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Patuxent Wildlife Research Center


Tracy Irwin Storer

Tracy Irwin Storer was born in San Francisco, California, on August 17, 1889. Growing up in the Bay Area, he attended high schools in Oakland and entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1908. While there Storer received his B.S., M.S. and PhD in zoology, graduating in 1921.

From 1914 to 1923 Storer worked for the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Berkeley's campus, first as assistant curator of birds and later as field naturalist. In 1923 he joined the faculty of the University of California at Davis as assistant professor of zoology and assistant zoologist in the Experiment Station of the College of Agriculture. Storer was the founder and sole faculty member of the Department of Zoology at Davis until the department grew in 1935. He became professor emeritus in 1956.

Storer's bibliography contains over 200 titles of scientific articles and books. He was co-author of Animal Life in the Yosemite (1926) and Sierra Nevada Natural History (1968). He authored several textbooks of zoology, including General Zoology (1951) and Elements of Zoology, (1955) which were translated into a number of foreign languages. In addition to his zoology texts, he wrote Grizzly (1955). This book which was reissued in 1996 is still considered the most comprehensive book on the California grizzly bear. On the basis of these studies, Storer was asked to assist in designing the bear on the California state flag.

Storer was a member of numerous societies, many of which he assumed leadership responsibilities. He was vice president and president of the Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the Society of Mammalogists, the Society of Naturalists, the Wildlife Society, the Cooper Ornithological Club; associate editor of Ecology and of Ecological Monographs, and editor of The Journal of Wildlife Management. In 1968 the California Academy of Sciences bestowed on him its Fellow's Medal.

In 1960 the University of California bestowed upon him the LL.D. and in 1969 named the new zoology building on the Davis campus after him. Storer passed away in 1973 after complications from surgery but left behind an indelible legacy.

To learn more about Tracy Irwin Storer, please visit: University of California: In Memoriam, March 1976

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