Rexford F. Daubenmire and the Ecology of Place: Applied Ecology in the Mid-Twentieth-Century American West Chapter uri icon



  • Over his four-decade career in the Pacific Northwest, ecologist Rexford F. Daubenmire (1909–1995) developed an engaged ecology of place. Daubenmire connected regional fieldwork with ecology’s larger theoretical questions about plant communities. A prolific researcher with a national reputation, he practiced applied ecology on rangelands and in forests, orienting much of his work toward determining what vegetation could potentially occupy a habitat type to inform management decisions. Such a perspective made him useful to regional agriculturalists and resource managers but put him at odds with other ecologists who did not believe distinct and predictable plant communities existed. As a case study, Daubenmire reveals contours of ecological debates between the beginnings of American ecology and the rise of the environmental movement, and he also represents those scientists seeking connections between generalized theories, local conditions, and practical problems.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 297

end page

  • 322