John Van Kempen

Echinacea Project 2021

My Major, Educational Institution expectedGraduationYear – Yikes – no more majors or masters for me.  I will be entering my 33rd or 34th year of teaching nearby at West Central Area Schools.  I teach mainly the physical sciences (chem and physics) but am also fortunate to teach some fun electives.  

Research Interests

I am interested in studying …  The before and after diversity of both plant and insect (bees) species on prescribed burns.  


I am from … In my spare time I like to … etc.  I am originally from Morris, MN but have spent the majority of my life right here on the prairie.  Currently i live in Elbow Lake, about 20 miles north of Echinacea Project base camp.  I am married to Chris who is an elementary teacher.  I have 4 kids ranging in age from 19- 24, two of them currently in college and one of them a two year Team Echin Project member.  In my spare time i enjoy taking out my two dogs (pictured) hitting local prairies or bird watching and finding ice cream shops on our summer road trips in the Bombus — mobile.  I have always been so impressed by the quality of young people the Echin Project has year after year and am looking forward to this season too.  

(Here’s a photo of my dogs Clyde and Lilly and me below)

Here John (RET participant 2018 & 2019) is measuring in one of our experimental plots with two undergraduate researchers, Jay and Avery

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