Paul B. Sears and the Ecological Society of America
Creators:Burgess, Robert L.
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science, v109, n4-5 (December, 2009), 104-108.
Paul B. Sears, perhaps more than any other person, epitomized American plant ecology. In a professional career spanning almost 7 decades, he made major contributions to vegetation mapping, paleoecology and Pleistocene history, vegetation studies, conservation, human ecology and our use of land; and particularly, the varied roles of scientists in modern society. He introduced his work in most of these subjects by presenting papers at the annual meetings of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). As a member or chair of numerous committees, Sears pushed the ESA to become involved in supporting the teaching of ecology in college curricula, conservation efforts, applied ecology, human ecology and outreach to government and the public. He also served the ESA as an editor, vice president and president. His influence is still felt in the ESA, although few realize where the ideas originated. Sears was named Eminent Ecologist by the ESA in 1965, a title as appropriate today as it was then.
Author Institution: College of Environmental Science & Forestry, State University of New York