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Press Releases

Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Dr. K.-Peter Lade Memorial Service April 8  

SALISBURY, MD---Dr. K.-Peter Lade, professor of anthropology at Salisbury State University, died Tuesday, March 27.  Dr. Lade became seriously ill during a trip to Germany last fall and was hospitalized there for a number of months before being transferred to the University of Maryland Hospital several weeks ago, where he died.  

Dr. Lade is survived by his wife, Joan, and two children Paul Lade and his wife, Vivian, of Princess Anne, and Margaret Reed-Lade of Austin, TX.  Born June 15, 1943 in Kolberg, Germany, he was the son of the late Karl Heinz Lade and Elsbeth Anna Ratzke of Lehighton, PA.

Dr. Lade was a vital part of the SSU community for over a quarter of a century and a pioneer among SSU faculty in obtaining major grants involving international satellite research. His  academic career began at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his A.B. and Ph.D. in anthropology.   His first research efforts, including his dissertation, focused on the neolithic culture of Germany. Coming to Salisbury State in 1974, he taught a variety of courses including physical and cultural anthropology,  and archaeology, which he particularly loved. His research then shifted to studying the ethnic minorities and vanishing peoples of the Eastern Shore.  His collaborators during this time also included his wife under her professional name, H.J. Reed.    

Early on he displayed a fascination with the technology of research, which became a focus of his professional work in the 1980s.  He said he became interested in using computers and images from space in trying to find an efficient way to identify archaeological sites on the lower Shore that might be threatened by erosion or development.  This led to studies at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, from 1979-81. Computer techniques he, his students and other associates developed led to a series of contracts with natural resources agencies in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia for the Image Processing and Remote Sensing Center at SSU, which he founded and directed from 1986-1996.  In its first three years, the center received some  $1 million in contracts, primarily from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. AUsing technology so new it may be unique,@ one news story from that period said, he went on to work with many major federal agencies, including the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. During this time he wrote or co-authored  more than a dozen articles and papers and four book-length manuscripts based on data from satellite and image-processing research.  

More recently,  an international reputation in remote sensing research involved him in projects literally around the world.  In summer 1998 he became a co-investigator in a three-year project at Quinghai Lake in Tibetan China, funded by the National Science Foundation of China.  In spring 1999 he was asked to join a team of scholars on a multi-year project in southern Chile to develop an economic and environmental impact study and plan, funded by the government of Chile.  Both of these projects involved the Technical University of Berlin (TUB).  

From 1996 on Dr. Lade=s energy and attention were increasingly focused on campus life, where he compiled an enviable record in teaching and service: He negotiated another first for Salisbury State: a  universitywide agreement with TUB for both student and faculty international exchanges.  He began work on a long-held dream of  establishing  an Anthropology Department and regional archaeology center, with support from the Maryland Office of Museum Services.  Prior to his Germany trip,  he  was active on 11 different university and University System of Maryland (USM)  committees and the Governor=s Consulting Committee for nominations to the National Register.  He was a leader in establishing  the SSU Faculty Senate, serving as a senator from its beginning in 1997 until his death, and as its president in 1999-2000.  He was also elected representative to the USM Council of University System Faculty.  APeter was both a colleague and a friend, and he had a wonderfully broad perspective on the issues facing higher education in Maryland,@ said USM Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg, A...His insight and advice were highly valued.@ 

Dr. Lade received one of USM=s highest accolades when he was selected Wilson H. Elkins Professor for 1999-2000.  He used this endowed chair to launch the Teaching and Learning Network at SSU, which helps introduce faculty and staff to the latest technological tools in education. 

Many colleagues saw his enthusiasm for technology,  research and academic administration as extensions of his love of  teaching.   Dr. Lade said in his last self-evaluation that teaching Ais the source of my greatest satisfaction at SSU and the nexus around which the other components of my career (professional activities and community service) revolve.@ At SSU, student evaluations praised his depth of knowledge, humor and joie de vivre. One cultural anthropology student said, AHis class has been like >the Learning Channel= live in front of me.  His course has helped me focus and begin to answer some major life questions.@   Said another, AHe is one of the most intelligent and interesting teachers I=ve ever had.@ 

His unexpected death stunned the SSU campus community, and many spoke of a void that could not be filled.  

AHe was among the first friends I made after I arrived here last year,@ said SSU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach, Aand he became a valued colleague who helped me gain a broad perspective on the SSU community.  His loss will be keenly felt by the thousands of students he has educated and enthralled in his classes, by his friends and colleagues he has supported and encouraged, and by this University which has been the recipient of his insights, energies and caring for so many years.@  

A memorial service will be held Sunday, April 8, at 2 p.m. in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center at SSU  The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the SSU Foundation Inc. for the K.-Peter Lade Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 2655, Salisbury, MD 21802.

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