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Alumnus & Coastal Expert Retires after Distinguished Career

Klaus Meyer-Arendt, LSU Geography and Anthropology alumnus, retired from University of West Florida in August. In his honor, the UWF Alumni Association hosted a farewell celebration for the long-time chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science. Klaus earned his M.A. from LSU in 1979 and his thesis was based on extensive field work in Columbia documenting the cultural geography of guava production. He completed his Ph.D. in 1987. It was an ambitious historical geography of resort evolution along the Gulf Coast from Mexico to Florida. Klaus worked for several years with Coastal Environments Inc. and was a co-author of one of the most widely cited pioneering works exposing coastal land loss in Louisiana.

After he completed his Ph.D., Klaus was a faculty member at Mississippi State University until 1998 when he was recruited to be the chair at West Florida. He served in that position until 2010. While at UWF he also served as President of the Faculty Senate and was a member of the university’s Board of Regents. In recognition of his distinguished service, the university has established an endowment in his name to fund undergraduate research.

Klaus was joined by LSU alumni Clifton “Skeeter” Dixon, Craig Colten, and Phil Schmutz (shown in the picture). Dixon and Colten were contemporaries of Meyer-Arendt as students at LSU, and Phil Schmutz (Ph.D. 2014) just completed his first year on the faculty at UWF.