Spencer Fullerton Baird

Spencer Fullerton Baird

Spencer Fullerton Baird (February 3, 1823 – August 19, 1887) was an American ornithologist and ichthyologist.


Baird was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. He graduated at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1840, and next year, made an ornithological excursion through the mountains of Pennsylvania, walking, says one of his biographers, 400 miles in 21 days, and the last day, 60 miles. In 1838, he met John James Audubon, and from then on, his studies were largely ornithological, Audubon giving him a part of his own collection of birds.

After studying medicine for a time, Baird became professor of natural history at Dickinson College in 1845, assuming also the duties of the chair of chemistry, and giving instruction in physiology and mathematics. This variety of duties in a small college tended to give him that breadth of scientific interest which characterized him through life, and made him perhaps the most representative general man of science in America. For the long period between 1850 and 1878, he was assistant-secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C., where he encouraged the work of the young naturalists in the Megatherium Club. On the death of Joseph Henry he became secretary. From 1871 until his death, he was also U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries.

While an officer of the Smithsonian, Baird's duties included the superintendence of the labour of workers in widely different lines. Thus, apart from his assistance to others, his own studies and published writings cover a broad range: iconography, geology, mineralogy, botany, anthropology, general zoology, and, in particular, ornithology; while for a series of years he edited an annual volume summarizing progress in all scientific lines of investigation. He gave general superintendence, between 1850 and 1860, to several government expeditions (including the Pacific Railroad Surveys) for scientific exploration of the western territories of the United States, preparing for them a manual of Instructions to Collectors.

Of his own publications, the bibliography by George Brown Goode, from 1843 to the close of 1882, includes 1063 entries, of which 775 were short articles in his Annual Record. His most important volumes, on the whole, were "Catalog of North American Reptiles" (1853, with Charles Frédéric Girard), "Birds, in the series of reports of explorations and surveys for a railway route from the Mississippi river to the Pacific ocean" (1858), of which Dr Elliott Coues says that it exerted an influence perhaps stronger and more widely felt than that of any of its predecessors, Audubon's and Wilson's not excepted, and marked an epoch in the history of American ornithology ; "Mammals of North America: Descriptions based on Collections in the Smithsonian Institution" (Philadelphia, 1859); and the monumental work (with Thomas Mayo Brewer and Robert Ridgway) "History of North American Birds" (Boston, 1875-1884; Land Birds, 3 vols., Water Birds, 2 vols).

He died in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, site of the great marine laboratory which as an institution which was largely the result of his own efforts, and which has exercised a wide effect upon both scientific and economic ichthyology.


Natural world

*The genus "Bairdiella" of drumfishes was named after him by Theodore Gill in 1861.
* Baird's smooth-head, "Alepocephalus bairdii" Goode & Bean, 1879.
* Baird's Sparrow, "Ammodramus bairdii" (Audubon, 1844).
* Baird's Beaked Whale, "Berardius bairdii" Stejneger, 1883.
* Baird's Sandpiper, "Calidris bairdii" Coues, 1861.
* Mottled sculpin, "Cottus bairdii" Girard, 1850.
* "Eunephrops bairdii" S. I. Smith, 1885.
* Bumphead damselfish, "Microspathodon bairdii" (Gill, 1862).
* Marlin-spike grenadier, "Nezumia bairdii" (Goode & Bean, 1877).
* Baird's Trogon, "Trogon bairdii" Lawrence, 1868.
* Tanner Crab, "Chionoecetes bairdi" Rathbun, 1924
*Pantherophis bairdi
* "Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii"

ea vessel

* M.V. "Spencer F. Baird", Ocean-suveying ship



ee also

* Pacific Railroad Surveys
* United States and Mexican Boundary Survey

Further reading

[http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9805EED61430E633A25753C2A96E9C94669FD7CF&oref=slogin Link to his NY TIMES obituary, which contains much biographical data]

* Dean C. Allard, "Spencer Fullerton Baird and the U.S. Fish Commission". New York: Arno Press, 1978.

title=Baird, Spencer Fullerton

External links

* [http://www.mnh.si.edu/vert/fishes/baird/ Smithsonian Institution] --Spencer Baird and Ichthylogy at the Smithsonian
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=SmQEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PR1&dq=Weyprecht+International+Congress+Meteorologists&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=0_1#PPR1,M1 Annual Record of Science and Industry for 1877, edited by Spencer F. Baird]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spencer Fullerton Baird — Spencer Fullerton Baird. Spencer Fullerton Baird (3 de febrero de 1823 – 19 de agosto de 1887) era ornitólogo e ictiólogo estadounidense. Baird nació en Pennsylvania. Se graduó en la Universidad de Dickinson, Carlisle, Pennsylvania en 1840, y el… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Spencer Fullerton Baird — (* 3. Februar 1823 in Reading, Pennsylvania; † 19. August 1887 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts) war ein US amerikanischer Ornithologe und Ichthyologe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Spencer Fullerton Baird — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Baird. Spencer Fullerton Baird Spencer Fullerton Baird est un ornithologue et un ichtyologiste améric …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton — ▪ American naturalist born Feb. 3, 1823, Reading, Pa., U.S. died Aug. 19, 1887, Woods Hole, Mass.       American naturalist, vertebrate zoologist, and in his time the leading authority on North American birds and mammals.       A meeting in 1838… …   Universalium

  • Fullerton — ist der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Fullerton (Alabama) Fullerton (Illinois) Fullerton (Kalifornien) Fullerton (Kentucky) Fullerton (Louisiana) Fullerton (Maryland) Fullerton (Nebraska) Fullerton (North Dakota) Fullerton… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Baird (surname) — Baird is a common surname of primarily Scottish origins, although some historians claim the Bairds originally came to Scotland from France around the time of William the Conqueror. An old legend says that the family obtained their lands in… …   Wikipedia

  • Baird — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Absalom Baird (1824–1905), US amerikanischer General im Bürgerkrieg Brian Baird (* 1956), US amerikanischer Politiker Chris Baird (* 1982), nordirischer Fußballspieler Dan Baird (* 1953), US amerikanischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Baird — may refer to:Places* Baird, Hastings, a local government ward within Hastings Borough Council in the county of East Sussex, England * Baird, Texas, a US city * Baird Peninsula, Nunavut, CanadaPeople*John Logie Baird, inventor of the first… …   Wikipedia

  • Baird-Wal — Systematik Überordnung: Laurasiatheria Ordnung: Wale (Cetacea) Unterordnung: Zahnwale (Odontoceti) Familie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Spencer — bezeichnet: Spencer (Familienname), einen Familiennamen Spencer (Gewehr), ein Repetiergewehr Spencer Churchill, einen Familiennamen Earl Spencer, einen britischen Adelstitel Spencer Lake (Stausee, Maine), ein Stausee im Somerset County, im US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”