Monday, December 1, 2008

Rest in Peace

We lost a professor last week, Dr. Heinz Wiechen. It was pretty apparent that his health was poor, but he was such a nice man that we didn't really grasp that nature would ever get the better of him. But in the end, good karma and goodwill weren't enough.

Dr. Wiechen shared an idiosyncrasy with just a few people in Fairbanks--he would wear shorts year-round, no matter what the weather. The first time I became aware that he would never put the shorts away for Winter, it was about -20F/-30C. I was in the produce section of Freddies, and saw him across the aisle, in his shorts. I said hello, and asked why he was in shorts. He smiled and shrugged. "Why not wear the shorts?" he said in his German accent. "It is not so cold!"

Anyway, here is is home page and here is his page to recruit new grad students. There are some beautiful photos of the aurora, and you can kind of tell from his narration what a warm, funny guy he was.

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