Archie Carr the Man

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Archie Fairly Carr, Jr. was an American herpetologist, ecologist and a pioneering conservationist. In 1987 he was awarded the Eminent Ecologist Award by the Ecological Society of America.

Born: June 16, 1909, Mobile, AL
Died: May 21, 1987, Micanopy, FL

Education: University of Florida

Children: Archie Carr III

Archie Carr was a University of Florida Graduate Research Professor of Zoology and was associated with the University for more than fifty years. His entire career was spent at the University of Florida, first as a student, B.A. (1932), M.S. (1934), and as the University’s first Ph.D. (1937) in zoology.

His ability to translate science into literature brought the first international attention to the plight of sea turtles. He wrote 11 books and over 120 scientific articles about sea turtles and their habitats before his death in 1987. His work and writings ranged throughout Florida, the Caribbean, and Africa. After his death, he was honored with the creation of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida and the Dr. Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica.

Archie Carr published his first paper on sea turtles in 1942, but it was not until he wrote his classic Handbook of Turtles (1952) that he began to focus his research on sea turtles. He described his early discoveries about the plight of sea turtles in his book The Windward Road particularly in his chapter The Passing of the Fleet, which was a call to arms and resulted in global efforts to conserve sea turtles from extinction.

Archie Carr was one of those rare individuals who could inspire both scientific and general public audiences with his writings. His genius and creativity were allowed full scope because the University of Florida awarded him a graduate research professorship in 1959, essentially freeing him of all responsibilities so that he could pursue his research and writing. He repaid that investment many-fold.

Source: University of Florida;