is out.

Crawford said Oring's resignation won't take effect until Jan. 1, because the professor wants to spend another summer and fall with the university doing bird research and working with graduate students.

Oring's wife, Kay, earlier announced she was leaving the UND faculty this summer after 11 years to work on her doctorate. She is an associate professor of home economics and nutrition.

The state tax referral vote in December was a factor in Lew Oring's decision to leave, Crawford said. He said Oring will get a substantially higher salary as a professor of conservation ecology in Nevada, and he'll be able to devote nearly all his time to research and work with graduate students.

Oring, 51, was named a Chester Fritz distinguished professor at UND two years ago. He and Robert Fleischer of the biology department recently were awarded a three-year $204,000 grant front the National Science Foundation for research on shorebird ecology and population genetics. Oring, who has a research base on northern Minnesota's Leach Lake, is an expert on spotted sand pipers.

The state program he directs has five-year funding from the National Science Foundation. It is called ASEND, for the Advancement of Scientific Excellence in North Dakota.

Grand Forks Herald, May 10, 1990