UW-Green Bay mourns the loss of Paul E. Sager

Photo courtesy of UW-Green Bay Archives

Paul E. Sager of Green Bay passed away peacefully on August 25, 2022. Paul was a native of Northeast Wisconsin who, according to his obituary, spent “his formative years playing on the banks of the Fox River and developing a keen interest in the natural world through various fishing and hunting expeditions with this father.”

Paul received his bachelor of science in fishery and biology from the University of Michigan in 1959 and subsequently earned a master of science in Zoology and Botany in 1963. In 1967, Paul finished his doctorate in zoology and limnology at UW-Madison.

Photo courtesy of UW-Green Bay Archives

After receiving his doctorate, Paul became an assistant professor, and a founding faculty member at UW-Green Bay. Over his 32-year tenure at UW-Green Bay Sager taught 13 different courses and was known best by his students for his field-oriented offerings. In addition, Professor Sager attracted, and supported with grant funds totaling $600,000, many undergraduate and graduate students. Nineteen graduate students completed master’s of science degrees under his direction.

He also served as the assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs from 1979-1982 and was the director of the Cofrin Arboretum from 1989-1999. His tenure oversaw the expansion and development of the arboretum with new plantings and restoration work as well as acquisition of properties at Point au Sable and Kingfisher Farm.

Paul received many awards and recognitions including two founders awards and was named a “Clean Bay Backer” in 1992. He retired with emeritus status in 2000 and in 2004, the northeastern corner of the Cofrin Arboretum was dedicated the “Paul Sager Tract.”

Beginning in 1969, Sager received grants for research projects nearly every year supporting dozens of graduate and undergraduate student research endeavors. His research focused on two major problems of the Bay of Green Bay ecosystem: excessive algae growth and decreased underwater light. Throughout his career, he was dedicated to the preservation of natural areas and the protection of water quality in the Green Bay watershed.

In the recommendation for Sager’s emeritus status in 1999, the nominator wrote:

“Professor Sager played a key role in building and refining UW-Green Bay’s distinctive academic mission and its expression in the undergraduate programs in the environmental science and biology, the graduate program in environmental science and policy, and the general education curriculum. He is widely recognized by colleagues for teaching excellence and effective mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students.”

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a scholarship established by the Sagers which supports student undergraduate research. Please visit the UW-Green Bay Foundation page and choose Paul and Thea Sager Scholarship as your gift designation or contact the UW-Green Bay Foundation at (920) 465-2074 or foundation@uwgb.edu. A memorial service will be held at Atonement Lutheran Church, 2132 Deckner Ave., Green Bay on Saturday, October 29 at 2 p.m. Simply Creation is assisting the family.

Please read the full obituary.

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