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Ruth Lofgren

San Antonio | Microbiologist

Ms. Lofgren was trained as a microbiologist, receiving her Ph.D., and later teaching in a medical school and helping pioneer electron microscopy. From 1956 to 1976, she taught ecology and science education at the City University of New York, developing new ways of using video equipment for real-time laboratory lessons in natural science. After retiring from CUNY, Ms Lofgren moved to San Antonio, where she has long been active in science and environmental education, on a policy, classroom, and field level. From a policy standpoint, she has served as the Water Chair for the San Antonio chapter of the League of Women Voters, speaking out on ways to protect the plentiful and clean flows of the Edwards Aquifer. In the classroom, she taught science enrichment in a Quaker school for emotionally disturbed students. With these children, she recognized the value of touching and learning from the outdoors. She became a long-time volunteer and guide with the Mitchell Lake Wetlands Society, a non-profit group dedicated to the refuge at the 600-acre lake and 700-acre buffer lands located south of San Antonio. First appearing on Spanish maps in the 1690s, Mitchell Lake became the heart of the Mission Espada in 1731, a reserve for Native Americans in 1794, and finally a sewage sludge pond for San Antonio in 1901, which continued until its replacement with the Dos Rios wastewater treatment plant in 1987. Now, the Lake is one of only 2 large freshwater bodies in south central Texas and so forms a critical stop on migration routes for over 270 species of waterfowl, raptors, shore and song birds. As well, since it is just 15 miles south of downtown San Antonio, it provides a wonderful place for outdoor recreation and environmental education.

Interview Information

February 14, 2006
San Antonio, Texas
Reels 2328 and 2329

Excerpted Videos

Excerpt 1