ARCHIE CARR Biography - Famous Scientists


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Name: Archie Carr                                                                     
Born: 16 June 1909                                                                     
Died: 21 may 1987                                                                     
Archie Carr (June 16, 1909-May 21, 1987) was a Professor of Zoology at the             
University of Florida and a pioneering conservationist.                               
He was the son of a Presbyterian pastor and spent his growing up years in Mobile,     
Alabama, Fort Worth, Texas and Savannah, Georgia. He studied zoology at the           
University of Florida, eventually specializing in herpetology. He further             
refined that interest to the study of turtles and eventually became one of the         
world's foremost authorities on sea turtles.                                           
He wrote numerous books and articles, including Ulendo: Travels of a Naturalist       
in and out of Africa, High Jungles and Low, So Excellent a Fishe (about his           
green turtles), The Windward Road and several Time-Life books such as The             
Everglades and The Reptiles. He was also the author of the Handbook of Turtles,       
and with Coleman J. Goin, Guide to the Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater             
Fishes of Florida. While a serious scientific and nature writer, he also had a         
remarkable sense of humor, which led him to publish the parody of scientific           
taxonomic keys - his A Subjective Key to the Fishes of Alachua County, Florida,       
affectionately known as the "Carr Key".                                               
Carr became a bit of a legend at the University of Florida and students vied           
with one another to take his Community Ecology course in which they were               
involved in several major and minor field trips around northern Florida and           
southern Georgia. Listening to Dr. Carr talk about the sand pine scrub near           
Ocala or his comments as he guided students through the Okefenokee Swamp in           
canoes was a great privilege.                                                         
Carr was also known for his efforts in conservation, especially for sea turtles.       
He was a co-founder of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, which helps to         
save and monitor sea turtles in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. He was often joined in         
his conservation work by his wife Marjorie (who was a major advocate for               
conservation in her own right). The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, which       
covers the beaches from Melbourne Beach south to Wabasso Beach was set up in           
1994 in honor of his efforts. In 1994, the Dr. Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge was         
estalished in Costa Rica in his memory.                                               
Carr's grandson, Archie Carr III, was a well known conservationist, who at one         
time headed the New York Zoological Society (now known as the Wildlife                 
Conservation Society); Carr III was instrumental in establishing the Cockscomb         
Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.                                                   
Most recently, a book about Archie Carr entitled The Man Who Saved Sea Turtles:       
Archie Carr and the Origins of Conservation was published by Oxford University         
Press. This book was written by Frederick R. Davis, Assistant Professor of             
History at the Florida State University.