Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Cooke, May Thacher (United States 1885-1963)
economic zoology, ornithology


May Thacher Cooke was never a major player at the U. S. Biological Survey (or the Fish and Wildlife Service, its successor agency); still, she was a capable investigator who while mostly working behind the scenes published a fair amount on ornithological subjects in her own right. Most of her attention was given to the monitoring of bird distribution patterns, especially with an eye to economic implications. Cooke's career is perhaps most interesting when viewed in light of her position as a woman working in a field and institution at that point completely dominated by men.

Life Chronology

--born in 1885.
--1915: joins the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU)
--1916: joins the staff of the United States Biological Survey
--1920: administrator, bird banding program, USBS
--1926: made elective member of the AOU
--1928: publishes her The Spread of the European Starling in North America (to 1928)
--1929: publishes "Birds of the Washington, D.C. Region" in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington
--1947: retires from the Fish and Wildlife Service
--1957: compiles distributional data for the AOU's Check-list of North American Birds
--dies at Washington, D.C., on 13 June 1963.

For Additional Information, See:

--The Auk, Vol. 82(4) (1965): 685.
--May Thacher Cooke: Biography of a Woman Employee in the Bureau of Biological Survey [website].

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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