With more than 35 years of experience to his credit, William Childs Rense, PhD, has emerged as a leader in physical geography, particularly in climatology, the study of climate, and hydrology, the study of the properties of Earth’s water and its movement in relation to land. He spent the majority of his career at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, where he thrived as a professor of geography and earth science from 1980 until his retirement in 2004. While at this respected institution of learning, Dr. Rense was able to share his knowledge in small classrooms and innovative laboratories featuring the latest in technology. Prior to this position, he contributed to the University of Southwestern Louisiana, currently known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, as an assistant professor from 1973 to 1980 and as an instructor from 1968 to 1970.

Prior to embarking on his professional career, Dr. Rense attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967 and his Master of Arts degree in 1969. Following these accomplishments, he later completed the necessary coursework to obtain his Doctor of Philosophy at Oregon State University in Corvallis in 1974. Dr. Rense was inspired to pursue academia by his father, an astronomer and university physics professor who taught at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Louisiana State University, among other prestigious institutions. He demonstrated a proclivity for learning about weather as a child, further exhibiting interest in physical geography, climatology and hydrology. As he began considering a career in education more seriously, Dr. Rense realized his talents lay in teaching college-level students.  To stay up to date on changes in his industry, he continues to maintain affiliation with numerous professional organizations, including the American Association of Geographers, the American Water Resources Association, the Rocky Mountain Hydrologic Research Center and the Pennsylvania Geographical Society, organizations that encourage research and foster the love of geography.


Dr. Rense has set himself apart in his field with his broad overview of life and situations. He is known for his devotion to academics and his commitment to educating students. Looking back on a long career of highlights, Dr. Rense notes that one of his proudest moments was helping a student with poor grades and drinking problems get on the right track. He also lent his time and expertise as the chairman of Shippensburg University’s promotion committee, a position he thrived in for three years. Furthermore, Dr. Rense contributed on the review committee for Proteus, a journal published by Shippensburg University. He credits his decades of professional success to persistence and dedication, as well as a little bit of luck. Well-regarded as an expert in his field, Dr. Rense has authored numerous papers in his field and is a contributor to the World Book Encyclopedia.

Dr. Rense was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to William Alphonsus Rense and Wanda Evelyn Childs Rense on Sept. 2, 1944. He grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where his father enjoyed a storied career at the University of Colorado. Dr. Rense delights in the company of his two brothers, sisters-in-law, two nieces and several great nephews and nieces. In his retirement, Dr. Rense enjoys listening to opera, as well as traveling. He particularly enjoyed trekking in the world’s great mountain ranges, including the Karakoram and Himalayas in Asia and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.

With a life-long love of mountains, Dr. Rense retired to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Copyright ©

Site powered by Who’s Who Publishers