After a long and distinguished career, Associate Professor Art Bomke retired in July 2011. A favourite among students, Bomke received the UBC Killam Teaching Prize award twice (1999 and 2010), a rare honour.
Bomke was hired by UBC as an Assistant Professor in 1973 after completing his PhD at the University of Illinois. In 1990, he was promoted to Associate Professor, subsequently serving as Acting Head of the former Department of Soil Science and eventually became Director of the Agroecology program (now the Applied Biology program) in the early 2000s.
An athlete, Bomke is a two-time silver medallist in basketball, competing in 2005 and 2009 at the World Masters Games. He biked to work for years and it was while riding his bike in 2008 that he and a friend discovered apple trees on campus that are directly descended from the apples that inspired Newton to compose his theory of gravity in 1661.
Bomke has a real connection to the land and farmers. A strong proponent of small-scale agriculture, he helped resurrect UBC farm and has a hand in where the UBC Farm is at today. He was also involved with the development of the Orchard Garden, which, like UBC Farm, serves as an outdoor classroom for hands-on learning about small-scale urban farming and sustainable practices.