FHSU mourns death of department chair

The Fort Hays State University Chair of Geosciences, Dr. John Heinrichs, died at home over the weekend. In an announcement to the FHSU faculty, Dr. Paul Faber, dean of the college of arts and sciences, said, “John has been a wonderful teacher, colleague, and friend. We will all miss him terribly.” Heinrichs began teaching at FHSU 1998, and served as the Geoscience department chair since 2006. During his time at FHSU Heinrichs received numerous awards including, the FHSU President’s Distinguished Scholar, the FHSU Pilot Award, and the FHSU Student Government Association Special Appreciation Award.

Heinrichs was from Milwaukee and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, receiving both a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics. Heinrichs completed his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Heinrichs taught at the University of Colorado-Boulder before coming to FHSU.

Outside of teaching Heinrichs was actively involved in climate and geoscience research as well as community service activities. He was also a member of several professional organizations including the American Geophysical Union, American Association of Geographers, and the Kansas Academy of Sciences. Locally he was the chair of the Ellis County Wellhead Protection Committee and a member of both the FHSU Research Environment Committee and the FHSU President’s Distinguished Scholar Selection Committee.

A celebration of Heinrichs’ life is being planed, and details will be released at a later time.

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  1. Crawford on January 13, 2014

    We all mourn John’s passing greatly. What I think we’ll miss most was John’s passion, vibrance, and excitement. John did an excellent job at integrating students – grad and undergrad – into the various research projects he undertook. As a long serving department chair, John was an excellent advocate for this programs, was always looking for ways to improve and keep current his curriculum, and worked closely with other departments to break down the silos of knowledge. He touched so many people personally and professionally. My thoughts are with his wife, his students, and the Geosciences faculty and staff.

  2. Ruohoniemi on January 15, 2014

    On behalf of Dr. Heinrich’s partners on the SuperDARN Doppler radar project at Virginia Tech, Dartmouth College, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, I want to express our profound sadness at the news of his passing. John was a great colleague and friend. He was our first contact with Fort Hays State University and a tremendous part of the continuing success of the radar project, even allowing us to share his field site and his students, and always helpful. We will miss him. Our condolences to his wife, students, and to the University.
    Dr. J. Michael Ruohoniemi
    Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Virginia Tech
    on behalf of the NSF MSI SuperDARN radar partners

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