The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Cathlamet resident honored by his hometown


October 9, 2014

Courtesy photo.

During a ceremony on September 27, Dr. Michael (Mike) Passmore of Cathlamet was inducted into the Oroville, Calif., Union High School District Hall of Fame.

Passmore graduated from Las Plumas High School in Oroville in 1965. Mike was active in athletics, music, and Associated Student Body activities, serving as student body president and senior class president. He attended Yuba College (CA) where he lettered in baseball. He studied at Oregon State University where he earned bachelor of science and masters of science degrees in Wildlife Science. His research on Band-tailed Pigeons stimulated permanent changes to hunting seasons in Oregon and Washington which facilitated improved protection for that declining game species. He then earned his doctorate in Wildlife Ecology from Texas A&M University, where he was awarded the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation Fellowship.

Passmore's career began in Walla Walla as a wildlife biologist with the US Army Corps of Engineers. As the lead biologist in the district's environmental planning function, he led studies and public meetings throughout Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. In 1987, he became chief of the Environmental Resources Branch with responsibilities for all district studies in wildlife, fisheries, cultural resources, and master planning. In 1996, he was promoted to Branch Chief in the Corps's Environmental Laboratory (EL) in Vicksburg, Miss. After a brief detail as the ecological engineering division chief, he became deputy director of laboratory in 2005, managing 300 scientists and engineers with an annual research budget of around $100 million. He retired from lab in 2010.

During the last eight years of his career, he was instrumental in developing and executing the EL Leadership Development Program (LDP), which became the model for seven research laboratories of the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Mississippi, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Virginia. He also instructed the Army Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) course for six years in Vicksburg, training over 150 personnel. As a consultant following his retirement, he led the training of ERDC supervisors until 2013.

Passmore earned numerous honors and awards during his career, including Supervisor of the Year, Department of the Army Superior Civilian Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association, the Department of Army Bronze de Fleury Medal (third highest civilian award in the USACE), and the Distinguished Graduate Award from Oregon State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Over the years, he was published several times in professional journals and environmental conferences. Recently, as a member of the Washington Chapter of The Wildlife Society, he co-chaired the 2014 "Enhancing Northwest Wildlife Program Delivery" meeting which was attended by almost 300 biologists in five professional organizations representing 14 states and four provinces.

In Walla Walla, he volunteered as Boy Scouts of America Assistant Scoutmaster for eight years, and coached Little League baseball and youth soccer. In Wahkiakum County, he graduated from the Citizen's Law Enforcement Academy and is currently volunteering in the United Way's "Adult to Youth Mentoring Program". In 2014, he earned Master Hunter certification from state Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Mike and his wife Elise have lived in Cathlamet since 2010.


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