Friday, September 25, 2015

In Memory of Dr. Karel Klinka - UBC Faculty of Forestry, Vancouver BC

Received this sad information today on Dr. Karel Klinka, who I remember from my UBC Forestry days in the early 90's.  Needless to say he had a huge impact on forestry in British Columbia and on the many students and co-workers that knew him.

Dear Alumni,

We know that Dr. Karel Klinka was known to many of our alumni and are passing on the information below in case you would like to attend the memorial. It is with great sadness that I share the news that Dr. Karel Klinka, Professor Emeritus of the Forest and Conservation Sciences Department, passed away on September 15, 2015.

Dr. Karel Klinka was an outstanding ecologist, forester, supervisor, mentor, collaborator and friend. His knowledge of plants distribution and ecology was encyclopedic and his ability to recall Latin names was legendary. His research and contributions to biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification provide the foundation for many provincial policies and practices - enduring legacies that guide sustainable management and conservation of British Columbia's forests.

Karel was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, June 18, 1937. He earned his For. Ing degree from the Faculty of Forestry, Charles University, Prague in 1960. He immigrated to Canada in 1969 and earned his Ph.D. in the Faculty of Forestry, UBC in 1976 under the mentorship of renowned botanist Vladimir Josef Krajina. Karel had a distinguished career holding various positions with the BC Ministry of Forests, and then joined the Faculty of Forestry at UBC in 1980, where he taught forest classification, silvics and silviculture. He carried on the research of Krajina in plant ecology and ecosystem classification and he mentored 22 graduate students and 4 post-doctoral fellows over 20 years as a professor. He was recognized for his many contributions and achievements - he was the recipient of the 1977 Distinguished Forester Award from the Association of BC Professional Foresters, the 1989 BC Science and Engineering Gold Medal, and a 1993 Killam Teaching Prize at UBC.

Karel will be greatly missed by his beloved wife of 53 years, Irene; his two children, Karel Thomas and Maria; son-in-law, Wilfred; three granddaughters, Polina, Maria, and Daria; sister, Barbara (Prague, Czech Republic); brother, Jan (Victoria, BC); and extended family.

A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at St. Augustine's Catholic Church, 2028 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC. See more at:

- Sent on behalf of the Faculty of Forestry