Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 26, 2016 at 9:36 AM by Emily Saveraid

James ‘Jim’ PeaseJim Pease has nearly 4 decades of experience as an Extension specialist, professor of interpretation, writer, and consultant.   Jim began his 4-H career in 1974 as a Youth Development Naturalist at Uplam Woods 4-H Camp in Wisconsin and was lured to Iowa 4-H in 1980.

During his tenure as 4-H Camping and Natural Resource Specialist, Jim impacted thousands of 4-H youth, 4-H club leaders, teachers and University students to love and better understand Iowa's natural resources.   Jim understood the value of leveraging his time and talents for the benefit of youth by collaborating with other organizations such as the Iowa DNR, Iowa Department of Economic Development, IDALS and the Area Education Agencies. Through these collaborations, he developed an award-winning 4-H environmental curriculum called the Ding Darling Project and developed a 4-H computer game on deer populations called “Oh, Deer.”  He also developed an activity guide for volunteers called “Birds, Bees, Bugs and Us” that is still used today.

His grant writing and collaboration skills improved the Iowa 4-H Center facilities in numerous ways including hosting the Statewide Conservation Corps Camp that brought two hundred high school youth to the 4-H Center to build trails, bridges, and rope course elements.  Jim's obvious love was camping and natural resources and although many summers he worked 70-80 hours a week supervising camp staff and conducting programs, he also found time to help his colleagues at the Iowa State Fair.  To put it in the words of Jim "all the state staff had an attitude that we are all in this together."  

Even after Jim became the ISU Extension Wildlife Specialist, he continued his love of 4-H through his work with 4-H Shooting Sports.  He secured funding for the Iowa 4-H Center to host the yearly statewide Iowa DNR Hunter Education and Shooting Sports event for a number of years.   He was always willing to give of his talents to 4-H by serving on committees, including 4-H in grant opportunities, and by doing what he does best-teaching. Jim trained volunteers locally, regionally and nationally.  He was featured in a series of 4-H volunteer natural resource education training videos developed by the National 4-H Headquarters. He also provided leadership for 4-H youth wilderness trips to the Boundary Waters, Colorado and even Alaska. 

Jim had an illustrious career as a professor in the ISU Animal Ecology Department where he influenced many budding naturalists and educators to think of 4-H as a career.  He has also taught and conducted projects internationally in Costa Rica, Brazil, Panama, Russia, and Taiwan. He received numerous awards for his work, including the prestigious Master Interpreter from the National Association for Interpretation and Distinguished Science Teacher Award from the Iowa Academy of Science.

Jim is now retired, has emeritus status in the Natural Resource Ecology and Management Department at Iowa State University and is active speaking, writing, consulting and is volunteering for the Iowa 4-H Foundation.  He can still be heard on Iowa Public Radio in his monthly wildlife program on “Talk of Iowa”.

Categories: State Recognition

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