Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Cooper, James Graham (United States
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Cooper was the son of the prominent amateur naturalist William Cooper
(1798-1864). After finishing his medical studies and practicing for a
short period of time in New York City, the younger Cooper took on the
first of several assignments over the next twenty years that would see
him making natural history collections over a good portion of the U. S.,
though especially in the Far West. Cooper investigated the gamut of natural
history subjects: geology, paleontology, botany, ethnology, and zoology
(especially, birds, mammals, and fresh water molluscs). By about 1875
most of his collecting days were over (a result of the combination of
declining health and an inability to find natural history-related employment),
but through the 1890s he was still producing various systematic studies
based on his earlier activities. Cooper was one of the first American
naturalists to give attention to the characteristics of geographical distribution
of his subjects; he is especially known for his early efforts in ornithogeography
and his attempts to link the distribution of North American vegetation
to underlying climatological causes.
--born in New York, on 19 June 1830.
--1851: M.D., College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York
--1851-1853: physician at New York City Hospital
--1853-1855: works as physician and naturalist in Washington Territory
for the Pacific Railroad Survey Expedition
--1856: practices medicine in Orange, New Jersey
--1856-1861: travels/collects in various U. S. locations
--1858: made a member of the New York Lycaeum
--1859: publishes "On
the Distribution of the Forests and Trees of North America, with Notes
on Its Physical Geography" in the Smithsonian Institution Annual
Report for 1858
--1861-1874: collects natural history specimens along the West Coast and
in California and the Colorado Valley
--1862: moves to Oakland, CA
--1864-1865: serves as surgeon in the waning months of the Civil War
--1866-1890: works as physician in several California locations
--1867: publishes his Geographical
Catalogue of the Mollusca Found West of the Rocky Mountains
--1870: publishes "The Fauna of California and Its Geographical
Distribution" in the Proceedings of the California Academy of
--1871-1875: resides in Ventura County, CA
--1875: moves to Haywards, CA
--1893: Cooper Ornithological Club organized in his honor
--1894: publishes his Catalogue of Californian Fossils
--dies in Haywards, CA, on 19 July 1902.
Vol. 16(7) (1902): 73-75.
--Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and
--James Graham Cooper, Pioneer Western Naturalist (1982).
--Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. 4 (1930).
--American National Biography, Vol. 5 (1999).
--The Condor, Vol.
88(3) (1986): 402-403.
of the Cooper Ornithological Club, Vol. 1(1) (1899): 1-5.
Copyright 2007 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.
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