- Evening, Weekend & Online Programs
- ALUMNI RELATIONS
- GIVING TO LAKELAND
- ABOUT LAKELAND
Paul Pickhardt, assistant professor of biology, begins his sixth year at Lakeland College this fall. In April, he received the Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. He co-developed and teaches Lakeland's tropical biology program in Belize, has chaired Lakeland's professional standards committee for the past two years and serves on the Institutional Review Board. He has a bachelor's degree in science education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Kiribati (Central Pacific) and earned a doctorate in biology from Dartmouth College. Prior to joining Lakeland's faculty, Paul conducted three and one-half years of post-doctoral research at Stony Brook University in NY examining mercury dynamics in the San Francisco Bay ecosystem.
Advice that I always give to my students: Explore as many disciplines as you can until you find one that you are good at and one that truly energizes you so that eventually your vocation and avocation match up.
If I were not a professional educator, I would be: A research oriented limnologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
If I could teach another discipline, it would be: Political science or sociology - I'm a news nut and deeply interested in politics and demographic trends.
When I read for me, I read: American authors such as John Steinbeck, Philip Roth, Russell Banks and John Updike, though Ian McEwan has hooked me the last year or so.
Right now, I'm reading: The fourth book in the Harry Potter series (I have to stay at least one ahead of my son).
The best book I have ever read: "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding, which really hit home when I re-read it while living on the island of Beru during my Peace Corps years.
Web browser bookmarks: The New York Times, NPR, Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting, CIA World Fact Book
What's in my iPod: Bon Iver, Decemberists, Arcade Fire, Uncle Tupelo, Neko Case and lots of old heavy metal.
The worst job I ever had was: Handing out free soda in the parking lot to drive-through banking patrons on hot summer days. Sticky, hot, bees and ungrateful customer comments for $3/hr.
I can't live without: My wife Kristine and my two sons, Carl and Adam. They put up with all of my idiosyncrasies and they seem to like me.
My one unbreakable rule is: Honesty.
The hardest thing about being a teacher is: Seeing apathy in students with ability.
The most beneficial class I took was: Introduction to Limnology. The course was taught by some of the most important and inspiring aquatic ecologists in North America and it made me realize that you could study lakes for a living.
I'm frugal in that: I pack my own lunch every day. I'm up and at 'em by: 6 a.m. - with my wife already off running (somebody's got to get the coffee going).
My favorite meal: Raw yellow fin tuna in coconut cream curry with onions.
This was everyday fare in the Central Pacific - tougher to come by in Sheboygan.
If I were king for a day: People would base their decisions and actions on objective data and not on emotionally-oriented values.
I'd love to trade places for a day with: Soccer star Lionel Messi - he's a magician on the pitch.
My students don't know how much: I enjoy playing soccer. I'm still pretending that I can keep up with 18 and 19-year-olds, but my rational side is starting to dampen that illusion.
The thing I love most about my job is: That I get really excited about the natural world and how biology - and particularly ecology - tries to make sense of that world. I get to teach and talk about that every day, with nice colleagues to boot.
Besides teaching, I'm good at: Gardening, cooking, soccer, photography, parenting (though that verdict may not come in fully for a decade or two …)
Lakeland is a good fit for me because: I love teaching and getting to know all of the students in my classes. I'm particularly energized when students apply for and take advantage of all of the opportunities that are available to young biologists.