Celebrating the Legacy of William S Cooper

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Date: August 7, 2016
Contact: Lisa Etherington, Chief of Resource Management, 907-697-2230
Contact: Tom VandenBerg, Chief of Interpretation, 907-697-2230

BARTLETT COVE, AK –This summer marks the 100th anniversary of William Skinner Cooper's first visit to Glacier Bay in 1916. An avid plant ecologist and outdoorsman, Dr. Cooper was dedicated to developing a fundamental theory of plant succession in the bay. His investigations here highlighted for him the value of Glacier Bay as a natural laboratory for scientific research, leading him and colleagues at the Ecological Society of America to lobby for the area to be permanently set aside as a National Monument in 1925. Indeed, providing opportunities for scientific study is one of the park's primary purposes, placing Glacier Bay among a small group of "parks established for science" in the National Park System. It is particularly meaningful that this 100-year anniversary of Cooper's first visit to Glacier Bay aligns with the Centennial of the National Park Service!

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve wishes to honor Dr. Cooper's legacy by coming together for a two-part celebration on Wednesday, August 10th. Anyone wishing to honor Cooper's legacy is invited to the beach in front of the Bartlett Cove Campground at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 for an informal celebration. Participants in the event will include Drs. Brian Buma (University of Alaska Southeast) and Glenn Juday (University of Alaska Fairbanks), ecologists who have continued Cooper's vegetation plot studies. Everyone is welcome to participate in a discussion of Cooper's character, contributions, and legacy. Dessert will be served. Later, Buma and Juday will give a special presentation at the Glacier Bay Lodge at 7:00 pm describing their continuation of Cooper's research. Both events are free, and all are invited to attend.

To learn more about William S. Cooper and his contributions to both science and park preservation, we invite you to read the first-person narrative found at: www.nps.gov/glba/learn/historyculture/the-scientists.htm.

Last updated: January 3, 2017

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Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


(907) 697-2230

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