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DANIEL W. GADE

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DANIEL W. GADE Obituary
DANIEL W. GADE - BURLINGTON - As the white flowers on his yellowwood trees faded, Daniel W. Gade, 78, of Burlington, died in the Vermont Respite House on June 15, 2015. He was born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., on Sept. 28, 1936, to Hugo W. and Evelyn J. Gade. Dan graduated from high school in La Porte, Ind., in 1954. He received the B.A. degree from Valparaiso University (Indiana) in 1959, an M.A. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1960, and an M.S., followed by a Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1967. Daniel Gade arrived at the University of Vermont in 1966 as one of the group of four dedicated young geographers who established geography as an academic subject at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He taught primarily courses in cultural geography, cultural ecology (with the anthropology department), and geography of Latin America. For more than a decade, he also taught an elective course, always heavily subscribed, on the geography of wine. He supervised theses and for a decade was chairman of the Latin American studies program. In 198081, he served as the overseas director of the Vermont Overseas Study Program at the Universite de Nice. Dan was an enthusiastic field geographer energized by distant, exotic lands and cultures. He undertook research projects in Latin America, France, Italy, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Spain, Portugal and Quebec. In 1963-1964, the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council underwrote his early research work in southern Peru. Other support came from the Social Science Research Council for further work in Peru in 1970, and from the National Geographic Society, in 1977, for a project in the western Amazon. He received a Fulbright Research Award for Madagascar in 1983; a research grant in 1989/90 from the Comite Conjunto of the Government of Spain to do research in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville; and another Fulbright Award to Brazil and Argentina in 1993. In 2000, he was a residential fellow at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. For years, he was the U.S. correspondent for the Bibliographie Geographique Internationale and an editor of the "Handbook of Latin American Studies" prepared at the Library of Congress in Washington. In 1998-99, the UVM Graduate College designated him a University Scholar in the Social Sciences and Humanities. In 1999, he became Professor Emeritus, but continued to write, travel and attend meetings in the U.S. and abroad. Prof. Gade authored five books and close to 150 polished articles and chapters in a wide variety of scholarly journals in five languages. His work manifested an unwavering love of fieldwork and an unusually diverse intellectual curiosity about the world. Among his topics were the verticality of Peruvian Indian agriculture, the concept of nature and culture, cultural history of coca leaf, manioc ecology, lightning and religion, Madagascar's deforestation problem, the shaman as an archetype, appellation controlee of a French wine, ethnobotany and Nazi ideology, hyena predation in Ethiopia, synanthropy of the American crow and a personal reflection on his experience in ethnobiology. The larger theme underlying much of his work was how people, biota and the environment mesh in a cultural-historical framework. He also prepared more than 50 book reviews. As a leading specialist on the Central Andes, he refereed many research proposals connected to that part of the world. In geographical circles Prof. Gade was recognized as a leading proponent of the so-called Berkeley school of geographical thought. In Portugal in July 2014, he presented a paper on the intellectual curiosity of Vermonter George Perkins Marsh. In 1993, he received an achievement award from the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers. In 2011, the Association of American Geographers conferred on him the Robert Netting Award in recognition of distinguished research and professional activities that bridge geography and anthropology. Daniel Gade is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Mary Scott Killgore Gade of Burlington; as well as his son, Christopher Pierre Gade, and granddaughter, Skyler Scott Gade, both of Williston. He is also survived by two siblings, Elaine Birtch of Springfield, Ill., and Barbara Thompson of North Richland Hills, Texas; six nephews and one niece. A celebration of Dan's life will be held at a later date. Lucid toward the end, Dan's wish was that some of his ashes be buried on Camel's Hump and the rest on an Inca terrace in the Urubamba Valley of Peru. Six weeks before his death, he submitted a long manuscript titled, "Spell of the Urubamba" to publishers in New York, consisting of a series of essays that combine geography, history and anthropology.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on June 18, 2015
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