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Scientific Biography of Ruth Patrick: Ecologist, Fundraiser, Mentor, 1900-2000

Project: 15
Name: Lloyd Ackert, PhD | lta24@drexel.edu
Department: History

Description

Students will contribute to a biography of Ruth Patrick, one of the foremost ecologists and environmentalists of the 20th century. The work will have two basic aspects, to work closely with me to conduct historical research using the Ruth Patrick collection at the Archives of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University; and the student will develop their own individual project that reflects their own background, expertise and career plans. The research can address a wide variety of topics, including Patrick's intellectual creativity (science), fundraising work, personal life and religious views. Other broader topics can also be investigated, such as women (identity politics) in science, science in Philadelphia/Pennsylvania, science and government, environmentalism and activism and much more.

Gained Experience

Students will develop a variety of research skills including archival, interviews, analysis of secondary scholarly sources, and primary scientific publications. Each student will develop a unique individual project of their own that relates to the larger project (in concert with the faculty mentor).

Outcome

I am writing a scientific biography of Patrick. The student's work will be incorporated into that book and related publications.

Tasks

There is plenty of room for individualized work - the student can make this project their own. I have worked with several students on this project already, and the experience is always positive! The student will conduct research based in the Ruth Patrick archives at the Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University and other local libraries and archives. They will investigate the literature, maps and scientific publications related to the story. They may also participate in oral interviews of her students and colleagues. They will also practice writing historical narratives (essays).

Location

Philadelphia, especially at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Possibility to Work Post Fellowship

Yes.