Craig J. Oberg




A native of Oregon, Craig J. Oberg graduated from Weber State in 1979 and received his Ph.D. in 1985 from Utah State University. He then joined the Department of Microbiology at Weber State and for 21 years served as department chair. Designated Presidential Distinguished Professor of Microbiology in 2006, Dr. Oberg was the John S. Hinckley Fellow for 1998 and is the recipient at Weber of numerous other awards, including the Alumni Association’s H. Aldous Dixon Award (1996), the George and Beth Lowe Innovative Teaching Award (1999), and the Spencer L. Seager Distinguished Teaching Award (2001). He was also the Cortez Honors Professor of the Year (2000) and the College of Science Endowed Scholar (2004-07). An active researcher, Dr. Oberg has published more than eighty articles, many in prestigious journals both in the United States and Europe, has delivered over a hundred scientific presentations, has received numerous grants, and edited a book reconciling science and religion.

His eclectic interests as a scientist and intellectual have led him to such diverse projects as a book and honors course on fly-fishing (which received a half-page notice in the Sunday New York Times) and a summer in the highly selective Microbial Diversity Course at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. Wide-ranging curiosity has brought Dr. Oberg into research and writing projects on a broad spectrum from an essay and photographic display on the microbiology of the thermal features of Yellowstone National Park to a book on cheese functionality, the outcome of a twenty-five-year collaboration with Dr. Don McMahon. In this connection, he has helped develop several patents related to cheese production. In addition to all of this, Dr. Oberg has devoted considerable energy to service both on campus and in the professional community. He has served as president of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters and of the Intermountain Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, and is currently the Faculty Athletic Representative for Weber State University. He is also an active participant in the ASM Intermountain Branch, the American Society of Microbiology, and the American Dairy Science Association. He and his artist wife Lynette have five children, seven grandchildren, and live in Liberty, Utah. Four of their children have graduated from Weber State University. Besides fly-fishing, his hobbies include running marathons, photography, hunting with his bird dog, and playing with the grandkids.

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Jun 12th 2017

While biologists have long understood the power of disease to shape events in world history, the depth of that power has rarely emerged in history books. This course seeks to redress that imbalance through historical anecdote and scientific explanation as it investigates the ways in which diseases have affected dramatically the course of history across several topics, including religion, war, and migration.

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