In Memoriam – Michael Feller

In Memoriam – Michael Feller

Submitted by Bev Ramey

Dr. Michael Feller died peacefully and unexpectedly in his sleep on January 20, 2024, just shy of his 78th birthday. He is remembered as a keen birder with Nature Vancouver, for his work to revegetate habitat, as an outdoor enthusiast and historian with the BC Mountaineering Club, as well as an associate professor emeritus at UBC’s Faculty of Forestry. Michael received the BC Achievement Community Award (2014) which commended his initiatives regarding land use policies along the Sea to the Sky corridor, his academic research work and teaching, as well as being a relentless advocate for the alpine environment and the responsible and respectful use of wilderness resources.

Michael wrote the interesting historical account in Discovery Volume 50 (2022, pp 51-63), titled “Contributions of BC Mountaineers to Nature Vancouver”.

His UBC colleague, Prof. John Richardson wrote:

“Our long-time colleague and friend, Dr. Michael Feller, recently passed away.  It didn’t matter if it was raining, snowing or the weather was doing something else, for decades Michael made his weekly pilgrimage to the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest streams he studied for his doctoral work and then decades afterwards. Michael’s enthusiasm for protecting our environment was clear in so many of his activities.

Michael’s many contributions include the understanding of nutrient flows into our surface waters, from fires or forestry or long-term global change. Michael sustained a very long-term interest in his work and that long perspective allowed him to notice patterns associated with global changes and other long-term climate patterns.

Michael’s legacy from the long-term work he published on streams, fire and forestry lives on in his many publications, and the outcomes in protecting our environments better. He cared about mentoring his students and was an effective instructor, and he provided guidance to many fledgling scientists and younger faculty members. His work was instrumental in convincing Vancouver’s watersheds to cease logging where our water comes from. Michael collaborated with many of us with a shared interest in providing the scientific basis for better forest management around water systems, and we all benefited from his experience and observation, and from his collegiality.”

Together with his wife, Evelyn, who also contributes to conservation, including decades of volunteer time with the Fraser River Coalition and work to protect old growth forests, they divided their time between British Columbia and Australia.

With respect to their time in Australia, Michael is warmly remembered as “a gentle giant for forests” by Australia’s Victorian National Parks Association and is available from the following link:

Comments are closed.
Nature Vancouver