UMPI’s Rock Star


Some students describe Dr. Chunzeng Wang, who is a Professor of geology, environment and GIS at University of Maine at Presque Isle, as humorous and kind. He came to UMPI in August, 2005, from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.

UMPI hired him because of his extensive teaching experience and talent. He was an instructor and assistant instructor of Geology at Guilin College, Guangxi, China, from June 1989 to December 1992. He got two chances to be a visiting professor. The first visiting chance was at the University of Colorado at Denver from April 1993 to October 1994. There his focus was on Earth and Environmental Sciences. The second visiting concentrated on Geology and Geography, the Queens College, New York, from October 1994 to September 1995.

After two years, Wang begun his Ph.D. in New York.  In the meantime, he was an assistant professor at Hunter College of New York. “My project was in central eastern Maine, so I came to Maine almost every summer for serval weeks to work on my project.  I fell in love with Maine. So I thought it would be great if I could find a teaching job in Maine,” Wang said. Sometimes, you have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. To enter UMPI was predestined. After days, he saw advertisements – UMPI was hiring a geologist. He got this wonderful job/position – permanent and tenure track–over 47 other people who applied for this position.

David Putnam and Wang are very close friends. They both not only are good working partners, but also are very good friends in life. Putnam thinks that Wang was the best hire that UMPI has made since he arrived 23 years ago. “He is a truly gifted geologist who can read tiny clues and frequently re-writes the story of the earth based on his astute observations. He is also a wonderful teacher who cares deeply about the success of his students–very un-Chinese in his approach,” Putnam, another scientist, said.

As David said, Wang is a wonderful teacher who cares deeply about the success of his students. Many students take Wang’s classes. They describe Wang as humorous and funny. He brings sunshine to his students during class.

Gannon Pratt is one of the students whom Wang teaches. Wang gave him a GPS to help him finish his project. “Everything he does is very kind. He just wants to help students as much as he can,” Pratt said with a smile.

Special thanks to Dr. Chunzeng Wang. He has worked at UMPI for 11 years, and looks forward to finding new ways to support and contribute to his students, UMPI and the greater community. He is truly UMPI’s rock star.