Why? According to William Beebe, why was “the question which makes all science worthwhile.” Why, for instance, do tinamous of the genus Tinamus have rough skin on their lower legs while tinamous of the genus Crypturus have smooth skin? Why do hoatzin populations seem to gather in nodes rather than being found throughout tropical forests?
The Bronx Zoo itself is a nostalgic place for many people (myself included), where lifelong memories are made from childhood onward, and close-up animal experiences make nature come alive. It may sound like a cliché, but then again who among us can recall their favorite part of the zoo and not be overwhelmed by affection for the animals found there? My own longtime favorite part of the zoo as a kid was the (now closed) World of Darkness. So, as you can see here, the zoo and I go back quite a ways. Continue reading
Since September I have worked with the WCS Library and Archives in their ongoing effort to digitize historical photographic holdings. My focus has been on a collection documenting one of the expeditions made by the Society’s Department of Tropical Research. William Beebe led this 1925 expedition from New York to the Galapagos on a ship named Arcturus. Continue reading
William Beebe peers out of the Bathysphere, 1934. WCS Photo Collection
Today we celebrate the historic scientific expeditions that William Beebe undertook in the Bathysphere–including his record-setting dive to the deepest depths ever ventured by a human on August 15, 1934. To read the rest of this post, check out the WCS Photo blog, Wild View.
And come visit the Bathysphere and see some of the Department of Tropical Research artwork this summer at the New York Aquarium! The exhibition Drawn from the Depths, curated by Katherine McLeod, opens today, and the Aquarium is hosting a special NYA@Night tonight. For more information and tickets, visit NYA@Night.
Spending months working with historical photos from a specific collection almost creates an illusion that one may have participated in the scenes depicted in these prints. This notion particularly holds strong when carefully scanning and assigning appropriate metadata to historical photos from scientific research expeditions in beautiful locales filled with wondrous wildlife. Having the privilege to spend my photo archives internship working with many prints from the famous Bathysphere dives conducted by William Beebe and Otis Barton provided me with an imaginary tropical escape while also teaching me invaluable metadata skills. Continue reading