Remembering Retired ENVS Professor Dr. Jack Shepherd

We regret to announce the passing of retired ENVS professor, Dr. Jack Shepherd

The Department of Environmental Studies regrets to announce the passing of former MALS professor, Dr. Jack Shepherd at the age of 85.

Dr. Shepherd passed away at his home in Norwich on December 26, 2022 of cancer, with his family at his side and the kind services of Bayada Hospice. Jack loved his family, friends, colleagues, Africa, life in Vermont, and every element of his varied career as journalist, author, and professor. He completed his BA at Haverford College, his MA at Columbia School of Journalism, and his PhD at Boston University. He wrote in many fields ranging from personal health to American history to protection of the natural environment.

As a young journalist for Look Magazine, Shepherd witnessed human suffering and hope while covering America's civil rights struggle and famines in Nigeria and Ethiopia. These experiences shaped his life's research and writing about the causes of food insecurity, chronic hunger, and the affliction of poverty.

As an author, he wrote about the lives of the American founding family of John and John Quincy Adams. He enjoyed co-authoring books about running and exercise for lifelong health, activities he pursued across the hills of the Upper Valley and at Dartmouth's Fitness Center. His satirical best sellers with Christopher S. Wren, NY Times correspondent and classmate from Columbia School of Journalism, helped Americans laugh about the politics and foibles of the 1970's. In 2010, with Dr. John R. Butterly, MD he wrote his culminating study, Hunger: The Biology and Politics of Starvation.

As a professor, he relished teaching both undergraduates and adults. From 1988, he served as Academic Director of Dartmouth's War and Peace Studies Program and in the College's Environmental Studies Program. He also trained as a mediator in this period and promoted mediation at the College. At the University of Cambridge UK from 1993 to 1999, as Director of the Global Security Fellows Initiative (GSFI), he taught graduate students as well as the mid-career members of the GSFI program. He welcomed many interns from Dartmouth's Dickey Center to assist with the program and to have a Cambridge experience. Returning to Dartmouth in 2000, Dr. Shepherd taught undergraduate courses on developing states, food security and resource scarcities in the Environmental Studies Department. He led the relocation of the Department's Africa Foreign Study Program (AFSP) to southern Africa. With his wife, he led nine undergraduate study groups to East and Southern Africa. In the MALS Program, he taught several courses on subjects within politics and environmentalism, specifically on food scarcity and water issues in regions undergoing rapid transformation.

Jack delighted in his family. He leaves his wife of 63 years, Kathleen Shepherd, of Norwich, daughter Kristen Shepherd Hampton (Rob) and granddaughters Ava and Morgan of Atlanta; son Caleb Shepherd (Eleanor Lowenthal), Jennifer Shepherd, and granddaughter Finch of Norwich.

Jack looked for the best in people and, despite deep concerns about our current political scene, kept high hopes for the generation to whom we are entrusting the future.

We thank Dr. Shepherd for his dedication and service to the Department of Environmental Studies throughout the years, and offer our condolences to his friends and family during this difficult time.

In his memory, a gift may be made to the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker), 43 Lebanon St., Hanover, NH; Haverford College, Haverford, PA; or to the Environmental Studies Department, Dartmouth College. A service to celebrate his life will be held at a future date at Hanover Friends Meetinghouse. A full-length obituary may be found at