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Biography & Autobiography Science & Technology

The Reindeer Botanist

Alf Erling Porsild, 1901-1977

by (author) Wendy Dathan

Arctic Institute of North America, Aid to Scholarly Publications Program, University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2013
Science & Technology, Polar Regions, Botany, Polar Regions
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2013
    List Price

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This well-researched book is the first biography of one of Canada's most remarkable botanists. Alf Erling Porsild (1901-1977) grew up on the Arctic Station in West Greenland and later served as curator of botany at the National Museum of Canada. He collected thousands of specimens, greatly enlarging the National Herbarium and making it a superb research centre. For nearly twenty years, Porsild studied reindeer activities in Alaska and the Northwest Territories as part of the Reindeer Project designed to encourage grazing animal husbandry among aboriginal peoples. He published extensively, and his meticulous research and observations have particular relevance today with the growing concern over global warming in the Arctic.

About the author

Wendy Dathan studied botany at McGill University and eventually worked as Assistant/Acting Curator at the McGill Herbarium and thereafter began her research on Porsild for her master's thesis on his Canadian Reindeer Project years.

Wendy Dathan's profile page


  • Winner, Alberta Book Awards - Scholarly and Academic Book Award

Other titles by Wendy Dathan