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May 13, 2013

In Memoriam: Glenn D. Aumann, NSM Dean 1990-1992
Aumann Led the UH Coastal Center for Many Years

Glenn AumannGlenn Aumann, a professor emeritus of biology and biochemistry and long-time leader within UH and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Houston on May 11. He was 82.

He came to UH in 1965 after completing a Ph.D. in ecology and animal behavior at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Throughout the years, Aumann served the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, NSM and UH in a variety of leadership roles. He was NSM’s first associate dean and later served as dean.

Aumann’s leadership service included chairman of biology (1967-76); associate dean of NSM (1976-82); interim dean of NSM (1982-83); associate provost (1983-84); associate vice president for research (1984-90); dean of NSM (1990-92); and acting senior vice president for academic affairs (1992-94).

Perhaps the UH position closest to his heart was his work as director of the University of Houston Coastal Center. The UHCC, located west of La Marque, Texas, encompasses 925 acres on the north side of State Highway 6 and west of FM 2004. The mission of the UHCC is to support environmental research on the Texas coast by providing researchers with access to field sites, equipment and facilities.

Aumann spent countless hours at the UHCC working to restore and protect the coastal prairie parcel. Prior to World War II, the site was dominated by tall-grass prairie. However, during World War II, the military established Camp Wallace at the location, which served as home to 16,000 soldiers and hundreds of German prisoners of war. The base infrastructure disturbed large portions of the prairie and introduced non-native species to the area.

Thanks to the years of hard work and leadership by Aumann, the UHCC became an excellent research resource. Current UHCC research activities include studies of air quality and micrometeorology, invasive species and prairie ecology, and climate change and coastal wetland ecology.

Aumann was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Native Prairies Association of Texas. He also served as councilor for the Oak Ridge Associated Universities and as a voting delegate for the National Association of University and Land-Grant Colleges Commission on Food, Environmental and Renewable Resources and the section on Fish and Wildlife Resources.

He proudly served his country for four years in the United States Navy submarine services on the Tilefish, Pomfret and Bagara.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 15, at Earthman Bellaire Funeral Home, 6700 Ferris, Bellaire, Texas, from 6-8 p.m. Services will be held Thursday, May 16, at 11 a.m. at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4930 West Bellfort, Houston, 77035. A reception will follow in the parish hall.