Dr. Neil Bernstein granted emeritus status after 36 years of service

After 36 years as a member of the biology faculty at Mount Mercy University, Neil Bernstein, PhD, was awarded professor emeritus status at the 2018 commencement ceremony, May 20.

During Neil’s tenure as professor of biology, he inspired students to learn more about the environment and care for the earth. He developed the outdoor conservation major, and his teaching experience extends to other areas in the curriculum, including portal, capstone, and honors courses.

Neil has had an especially successful career as a scholar. Since 2000, he has received over 25 research grants to study amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals and survey public lands, which led to publishing over 18 journal articles. Neil’s current research interests include growth rates, habitation, and home range of the ornate box turtle and sand dune succession following the removal of conifer plantation.

Neil has held many leadership roles at MMU, including associate academic dean, division chair, and department chair, where he mentored and encouraged many faculty throughout the years. He has chaired and served on numerous committees during his tenure at MMU. Neil’s service to his profession is extensive as an editor of various journals and member of many organizations and societies. Most notable is his involvement in the Iowa Academy of Science, where he served as a section chair, editor of the journal, academy president (1999), and on the board of directors. Recognized for his dedication to service, Neil earned MMU’s Outstanding Service Award (2003), MMU’s Outstanding Commitment to the Institution award (2016), and the Iowa Academy of Science Distinguished Fellow award (2017).

While Neil will be missed by students and colleagues, he will continue his passion for teaching others about the environment at field stations and will publish a children’s book on sand prairie ecology that he co-authored with his late colleague, Dr. Bob Black.

Congratulations, Neil!

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