Geographic Science

GS honors Fred Garst


Fred Garst

Our colleague, Fred Garst, passed away on August 16, 2018.  His passing was sudden, and we are deeply saddened. In honor of Fred and his unfailing support of our students, the Geographic Science program has created the Frederick M. Garst Memorial Fund to support student research.

A Shenandoah Valley native and JMU alum, Mr. Garst taught in James Madison’s Geographic Science Program since 2002. When our program was short on teaching resources, he was there to help us as an adjunct member. He was a strong supporter of educating our GS students with real-world experiences.

As a leader in GIS and remote sensing with the Harrisonburg field office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) since 1985, Fred provided innumerable internships to GS students, some of whom were working with him during summer 2018. He gave students useful advice for challenging situations and helped them make the most of their work experiences. Many students who returned from the NRCS internship with Fred expressed with fondness his dedication for each individual.  In addition, he was an outstanding scholar and practitioner of Geography and GIS technology—the go-to person for insight into this important field.

For the past two decades, Fred supported the Shenandoah Valley GIS Users’ Group as an active member.  He made presentations and gladly provided his expertise to colleagues and friends in the group.  Given his work with NRCS, his skills supported many non-profit environmental groups in Virginia. 

Fred loved our GS Program, and he was present for our faculty and students. He leaves a legacy of kindness, enthusiasm for all things Geographic, and caring with an open heart.  He respected the human in all of us first. We will always remember Fred as our colleague and great friend who opened many doors for our students and created a strong sense of community wherever he worked.

To donate to the Frederick M. Garst Memorial Fund, please follow the link. Thank you for your commitment to student scholarship in the Geographic Science program.  

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Published: Friday, November 16, 2018

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2020

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