Victor D. Phillips III
Victor Duzerah “Duz” Phillips III, 68, a former dean of the College of Natural Resources (CNR) and founder of the Global Environmental Management Education Center (GEM) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), died Wednesday, April 11, 2018, of pneumonia in Milwaukee.
At his request, there will be no public memorial.
Donations may be made to Global Giving (dnrc at goo.gl/swrjwh) or to benefit Dryland Natural Resource Center (http://www.dnrckenya.co.ke/index.php), whose founder, Nicholas Syano, studied under Vic and continues their work.
Mr. Phillips was born in Texas, a son of the late Victor and Grace Phillips. He was an Eagle Scout and a three-sport athlete. The family moved to Missouri and he graduated from Parkway Central High School in the St. Louis area, where received First Team All-State honors as a punter and an athletic scholarship to North Texas State University (NTSU), his mother’s alma mater.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from NTSU in 1972.
He returned to the St. Louis area to teach science and coach soccer at Parkway West High.
He earned a master’s degree at Washington University and completed his doctorate in ecology at the University of Colorado.
He was married to Mai Morshidi 33 years ago.
Mr. Phillips secured more than $10 million in external grants for GEM, and he focused on applied research and consulted globally on forestry and permaculture practices to advance resource conservation and sustainability. He was primary or contributing author on more than 170 scientific papers and articles.
In 1988 testimony before Congress on Remediation of Global Warming, he used a twist on a popular advertising jingle: “How do you spell relief? R-E-L-E-A-F.”
In retirement he switched from scientific papers to short story writing to express his life’s passions and sense of humor. He designed a home in Costa Rica with his wife, and they populated its landscape with favorite flowering permaculture “friends.”
Survivors include his wife, Mai Morshidi Phillips; two daughters, Anisa Phillips Asakawa and Chiara Phillips; two siblings, Minta and Stone Phillips; and one grandson, Jun Phillip Asakawa.