Spring 2014 Outstanding Professor: Dr. Paul Klatt

dsc6720-x2Name: Dr. Paul H. Klatt
Degrees Earned: PhD in Zoology, North Dakota State University, MS in Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, BS in Psychology, University of Illinois
Years at Ferris State: Nine
Courses Taught: BIOL 121-122 General Biology I & II, BIOL 343 Ornithology, BIOL 347 Environmental Conservation, BIOL 348 Animal Behavior, BIOL 442 Ecology
Involvement: Ferris Recyclers, Club Table Tennis, Kayaking, Hiking, Birding

From Dr. Peter Bradley, Honors Program Director:

“Each semester, students are asked to nominate a single professor who inspires them to embrace intellectual challenges. These professors need not teach Honors classes, nor must they be nominated for what happens inside their classrooms. The Outstanding Professor award is given to the professor who most inspires our students to fulfill that ideal for creating intellectual challenge and engagement.

This semester’s Outstanding Professor is Dr. Paul Klatt. Dr. Klatt inspires his students by making the subject—specifically Animal Behavior and Environmental Conservation—“so fun!” But that doesn’t mean that he is considered “easy.” This was, in fact, a point that his nominator wanted to make very clear, stating that, “Dr. Klatt challenges his students, while at the same time relating the material in a way that makes his students want to succeed.” There is no higher praise for a University Professor.”

As a man who not only frequently visits the Muskegon River but also teaches a variety of nature-oriented biology courses, Dr. Klatt is a man who loves the outside. “The woods between the practice field and the Muskegon River is one of my favorite places to visit,” he said. “It’s such a great area for birds.” Clearly, Dr. Klatt has a passion for birds—so much, that he has a great deal to do with the infamous Ferris State Osprey Webcam! “I am fortunate enough to be the project leader for the Ferris State University Osprey Webcam,” he explained. “I use the two cameras for a lab exercise in Ecology where students collect behavioral data on time budgets and nest site attentiveness. It has been something that really draws in the attention of those observing and tends to leave a lasting impression.”

While on the note of lasting impressions, being awarded the Honors’ Outstanding Professor award will definitely leave a footprint in Dr. Klatt’s path through Ferris State. “There are lots of different kinds of great professors, and most do not even know that students consider them as great,” he elaborated. “But I think students find it easier to work through the daily grind when their professors can make connections and relate to them, even a little bit.

“With so many other great professors here at Ferris State, it feels amazing. The secret is that the key to a great class… is actually the students,” Dr. Klatt concluded.

The Honors Program thanks Dr. Klatt for positively influencing the lives of so many students within Ferris and within the Honors Program, motivating them to expand their knowledge.

This article was written by Endeavor editor Logan Bixman.

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