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William E. Glanz, 1949 - 2014


Melanie Colón

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Dr. William E. Glanz passed away peacefully at age 65 on June 14, 2014 in San Diego, California. He was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan on January 27, 1949, to Eldin H. and Lillian E. (Mandeville) Glanz. He graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his Ph.D. in zoology. He taught for 34 years at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine, as an Associate Professor in the School of Biology and Ecology. 

 

Bill's passion for natural history, and for birds and mammals in particular, took him around the globe 

seeking such wonders as tigers in India, pangolins in Ghana, birds of paradise in Papua New Guinea, and hundreds of other creatures on every continent save Antarctica. He shared his passion for natural history with his students, leading field courses in South and Central America and Africa and teaching one of the University's most popular courses, Field Natural History of Maine. 

 

To his faculty peers, Bill was an extraordinary resource for mentoring graduate and undergraduate 

students as they pursued their research projects. Bill was always referred to as a ‘walking library’ of 

current information about birds and bats. ‘You should ask Bill – he’ll know the answer to that!’ was a 

phrase frequently heard on campus. His enthusiasm for the natural world was infectious and many birders of all ages began their passion with Bill’s guided bird walks and his ever-popular ‘Field Natural History of Maine’ course. 

 

Bill’s love of nature included conserving it: Bill was central to the Maine’s assessment of the Rusty 

Blackbird, a species in rapid decline; Bill’s work contributed greatly to the Smithsonian Institute’s recent document being used to develop nationwide conservation plans for the species. 

 

Bill was a member of the American Ornithological Union, American Society of Mammalogist, 

Association of Tropical Biologists, Cooper Ornithological Society, Ecological Society of America, and 

the Society for Conservation Biology. Before coming to the University of Maine in 1979, he was 

awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Barro Colorado Island, Panama and lectured in the Environmental Studies Board at the University of California, Santa Cruz and in the Department of Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was awarded the University of Maine Presidential Outstanding Teacher Award in 1994, and continued his excellent 

teaching and mentoring students until his departure from campus in 2013. 

 

In a 2009 photo taken of Bill standing on the trail to a temple in Thailand is a sign that reads “Do not 

grumble when you suffer. Just persevere.” During his last few months, Bill showed us how to do that, with grace. 

 

He was preceded in death by his parents Eldin H. Glanz and Lillian E. Glanz, as well as by his brother Philip N. Glanz. He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Glanz of San Diego, CA; his siblings Margaret Kulow of Westminster, MD; David Glanz of Denver, CO; Elaine Glanz of Wilmington, DE; Barbara Glanz and husband Dr. Roberto Benson, of Knoxville, TN; Becky Glanz of Sun City, FL; Daniel Glanz and wife, Erin, of Masonville, CO; Douglas Glanz and wife, Carla, of Valrico, FL, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. A private memorial will be planned for a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Orono Bog Walk. Checks can be made payable to: University of Maine Foundation with bog campaign Glanz on the memo line. Send to: University of Maine Foundation, 2 Alumni Place, Orono, 

ME 04469-5792. 


 

 

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