OOS 11-6
Chicago as incubator for early 20th century ecological ideas, networks, and collaborations

Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 3:20 PM
101A, Minneapolis Convention Center
Alison Anastasio, Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1892, the University of Chicago was intended to be a modern and innovative center for research and education. Luring its high-level faculty and administrators from other institutions, the University brought together personalities that were already primed for collaboration and innovation.

The University is well known for training ecologists since its inception; one of its most famous students is Henry Chandler Cowles (HCC) who used the local Indiana Dunes as a laboratory for his research and pedagogical pursuits, and where he devised his ecological theory of succession.  HCC had a huge effect on the development of ecology as a discipline, leaving a legacy of students who went on to play vital roles in the beginnings of ESA and The Nature Conservancy. What made the University of Chicago special, and how did it fit into the greater Chicago community?


The University was certainly not alone in facilitating ecological intellectual communities in the Chicago region. The Morton Arboretum, Chicago Academy of Sciences, and various clubs and organizations brought together professionals and enthusiasts under the banner of ecology and conservation. I will discuss how the unique vision for the University was one aspect that led to fruitful conditions for ecological ideas in Chicago.