The scientist, the teacher, the person

I had great admiration for Mr. [Kenneth] Christiansen as a scientist and really enjoyed him as a person [“In Memoriam,” Page 46, Spring 2018]. I learned a tremendous amount from him, and he had a great positive influence on me. He was one major reason I was inspired to get a Ph.D. in entomological sciences from University of California, Berkeley.

I have many great memories of times with him: collecting Collembola in the forests of Oahu and visiting scientists at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu; working many hours together in his lab as his research assistant, especially during the summer of 1983 when I worked with him full time; publishing a journal article together describing two new species of Collembola; doing an individual guided reading with him on entomology; taking his courses, in particular invertebrate zoology; and appreciating good music together at many times in his lab while we were bent over microscopes. During the summer of ’83, he invited me to join the city of Grinnell’s performance of The Music Man — he acted on stage while I played saxophone and clarinet in the orchestra.

I’ll certainly miss him, as I enjoyed keeping in touch with him by letters and email over the years since I graduated.

Ken was a wonderful adviser and teacher, who really cared about his students.

Author Info: 
Greg Luther ’84
Shanhua TNN