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"A Vegetation Analysis of the Great Smoky Mountains"

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3395

Robert Harding Whittaker submitted this thesis, entitled "A Vegetation Analysis of the Great Smoky Mountains" on August 4, 1948 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology at the University of Illinois-Urbana. In it, he analyzes the structures and patterning of plant communities in a region largely untouched by human interruptions: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Whittaker focuses on a new analytical approach to the ecological study of vegetation, namely community structures (a new hypothesis of major gradients of elevation and topography). According to Whittaker, his study is intended to provide a background for future studies incorporating insect and animal ecologies of mountain environments. The document includes numerous charts, data tables, and graphs depicting the variations of tree, shrub, and herb species at different moisture levels and elevations. This thesis is a facsimile of the original.

Dates

  • 1948 August 4

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact Special Collections.

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet (1 quarter box)

Abstract

Robert Harding Whittaker submitted this thesis, entitled "A Vegetation Analysis of the Great Smoky Mountains" on August 4, 1948 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology at the University of Illinois-Urbana. In it, he analyzes the structures and patterning of plant communities in a region largely untouched by human interruptions: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Whittaker focuses on a new analytical approach to the ecological study of vegetation, namely community structures (a new hypothesis of major gradients of elevation and topography). According to Whittaker, his study is intended to provide a background for future studies incorporating insect and animal ecologies of mountain environments. The document includes numerous charts, data tables, and graphs depicting the variations of tree, shrub, and herb species at different moisture levels and elevations. This thesis is a facsimile of the original.

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert Harding Whittaker was born to Clive Charles and Adeline (Harding) Whittaker in Wichita, Kansas on December 27, 1920. He earned his AB from Washburn Municipal University in 1942, after which he served with the United States Army Air Forces until 1946. After his discharge, Whittaker completed his PhD in Zoology at the University of Illinois (1948). He began his professional career teaching Zoology at Washington State College (1948-1951) and went on to work at Hanford Atomic Products (1951-1954) and to teach at the City University of New York's Brooklyn College (1954-1964), at the University of California at Irvine (1966-1968), and at Cornell University (1968-1980). Whittaker also held a position as a visiting scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory's Biology Department (1964-1966). During his career, Whittaker wrote several books, including Communities and Ecosystems (1975), Ordination and Classification of Communities (1978), Niche: Theory and Application (with S. A. Levin, 1975), and Primary Productivity of the Biosphere (with H. Leith, 1975). He died on October 20, 1980.

Whittaker married Clara Caroline Buehl on January 1, 1953 and the couple had three sons: John Charles, Paul Louis, and Carl Robert. Clara Whittaker died in December of 1976, and Whittaker married Linda Susan Olsvig on October 12, 1979.

Arrangement

This collection consists of four folders.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480