Dr. Calvin Fremling

Dr. Calvin R. Fremling, WSU Professor Emeritus of Biology was a noted and beloved educator, scientist, and Mississippi River enthusiast during his 32 year teaching and research career at WSU. His book, Immortal River: The Upper Mississippi River in Ancient and Modern Times, serves as one of the most comprehensive and readable accounts of the Mississippi River ecosystem available today.  

As a scientist and an avid outdoorsman, he saw the river undergo many changes during the last decades and these changes. These changes in the river changed him.

Dr. Fremling’s enthusiasm for sharing knowledge was particularly evident in his classes at Winona State. He taught a wide variety of classes throughout his career, primarily in the areas of conservation, limnology, entomology, human biology, and human anatomy. His lectures were lavishly illustrated with slides taken during his research projects, field laboratories, fishing and hunting expeditions and national and international travels. Cal’s classes were consistently enjoyed by his students, and former students would contact him to let him know how much they appreciated his efforts. 

He strived to find new and better ways to preserve animals and their organs for classroom teaching resulting in a U.S. Patent for a biological preservation process. He authored 15 dissection manuals and teacher’s guides. The McKnight Family Scientific Fund Award was presented to Cal in 1967 for his contributions to college biology teaching, and the Minnesota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society presented him with its Award of Excellence for Distinguished Contributions to Aquatic Education and Aquatic Biology/Fisheries in 1989. 

Dr. Fremling has worked tirelessly as a scientific consultant for private industries, citizens’ groups and governmental agencies. His most extensive efforts were focused on the Lake Winona restoration project, one of the most complex lake restoration projects ever undertaken in Minnesota.

He will forever be remembered and his passion for preserving the Mississippi ecosystem will never be forgotten.