Jim Everts

Jim and Jan eating lunch near the Ewaso Ngiro River in Kenya on Kenya’s Independence Day.

After graduating from Pomona I took a year off to regroup and earn some money to go on to graduate school. In 1964 I went to the University of Arizona where I completed an MS in physics and a Ph.D. in biochemistry. From the University of Arizona, I became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service and went to Montgomery, Alabama, to do radiation research at a Food and Drug Administration Laboratory. I worked in both ionizing and microwave radiation research. Shortly thereafter, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed and the laboratory became an EPA laboratory and I was detailed to EPA. From Montgomery, Alabama, I went to Seattle, Washington, where I spent about 27 years working in the EPA regional office.

My wife Jan and I were married in 1967 and we have three children, all girls. Two of our girls, Adrienne and Tanya, are married and the third, Melia, is just finishing school at the University of Montana. We have three grandchildren, two girls and a boy. My marriage to Jan and raising three children who have turned into wonderful young ladies have to be the most worthwhile things I have done since graduation.

I worked in and directed a number of activities in Seattle. I was involved from the beginning in the Superfund program. Two memorable activities were working on the Exxon Valdez oil spill and leading a workgroup that developed a Canada /U.S. agreement relating to spills of oil and hazardous materials at or near the border. Probably my most memorable experience was working on the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989. I spent a month in Alaska working with the State of Alaska, the Coast Guard and many others determining how to clean up the beaches. Unless you were there you can’t imagine the degree of wildlife and beach contamination. The Canada, U.S. agreement took about two years to complete and involved coordinating with multiple agencies in both the U.S. and Canada.

Jan and I have a cabin near Ennis, Montana, and we try to get over there as much as possible. We both flyfish, although neither of us is very good at it.

We recently returned from a trip to Kenya and Tanzania where our youngest daughter was studying for a semester. What a memorable trip! The numbers and diversity of birds and animals are truly amazing.

I retired from the Public Health Service in February 2000 and I am thoroughly enjoying my retirement. As many of you know it is nice to be totally in control of your activities. Jan still works three days per week but will retire shortly after our daughter graduates. We hope to do a car trip around the U.S. and see some places we haven’t been before.

As for memories of Pomona, there are two that I can recall that are interesting. One was launching grapefruits and water balloons from our dorm, Walker Hall, to the library steps. We used surgical tubing and a dog watering dish to launch the missiles. The second was flying a kite with approximately one-mile of string. I’m sure there were other similar academic undertakings but 40 years has dimmed my memory. Anyone remember having pitchers of beer at Ray’s?