Biology: Professor Emeritus
Environmental Science: Professor Emeritus of Biology, Adviser for Environmental Science
Clean Water Institute: Director, Professor Emeritus of Biology
Special Interest: Ecology, aquatic biology, marine biology and parasitology, invertebrate zoology and scuba diving
Mel Zimmerman retired from full-time teaching but remains director of the Lycoming College Clean Water Institute (CWI). He also directs two minors, Environmental Science and Environmental Sustainability. He continues to offer programs to schools, environmental and watershed groups. Most recently, CWI has partnered with the Williamsport Water/Sanitary Authority to develop the Environmental Center at Waterdale.
During his 37-year teaching career, Zimmerman taught courses in Ecology, Aquatic Biology, Invertebrate Zoology, Environmental Science and Tropical Marine Biology, which includes a May term field trip to a lab in Roatan, Honduras. His research and publications deal with stream ecology and restoration, wetland ecology and wastewater biology. He also started the “Lycoming College for Kids Program,” a summer enrichment program for students in grades 2-8, which he directed for 20 years.
Zimmerman was one of six Pennsylvanians honored at a special banquet by Governor Rendell for "Lighting the Way" through their positive impact on Pennsylvania's environment. He received the 2014 Constance Cupp Plankenhorn Alumni Award for Faculty Excellence .
Zimmerman and his students have historically monitored trends in biology and chemistry for local watersheds. The Clean Water Institute has helped a number of watershed groups compile data and evaluate trends, needs and solutions. He has been instrumental in helping the Department of Environmental Protection's north central Regional Office Team 5 by providing a forum for exchange with various partners. In 2010, Lycoming CWI was one of two Pennsylvania colleges to partner with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission with the Unassessed Waters Initiative. Since then CWI has surveyed over 500 streams in the north central Pennsylvania watersheds.
Zimmerman was extensively involved in the formation of the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies (SRHCES). His expertise has been monumentally instrumental not only in beginning this group but also coordinating the participation of higher education facilities. He has served on the board of the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers and is also the chair of the Keystone Stream Team. Zimmerman helped the North Central PA Conservancy accomplish a Rivers Conservation Plan for the lower portion of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River as well as the Pine Creek watershed. Currently he is involved with a similar plan for the Loyalsock Creek Watershed.