Professor Emeritus Jim Eckblad to give Luther Emeriti Colloquium on May 9

May 1, 2019

Professor Emeritus Jim Eckblad to give Luther Emeriti Colloquium May 9

Illustrating boat transportation on the Mississippi throughout America’s history Jim Eckblad, Luther College professor emeritus of biology, will present the lecture, “A Boating History of the Mighty Mississippi” at Luther’s Emeriti Colloquium at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 9, in the Mott Room of the Dahl Centennial Union on Luther’s campus.

The lecture is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Boats have provided transportation for people and their cargo for many centuries. The diversity of boat types on the Mississippi River has reflected both the existing technology and the transportation needs of the interior of the United States. For the past 200 years that has included the presence of power boats, which enables movement in both an upstream and downstream direction.

Eckblad has been studying river ecology for over four decades. His studies of the Mississippi, with more than 50 Luther students, confirmed the spread of invasive species, quantified rates of sediment accumulation, quantified the productivity of backwater habitats and characterized how backwaters are linked to the main channel of the river. He continues his lifelong fascination with the river and the boats that have helped shape its unique role in the development of the interior of our country.

Eckblad taught at Luther 1971- 2007, teaching courses in the principles of biology, aquatic biology, biostatistics and principles of evolution, among others. His research interests were in population ecology of steam benthos and modeling of biological systems. Eckblad earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a doctoral degree from Cornell University.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: