The Provost's Office

Biography of The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Dr. Michael Zimmerman

Prior to his tenure at Evergreen, Michael Zimmerman held academic leadership appointments as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University, Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College in Ohio. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology from Washington University in St. Louis after earning an A.B. degree in Geography from the University of Chicago. 

As an ecologist, Michael has focused his attention on plant-animal interactions, particularly those associated with pollination. His field work in montane Colorado and Australian heathland has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture and the American Philosophical Society, among others.  

Michael also has a professional interest in science literacy in general and the evolution-creation controversy in particular. He has conducted survey research of various groups (college students, high school teachers, school  board presidents, managing editors of newspapers and elected officials) to determine how widespread the acceptance of pseudoscience actually is. As a newspaper columnist specializing on scientific and environmental issues, his work has appeared regularly on the op-ed pages of many newspapers nationwide. He writes regularly for the Huffington Post. His book reviews on similar topics frequently appear in Publishers Weekly and other publications. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also past editor of the Newsletter of the Ohio Center for Science Education. Finally, he is the founder of The Clergy Letter Project, an international organization of more than 15,000 religious leaders and scientists designed to demonstrate that religion and science are compatible.

Michael's book entitled Science, Nonscience, and Nonsense: Approaching Environmental Literacy was published in 1995 by Johns Hopkins University Press. A paperback version was released two years later.

His interest in enhancing public understanding of the liberal arts has led him to help found the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA).  WaCLA is an association of Washington state public and private higher education institutions, organizations and individuals promoting the value of a liberal arts education to the people and communities of the state.