Byron H. Shaw
Byron Herbert Shaw, 73, the water quality expert who first
proved the presence of pesticides in groundwater in Wisconsin and a professor emeritus
at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), died Friday, Oct. 21,
2016, at Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital in Weston.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29,
at St. James Catholic Church in Amherst, with the Rev. Daniel Hackel
Visitation will be at the church from 9:30 a.m. Saturday
until the Mass. Dinner will follow in the church hall.
Donations may be made to the UWSP Byron Shaw Scholarship Fund
at www.uwsp.edu/foundation or 800-858-5267 or the North Central Conservancy
Trust at www.ncctwi.org.
The Jungers-Holly Funeral Home in Amherst assisted with
arrangements. Condolences may be offered online at www.hollyfuneralhome.com.
Mr. Shaw was born Jan. 4, 1943, in Madison, a son of the
late Kenneth and Ruth (Wilhelm) Shaw of Waunakee. He became Waunakee’s first
He earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees
and a doctorate in soil and water chemistry from UW-Madison in 1968.
He was married to his wife, Margaret, in June 1966.
In 1968, he accepted a professorship at UWSP in the College
of Natural Resources, where he taught and mentored students, provided adult
education via UW-Extension and directed the Environment Task Force Program
which he helped establish in 1972, collecting data useful in education,
research and public service programs and to policymakers at the local, state
and national levels.
He was the first in Wisconsin – and among the first in the
nation – to detect and demonstrate the presence of pesticides in groundwater.
This led to the passage of Wisconsin’s 1984 groundwater law, a model piece of
conservation legislation for both the state and the nation. He led regional and
state efforts to improve groundwater monitoring and protection.
His studies have included the effects of farm animal runoff,
phosphates and acid rain in Wisconsin and other states. He earned the 1993
Wisconsin Idea Award in Natural Resource Policy. He retired from UWSP in 2000
after 32 years, but continued to serve in numerous capacities to help safeguard
water resources and particularly groundwater.
He also served as lector and server at St. James Church in
Amherst for many years and was president of the New Hope Alliance.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret, Amherst Junction; two sons,
Jeffery (Terry Hiltz), Cottage Grove, and Daniel (Mary Sobota), River Falls; one
sister, Barbara (Wilmer) Larson, Cottage Grove; and two grandchildren, Lilian
and Samuel Shaw, River Falls.