When Mark Van Putten graduated from the Michigan Law School in May of 1982 he knew that he wanted to make a career of natural resources law. Not expecting to immediately attain this goal, he accepted a position in the private sector with the Grand Rapids firm of Warner, Norcross & Judd. Van Putten's quest for his vocational desideratum, though, ended almost before it began. By the end of the summer, he, his wife, and their two children had returned to Ann Arbor where Van Putten assumed his new position as the first director of the Great Lakes Natural Resources Center.
The job seems tailor-made for him. Although he partially credits serendipity, his success in so quickly finding it has its roots in his past commitment to and experience with natural resources law and management. At Calvin College, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science in 1976, Van Putten used his prerogative as editor of an arts and opinion magazine to devote several issues to environmental topics.
Immediately upon arriving at the Law School, Van Putten joined the Environmental Law Society. With other Society members, he co-authored a recently published handbook, Environmental Law in Michigan for Practitioners. Taking advantage of the Law School's large variety of elective course offerings in his area of special interest, Van Putten studied everything from Water Law to Public Control of Land Use. Even the topic of his Law Review note - recreational conflicts on public land - reflects his environmental interest.
Van Putten's interest in the environment extends beyond the academic. A Grand Rapids native, he grew up fishing the Michigan rivers that he now works to protect. He is a member of the Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited and remains avid in the pursuit of that elusive fish. While his present job does not allow him to spend as much time at it as he would like, he still enjoys tying his own flies.
-- From the University of Michigan Law School's Law Quadrangle Notes, V. 27, Iss. 03 (Spring 1983).