John D. Schade of Hatchville, who had a career in research and education as a biogeochemist, died in his sleep at home on March 26 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 54.
He was the husband of Susan M. Natali.
After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in biology, he completed his PhD at Arizona State University and spent the first 10 years of his career as a professor of biology and environmental studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
He continued his work in climate research and education in the Polaris Project at Woodwell Climate Research Center in Woods Hole, and the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC. He managed the ecosystem studies and long-term ecological research programs during his time in the Division of Environmental Biology at the NSF.
The Woodwell center described Dr. Schade’s research as ranging “from studies of greenhouse gas production in agricultural and arctic streams to the impacts of changing snow depth on carbon and nitrogen cycling in prairie soils and the influence of intensification of the water cycle on methane production by wetlands. Near the end of his career, he focused on the impacts of fire and permafrost thaw on carbon and nitrogen cycling in southwest Alaska.”
He was passionate about educating the next generation of scientists.
In addition to his wife, he leaves his mother, Carol Jean Winn of Harbor Springs, Minnesota; two siblings, Lisa Schade Eckert of Marquette, Minnesota, and Jeff Schade of Kearney, Nebraska; two nephews and a niece; and other family.
A celebration of his life will be at a later date.