Sunday, July 1, 2012

Journey Back in Time I

How about a little time travel?  In looking back over the past year’s postings I see that I have done myself, and my mentors over the earlier years of my professional life a disservice and lopped-off a decade of creativity and productivity…and it was a good decade.  I tend to lump all of my work under the definition of conservation biology, and most of it was.  But from the early 1970’s through the early 1980’s much of that work was represented by science education and natural history explorations and writings. 
Over this period my bibliography shows that I published several hundred natural history articles beginning with Wyoming Wildlife Through the Lens in High Country News in 1971.  Unfortunately, this is also the time just before humanity stepped off into cyperspace and much of this material doesn’t seem to be archived anywhere.  (Perhaps life didn’t exist before the WEB?).
Some of this was pipeline time, a period of smoke-filled flights, chock-full of oil field humanity, flying back and forth from Oregon to Alaska. During this decade, as part of my US federal agency work, I was instrumental in publishing the very popular brochure Land at River’s End: The Copper River Delta that was later made into a natural history program for television.  I was also deeply involved in a publication called the Forester’s Almanac.

This is also the time of expeditions into what were then still some very remote corners of the American West. Toward the end of this period my fieldwork began to be reported not just in popular magazines but more and more in the technical and scientific literature such as the Western Naturalist, Great Basin Naturalist, and Southwest Naturalist.
Much of my early work was with small fish, many of them called killifish, and the American Killifish Association lists a dozen and half published articles on this subject alone during the latter part of this period from 1979 into the early 1980’s (see below). But not all of the articles dealt with fish. One example would be my study of the dune lakes systems along the Oregon coast that begins “Back beyond the seventh dune…” and was published in Pacific Discovery magazine.
During this time I wandered from Southern California’s Salton Sea, to pocket-sized lagoons on the California coast, to high mountain valleys in Nevada where, as one of my field partners said, it was so cold it felt like there was “…nothing between us and the north pole but a two-strand barbed wire fence.”  I worked with strangely-name species such as pupfish, chub, and mummichog.
My contributions to the popular literature were good work. But it was my increasing contributions to the scientific literature that got me thinking and that sent me from my federal job back to Weber State University in Ogden, Utah for a second undergraduate degree, this one in Zoology. From there it was on to a graduate student stipend in the laboratory of Professor James E. Deacon at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and, into what we call these days, conservation biology. Jim has become a life-long friend.

Some References at (

Baugh, T. M. 1979. In search of the desert pupfish: Part One. Freshwater and
Marine Aquarium (FAMA) 2 (9): 44-45, 63, color photos; Part Two. 2 (10): 35, 82-83.
Baugh, T. M. 1981a. Adapting Salt Creek pupfish (Cyprinodon salinus) to fresh water.
The Great Basin Naturalist 41 (3): 341-342.
Baugh, T. M. 1981b. Apparent cleaning behavior of two killifishes. Journal of the American
Killifish Association 14 (5): 170-171.
Baugh, T. M. 1981c. The aquarium maintenance requirements of 4 species of genus Fundulus.     
The Journal of Aquariculture 2 (3): 73-77.
Baugh, T. M. 1981d,e. Southern Comfort, a naturalist on the Gulf Coast, Part One.
 Freshwater and Marine Aquarium (FAMA) 4 (11): 40-43, 69, photos; Part Two. 4 (12): 15-18.
Baugh, T. M. 1982a,b,c. Southern Comfort, a naturalist on the Gulf Coast, Part Three.
Freshwater and Marine Aquarium (FAMA) 5 (1): 16-18, photos; Part Four. 5 (2): 18-20, 84-87, photos; Part Five. 5 (3): 14-17, 76-79.
Baugh, T. M. 1983a,b. In search of Crenichthys nevadae. Part I. Freshwater and Marine
Aquarium (FAMA) 6 (10): 16-17, 77-78, photos; Part II. 6 (11): 14-16.
Baugh, T. M. 1984a,b. In search of the Salt Creek pupfish. Part 1. Freshwater and Marine
quarium (FAMA) 7 (5): 34-35, 44-45, color photos; Part 2. 7 (6): 31-33, 54.
Baugh, T. M. and J. E. Deacon. 1983a. Daily and yearly movement of the Devil's Hole pupfish
Cyprinodon diabolis Wales in Devil's Hole, Nevada. The Great Basin Naturalist
43 (4): 592-596, 5 figs.
Baugh, T. M. and J. E. Deacon. 1983b. Maintaining the Devil’s Hole pupfish Cyprinodon
Diabolis Wales in aquaria. Journal of Aquariculture and Aquatic Sciences 3 (4): 73-75.
Baugh, T. M. and J. E. Deacon. 1983c. The most endangered pupfish. Freshwater and Marine
Aquarium 6 (6): 22-26, 78-79, 12.
Baugh, T. M. and J. E. Deacon. 1988. Evaluation of the role of refugia in conservation efforts
for the Devils Hole pupfish, Cyprinodon diabolis Wales. Zoo Biology 7 (4): 351-358.
Baugh, T. M., J. E. Deacon, and D. Withers. 1985. Conservation efforts with the Hiko White
 River Springfish Crenichthys baileyi grandis (Williams and Wilde). Journal of
Aquariculture & Aquatic Sciences 4 (3): 49-53, 3 figs.
Baugh, T. M., et al. 1986. New distributional records for Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes,
an endangered pupfish from Ash Meadows, Nye County, Nevada. Southwestern
Naturalist 31 (4): 544-546.
Baugh, T. M., J. E. Deacon, and P. Fitzpatrick. 1988. Reproduction and growth of the Pahrump
poolfish (Empetrichthys latos latos Miller) in the laboratory and nature. Journal of
Aquariculture & Aquatic Sciences 5 (1): 1-5, 6 tables.

(Continued in the next post.)