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Memorial Service April 26 for Paul Friesema

Political science professor was champion of the natural environment

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April 22, 2013 | by Hilary Hurd Anyaso

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A memorial service for H. Paul Friesema, professor emeritus of political science at Northwestern University, will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, April 26 at Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road in Evanston. The service is open to the public. A reception will be held after the service at Parkes Hall, Room 122.

Friesema passed away March 8. He was 77.

Friesema started his career at Northwestern in 1968. He was instrumental in developing Northwestern’s Program in Environmental Policy and Culture. He organized and chaired the innovative Environmental Policy and Culture Program and co-chaired the university’s Environmental Council.

Friesema’s interests included natural resources and environmental policy, as well as urban politics. He authored and co-authored four books, including “Forecasts and Environmental Decision Making” (Westview Press, 1987), 17 monographs and technical reports and some 30 scholarly articles. Much of his work focused on the politics and policy issues arising from the environmental assessment process, including examining how the assessment process can be incorporated into land use planning. He also conducted a long-term study of the political empowerment of native peoples on issues concerning natural resources.

Friesema’s interest in environmental issues endured throughout his 45-year career at Northwestern. He played a key early role in the development of the environmental movement and built a library of 20,000 environmental impact statements, which he donated to Northwestern. The statements have been required since 1969 to describe positive and negative impacts of development, ranging from oil and gas development to transportation and urban land projects to the protection of wildlife habitat.

Friesema was named professor emeritus in 2009, and the university annually presents the H. Paul Friesema Award for Environmental Leadership and Academic Achievement to an exceptional student.

Friesema, an Evanston resident, was active in his church, Northminster Presbyterian, including serving on mission committees and directly serving homeless people in Evanston. He was always generous with his time and vast range of knowledge, inspiring his students, children, grandchildren and others who came in contact with him to pursue their passions and become global citizens of integrity and commitment, as he was.

Friesema is survived by his wife Jane, children Sarah, Peter and Susan and their spouses, six grandchildren and sister Gail Farnham.