Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Cooper, William Skinner (United States 1884-1978)

Cooper's graduate studies were strongly influenced by the physiographic view of ecology promoted by his advisor, Henry Chandler Cowles, and several physical geographers and geologists at the University of Chicago at that time. In his early work Cooper was thus drawn to projects involving ecological succession; as time passed he increasingly concerned himself with problems in periglacial ecology and geology. His 1935 monograph on the late glacial and postglacial environment of the Upper Mississippi Basin is considered a classic, but he is perhaps even better known for his studies on the Glacier Bay area, and his efforts (successful) to turn it into a federally protected area. He was also a very successful teacher, with phytogeography-oriented advisees including Oosting, Daubenmire, and Egler.

Life Chronology

--born in Detroit, Michigan, on 25 August 1884.
--1906: B.S., Alma College, Michigan
--1909: begins graduate studies at the University of Chicago; begins studies on the ecology of Isle Royale
--1911: Ph.D., University of Chicago
--1913: publishes "The Climax Forest of Isle Royale, Lake Superior, and Its Development" in Botanical Gazette
--1914-1915: lecturer in plant ecology, Stanford University
--1915-1951: faculty member in the botany department, University of Minnesota
--1923: publishes "The Recent Ecological History of Glacier Bay, Alaska" in Ecology
--1925: succeeds in getting Glacier Bay made a national monument
--1930: receives honorary D.Sc. from Alma College
--1935: publishes his The History of the Upper Mississippi River in Late Wisconsin and Postglacial Time
--1936: president, Ecological Society of America
--1937: president, Minnesota Academy of Science
--1951: made professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota
--1956: receives the Botanical Society of America's Merit Award
--1963: receives the Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America
--dies at Boulder, Colorado, on 8 October 1978.

For Additional Information, See:

--Geological Society of America Memorials, Vol. 10 (1980).
--Who Was Who in America, Vol. 7 (1981).
--Taxonomic Literature, Supplement IV (1997).
--Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, Vol. 81 (1993): 12-22.
--Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Vol. 60(1) (1979): 18-19.

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

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