CLARENCE RAYMOND SHOEMAKER

Photo of Clarence Shoemaker

Clarence was born in 1874. At the age of seven he moved to the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., and he spent most of his life in this family home. His interest in zoology began very early in life, and he found when he entered George Washington University that his own studies had already carried him ahead of the curriculum then being taught.

After a year in college he, therefore, took a position at the Smithsonian Institution, first as a clerk in the International Exchanges section in 1902 and then in 1910, as a scientific aide in the Division of Marine, Aquatic, and Terrestrial Iinvertebrates. In 1916, he was involved in collecting coral and marine invertebrates in the Danish West Indies. He became assistant curator in 1921, and an associate curator of the division of marine invertebrates in 1942. His early interest had been in spiders and he gained a reputation in this field even before coming to the invertebrate division.

Clarence retired in 1944 at the age of 70, but continued as a research associate until his death on December 28, 1958. His scientific reports on the Amphipoda were worldwide in scope and he published about 70 papers in this field. His meticulous and orderly manner of working left all his materials ready for a successor to continue his research and publish his unfinished manuscripts after his death with scarcely a break.

Clarence was active in many scientific and conservation organizations including the Biological Society of Washington, Washington Academy of Science, American Ornithologists Union, and American Academy for the Advancement of Science. In addition Clarence was a charter member of the American Society of Mammalogy and the Society of Systematic Zoology. Clarence was most involved, however, with the Audubon Naturalist Society and served as chairman for the field committee in charge of arranging “outings” for almost 50 years. He also served on the executive committee for many years. He is best remembered for his extensive and complete record of the Society’s early history that is contained in a set of publications from 1902 and in hundreds of photographs of club members and outings. His reminiscences of the changing Society and the Washington area are a treasured asset of the Audubon Naturalist Society.

Clarence was elected as a member of the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1912 and terminated his membership in 1942.