November 11, 2002
Raymond F. Dasmann
Raymond F. Dasmann, a founder of international environmentalism and a
professor emeritus of ecology, died Tuesday, November 5, in Santa Cruz.
Dasmann had been in ill health for several years. The cause of death was
pneumonia. He was 83.
Dasmann was the author of more than a dozen books, including The Destruction of California (1965), Environmental Conservation (fifth edition 1984), Wildlife Biology (second edition 1981), and California's Changing Environment (1981).
Dasmann made an impassioned plea for sustainability on a planet with limited resources. In addition to his academic career, Dasmann did pioneering work in the 1960s with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), where he helped launch the Man and the Biosphere program. For most of the 1970s, he worked in Switzerland as a senior ecologist for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. He joined the faculty at UCSC in 1977 and retired in 1989.
Dasmann's efforts earned him many major international awards, including the top conservation medals of the World Wildlife Society and the Smithsonian Institution. The prestigious Order of the Golden Ark, which recognizes the world's most distinguished conservationists, was bestowed on Dasmann by the Dutch government in 1978. He became an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1984 and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology in 1988.
A memorial service is pending. Contributions in Dasmann's memory may be sent to the attention of Lia Hull at the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve Association, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020.