By Sue McMurray
Janet DeVlieg Pope has a heart for the outdoors and a mind for helping others appreciate it. On Saturday, Dec. 10 during commencement ceremonies on the Moscow campus, the University of Idaho College of Natural Resources will honor her with a degree of Doctor of Natural Resources, recognizing her public service and contributions to natural resource management and engineering.
Pope and her husband Jim, a retired helicopter pilot contractor who flew wildlife surveys for several states’ wildlife agencies, have supported University of Idaho natural resource and engineering programs for the last 20 years.
Pope is president of the DeVlieg Foundation, a private, tax-exempt charity interested in giving young people educational opportunities. Pope dedicates Foundation funds to support both University of Idaho academic research and hands-on field experiences in the areas of engineering and natural resource conservation.
The Foundation supports undergraduate internships and graduate research
Janet Pope and Andy Osler, DeVlieg Undergraduate Research Scholar
assistantships for CNR students at Taylor Wilderness Research Station and graduate students at the McCall Outdoor Sciences School who visit Taylor to improve their outdoor teaching skills.
“Janet Pope’s encouragement and involvement in the DeVlieg Research Scholar program gave me the opportunity to gain invaluable skills in research and backcountry living,” says Amber Lankford, a past recipient of a DeVlieg Undergraduate Research Scholarship. “As a result of my first summer at Taylor, I gained a fuller understanding of real world conditions in research, cemented my own passion for ornithology and became part of a research community that I will remain part of for the rest of my life. I cannot emphasize enough how valuable the experience was for me.”
Brian Kennedy, associate professor of fisheries resources, adds: “Janet’s support has had a direct and significant impact on my research activities as well as those of graduate students and undergraduate research scholars at Taylor. Her support has allowed us to pursue genuinely cutting-edge science that otherwise would have been difficult or delayed had we relied on more conventional avenues for funding.”
Janet and Jim dedicate the DeVlieg Cabin
Among the DeVlieg Foundation’s notable contributions to the University was the 2004 construction of a large cabin at CNR’s Taylor Wilderness Research Station located in the heart of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. She and Jim volunteered hundreds of “labor of love” hours to complete the DeVlieg Cabin, which provides a living-learning structure for interns, faculty and researchers.
Currently, the Foundation supports the development of renewable energy utility systems at Taylor, designed and constructed by young engineers in senior capstone studies in the university’s College of Engineering. A new hydro and solar power grid have recently been installed, and work is being done to improve water availability.
The Foundation also supports an undergraduate mechanical engineering
scholarship for the College of Engineering and a graduate program with the
U-Idaho Center for Ecohydraulics in Boise.
The Popes enjoy getting to know and mentor the students whose research projects are supported by the Foundation. They join students to conduct field research follow their scientific discoveries and support student and faculty flight expenses into the roadless Taylor facility.