125 Faces of MSUM – Dennis Jacobs

Name: Dennis Jacobs
Profession: Professor of physics and astronomy
No. of years at MSUM: 26

Q: What has been one of the best experiences working here?
A: The first 23-24 years I taught in the Corrick Center. I think that was the best experience. It certainly helped a lot of students. The rest of it was just working with the faculty, the staff and the students.

Q: What type of music do you feel like listening to right now?
A: I grew up with the ‘60s and ‘70s music, so I really enjoyed CCR. I like The Beatles. My favorite singers are the women singer-songwriters of the time. It was counter-culture music and really led to the women’s movement and the Civil Rights Movement. I think Bob Dylan is the greatest songwriter ever.

Q: When did you become interested in environmental and sustainability issues?
A: That goes back to when I joined the Peace Corps and wandered around the world. Malaysia, where they had one of the biggest rain forests at that time, was starting to be cut. I came back, taught at Fargo South for awhile, and then I was in charge of the environmental club and started reading more on stuff. There was a tremendous amount of energy in the Civil Rights Movement, the women’s movement and the anti-war movement. I really got into all the different movements and started looking around, especially at the environmental problems we were facing – we’re still facing. So, that’s what really got me into it. I went out in the ‘70s and bought 80 acres of land and built a geodescent dome out of junk – all recycled materials – and just lived sustainable for about three or four years; put up a wind generator; wasn’t connected to the grid, and it was fantastic. I learned a lot about myself. Ever since then, I’ve been so involved in sustainability, environmental issues and so on.

Please join the Physics and Astronomy Department in wishing Dennis Jacobs well as he retires from 26 years at MSUM. A farewell open house will be held Friday, May 2 from 1-3 p.m. in the Hagen Hall Library (HA104).

To view the rest of our 125 Faces of MSUM, visit our Facebook album.

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