William C. Kaufman, 1923-2014
Word has been received of the death earlier this year of former UW-Green Bay Prof. William “Bill” Kaufman, who passed away March 26 at age 91 in Washington state. Kaufman drew national attention for his 1970s research at UW-Green Bay involving physiological studies concerning body temperature and adaption to heat and cold. Chairman of the Human Adaptability program (later Human Biology), Kaufman joined the faculty in 1969 after holding previous appointments as a National Institute of Health research fellow and a faculty member at Ohio State University. He spent the early part of his career as a training officer and research biologist with the U.S. Air Force, from which he retired in 1968 as a lieutenant colonel. He retired from UW-Green Bay in 1986. In the days before athletics training and human performance in extreme conditions had become hot topics in the popular press, Kaufman’s publications included articles for Science magazine on such topics as “Thermal Insulating Capabilities of Outdoor Clothing Materials,” in which he and student assistants in his cold room compared the insulating properties of goose down, wool, polyester and other common materials of the time. He also did frequent interviews, with CBS Radio and others, on the topic of wind-chill research. (He thought TV meteorologists over-dramatized the effect to hype ratings, and under-emphasized the ability of smart planning and good outerwear to mitigate wind chill risks.) Kaufman’s interest in high-altitude flight related strongly to his service as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and received his pilot’s wings in 1944, flying B-17s during WWII. He is survived by his wife, Diann MacRae, sister, Gail Clark of Denver, son, William C. Kaufman, III of Kirkland (Kandi), daughter, Dr. Jane Kaufman Pennella of Milford, Connecticut (Andrew), granddaughter, Amanda Kaufman, and stepson, Christopher MacRae. At Kaufman’s request there was no service. Remembrances may be sent to The Nature Conservancy.