Colleagues, friends mourn loss of Lowell Diller

Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union

ARCATA – Humboldt State University Wildlife professor Lowell Diller has passed away at age 69. Diller was a 27-year member of Arcata’s Forest Management Committee. A scholarship is being established in his name at HSU.

Environmental Services Director Mark Andre said Diller had “a passion for all things living,” and though a herpetologist by training, invaluably advanced knowledge of spotted owls.

“He was so well-respected throughout California and the Northwest, we certainly benefited from his experience,” Andre said. “It added credibility to the forest management program.”

Though a titan of academia, Andre said Diller was truly in his element in the wild. “He was like a little kid out there, always excited to be out in the field, turning over rocks to see what was under them,” Andre said. “I wish I could have spent more time with him there that at 7 a.m. meetings.”

Forest Management Committee Chair Michael Furniss mourned the loss of Diller. "Lowell served on the Arcata Forest Management Committee for 27 years. He made a great many important contributions, and is a big reason Arcata's Community Forest enjoys such a good reputation for conservation and wise management. Whenever Lowell spoke everyone would listen carefully, as we all knew it would be insightful and wise, and we'd always learn something important. He was a natural teacher and a genuine scientist. His integrity was impeccable and he is utterly irreplaceable."

Below, a letter from the university regarding Diller’s passing.

A Message from Humboldt State University

Dear University Community:

We are saddened to share news of the loss of Humboldt State Wildlife Professor Lowell Diller. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.

Lowell, who died last week, was an adjunct professor in the Department of Wildlife for the last 16 years. He was 69. An accomplished researcher and conservationist, Lowell was a senior biologist for Green Diamond Resource Company from 1990 to 2014. When Lowell retired, Rep. Jared Huffman recognized him for his fisheries and wildlife work, including the northern spotted owl conservation plan he created for Green Diamond. He wrote numerous peer-reviewed publications and was president of the North Coast Chapter and the Western Section of The Wildlife Society. Lowell was recently awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology. 

He was also admired on campus for his knowledge and dedication. Colleagues and students remember him as a kind, jovial instructor who mentored undergraduates and loved taking his students into the field. Known as an “old-school” field biologist, Lowell was influential in the lives of aspiring biologists.

Lowell’s death is a loss for the Humboldt State community and we are thinking of him and those who are close to him. Students who are in need of additional support during this time are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students office at (707) 826-3504 or visit that office in Siemens Hall 211. 

Staff or faculty seeking additional support may utilize the Employee Assistance Program at (707) 443-7358.


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