Dale Goble, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus
April 15, 2022
Dale Goble passed Thursday, April 14, at his home in Moscow. His wife, Susan Kilgore, asked that employees be notified of his passing. His life’s work was his teaching and scholarship. In tribute, read about his academic contributions in an excerpt from the Idaho Law Review Special Edition based on the 2019 Festschrift in his honor.
University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dale D. Goble pursued a J.D. in law at the University of Oregon after completing an A.B. in philosophy at Columbia College. He began his career in law with the honors program at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He remained for two years following the two-year honors stint, during which time James Watt became secretary of the interior. Dale and his new boss did not see eye to eye on the law governing the conservation of species and public lands. Interior’s loss was the University of Idaho’s gain. Dale taught and mentored U of I students for 36 years before retiring in 2017.
At U of I, Dale achieved the rank of University Distinguished Professor and the Margaret Wilson Schimke Distinguished Professor of Law. He was an adjunct faculty member of the Environmental Science, Bioregional Planning, Philosophy and Water Resources programs. Externally, he was a member scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform. At the College of Law, Dale’s quest to insert as many cases as possible with potatoes into the Torts curriculum led to the student-created label of “Tater Torts.” Dale taught Tater Torts to over 1,500 students from 1982-2017 and was instrumental in shaping tort law in Idaho.
While Tater Torts remained an internal favorite at the College of Law, Dale became known externally and internally for his teaching and scholarship in public land law and wildlife law. In the words of one of his wildlife law casebook collaborators, Professor Eric Freyfogle, research professor and Swanlund Chair Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Dale is the father of wildlife law.” The casebook brought together state law governing game management, conservation and take, with federal and international law focused on species protection under the heading of wildlife law to provide a more complete curriculum on biodiversity conservation, management and take.
Dale’s contributions included connecting the law school to interdisciplinary education in environmental science at the College of Law. His many collaborations across the law/science divide, including those with University Distinguished Professor Mike Scott, changed how the law school viewed interdisciplinary work and the importance of science, creating a deeper understanding of natural resource and environmental law.
Plans are not yet firm, but the family is considering a memorial service in June.
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu