John Linn Mackey, Ph.D.


Dr. Kay R. Dickson, “John Linn Mackey, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 23, 2024,

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John Linn Mackey, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Kay R. Dickson




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

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Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Interdisciplinary Studies John Linn Mackey received his elementary and secondary education in the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, public schools, graduating from Central High School in 1953. Mackey entered Southeast Missouri State College in Cape Girardeau in 1953 and graduated with a B.S. degree in 1956. From 1956 to 1960, he attended graduate school at Iowa State University in Ames and received his Ph.D. in August of 1960, with a major in physical chemistry and minors in mathematics and inorganic chemistry. In 1978, Mackey received a master's degree in social ecology from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Dr. Mackey's professional experience began as a research assistant at Ames Laboratory of the Atomic Energy Commission in Ames, Iowa (1956 to 1960). From 1960 to 1961, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Ames Laboratory. From 1961 to 1963, Mackey served as an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Missouri, Rolla. From 1963 to 1966, he served as an assistant professor of chemistry at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and was then promoted to associate professor of chemistry (1966-1972). From 1971 to 1972, Dr. Mackey served as a visiting professor of inorganic chemistry at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. In 1972, Dr. Mackey became a professor of chemistry at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. From 1977 to 1978, he also served as department chair. In 1978, Mackey transferred to Appalachian State University, where he served as a professor of interdisciplinary studies until retirement in 2001. Courses taught by Dr. Mackey included: Humans in Environment; Technology and Civilization; Man, Energy, and Society (with Frank Helseth, Biology Department); Earth Studies Preparation; Design for Self-Reliance: Food, Energy, and Shelter (with Frank Helseth, Biology Department); Passive Solar/Earth Design; Wind Energy Workshop; Eco-Consciousness (with Jay Wentworth and Red Alderman); Watauga College United Nations World Cultures Core (sections on Ancients, China, Africa, and the 18th Century Scientific Community); Mentor Program; Contexts: Interpretation and Decision in Contemporary Society; Patterns of Cultural Transformation; Humans: The Future; History and Philosophy of Appropriate Technology; Ecological and Cultural Limits and Options; Bioregionalism; Civilizations East and West; Stories; Interdisciplinary Implications of Chaos; Art, Nature and Science; Science and Culture; and The Tao of The East and The Tao of The West. Other leadership roles held by Dr. Mackey while at Appalachian State are editor, "Katuah: Bioregional Journal of the Southern Appalachians," 1983-1987; chair, Regional Cooperation and Development Committee of the Appalachian Consortium, 1987-1989; director, the New York Loft, fall 1990; acting director, Appalachian State Honors Program, 1991; and advisory board for Issues in Integrative Studies, 2000 to 2005. Listed below are some of Dr. Mackey's publications: • Mackey, J. L. "Foreword" in Les Rhodes, Into the Dark for Gold. Palo Alto, California: Science and Behavior Books, 2000. • Mackey, J. L. "Fractals or Fish: Does a Space for Interdisciplinarity Exist?" Issues In Integrative Studies 13 (1995): 101-13. • Mackey, J. L. "Narrative and the Physical Sciences." Issues In Integrative Studies 11 (1993): 45-62. • Mackey, J. L. Review of Conscience of a Conservationist. Appalachian Journal (Fall 1990). • Mackey, J. L. "Towards an Ecological Perspective on Appalachian Agriculture" in P.E. Lovingood and R.E. Reiman, Emerging Patterns In The Southern Highlands: A Reference Atlas, Volume 2: Agriculture. The Appalachian Consortium, Boone, North Carolina, 1986. • Mackey, J. L. "The Use and Abuse of Primary Cultures." Raise the Stakes 10 (Summer 1984). • Mackey, J. L. "Bioregionalism: Past, Present, Future." Katuah 5 (Fall 1984). Dr. Mackey was awarded emeritus status by the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees in May of 2005. Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal correspondence. -Kay R. Dickson

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