The Reindeer Botanist: Alf Erling Porsild, 1901-1977
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The Reindeer Botanist: Alf Erling Porsild, 1901-1977

By Wendy Dathan
Free
Book Description

This well-researched book is the first biography of one of Canada's most remarkable botanists. Alf Erling Porsild (1901-1977) grew up on the Arctic Station in West Greenland and later served as curator of botany at the National Museum of Canada. He collected thousands of specimens, greatly enlarging the National Herbarium and making it a superb research centre. For nearly twenty years, Porsild studied reindeer activities in Alaska and the Northwest Territories as part of the Reindeer Project designed to encourage grazing animal husbandry among aboriginal peoples. He published extensively, and his meticulous research and observations have particular relevance today with the growing concern over global warming in the Arctic.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Northern Lights Series
  • Copyright Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Frontispiece
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part One - REINDEER SURVEY/ exploration, 1901-1928
  • Chapter 1 - GREENLAND BEGINNINGS
  • Chapter 2 - MALTE AND THE NATIONAL HERBARIUM
  • Chapter 3 - CALL OF THE NORTHWEST
  • Chapter 4 - IN SEARCH OF REINDEER
  • Chapter 5 - LITTLE DIOMEDE TO KOTZEBUE SOUND
  • Chapter 6 - COASTAL ALASKA BY DOGSLED
  • Chapter 7 - TRAVELLING ALONE: AN ACCIDENT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
  • Chapter 8 - MAIL TIME IN AKLAVIK
  • Chapter 9 - SCHOONER TRAVEL ON THE ARCTIC COAST
  • Chapter 10 - RETURN TO AKLAVIK
  • Chapter 11 - COMPLETING THE 1927 RECONNAISSANCE
  • Chapter 12 - LOOKING BACK AND FORWARD
  • Chapter 13 - WINTER TRAIL TO GREAT BEAR LAKE
  • Chapter 14 - DEASE ARM AND THE NORTHEAST BARRENS
  • Chapter 15 - CHANGING TIDES AND SEASONS
  • Chapter 16 - OF ICE AND “FLIES” AND MISERABLE DOGS
  • Chapter 17 - MCTAVISH ARM AND CONJUROR BAY
  • Chapter 18 - END OF THE INVESTIGATION
  • Part Two - CANADA’S REINDEER HERD,1929–1935
  • Chapter 19 - RESULTS OF THE SURVEY
  • Chapter 20 - “THE BEST LAID PLANS”
  • Chapter 21 - FIELD REPORTS, 1930
  • Chapter 22 - SAD NEWS AND SUMMER IN SCANDINAVIA
  • Chapter 23 - DESTINATION REINDEER STATION
  • Chapter 24 - THE DRIVE CONTINUES
  • Chapter 25 - THE END OF THE PROJECT
  • Part Three - THE NATIONAL HERBARIUMIN PEACE AND WAR, 1936–1977
  • Chapter 26 - THE NATIONAL HERBARIUM
  • Chapter 27 - “PUBLISH OR PERISH”
  • Chapter 28 - RUMBLES ON THE HORIZON
  • Chapter 29 - THE PROBLEM OF GREENLAND
  • Chapter 30 - CONSULAR GREENLAND
  • Chapter 31 - HERBARIUM INTERLUDE
  • Chapter 32 - GREENLAND’S WAR OF NERVES
  • Chapter 33 - UNCERTAINTIES IN WARTIME OTTAWA
  • Chapter 34 - ACTING CONSULS DUNBAR AND PORSILD
  • Chapter 35 - LAST CONSULAR YEAR
  • Chapter 36 - ROAD TO THE YUKON
  • Chapter 37 - THE YEAR THE WAR ENDED
  • Chapter 38 - POSTWAR SETTLEMENT
  • Chapter 39 - THE “OLD MAN” OF THE HERBARIUM
  • Chapter 40 - STORM OVER THE ARCTIC
  • Chapter 41 - STUDY YEAR IN EUROPE
  • Chapter 42 - ROCKY MOUNTAINS AND HUDSON BAY LOWLANDS
  • Chapter 43 - NINTH INTERNATIONAL BOTANICAL CONGRESS
  • Chapter 44 - THE LAST YEARS
  • Epilogue - CLOSING THE CIRCLE
  • NOTES
  • SOURCES AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  • SELECTED REFERENCES
  • INDEX
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