Ronald D. Jakimchuk is a retired consulting wildlife biologist who co-authored the biography of zoology professor Ian McTaggart-Cowan for Ian McTaggart-Cowan (Harbour 2014), the first comprehensive biography of one British Columbia's most distinguished scientists--a renowned biologist, educator and conservationist.
A major influence on David Suzuki when Suzuki was a student at UBC, McTaggart-Cowan was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 25, 1910 and came to Canada in 1913. He taught in the zoology department of UBC from 1945 to 1975, serving as head of the faculty from 1953 to 1964. He was Dean of Graduate Studies from 1964 to 1975. He wrote many books and papers concerning mammals, birds, parasites, diseases and conservation,
McTaggart-Cowan was the scientific forefather of prolific naturalist and bird expert R. Wayne Campbell, one of the three co-authors of the McTaggart-Cowan biography, along with Ronald D. Jakimchuk and Dennis A. Demarchi. He served as an inspiration for David Suzuki's populist approach to science and environmental activism by hosting two widely-seen programs on national television in the 1960s, The Living Sea and The Web of Life, thereby prompting Suzuki to subsequently create The Nature of Things. Ian McTaggart-Cowan died on April 18, 2010, at the age of 99. The co-written biography was commenced as a project to mark his hoped-for 100th birthday that never came.
Ian McTaggart-Cowan: The Legacy of a Pioneering Biologist, Educator and Conservationist (Harbour, 2014) $49.95. 978-1-55017-623-0.
Press Release (2015)
Join Ronald D. Jakimchuk, R. Wayne Campbell and Dennis A. Demarchi at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (UBC Campus, 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver) as they celebrate the release of their new book, Ian McTaggart-Cowan: The Legacy of a Pioneering Biologist, Educator and Conservationist (Harbour Publishing, $49.95), and the life of the man the book honours. The event will take place on Saturday, March 7 at 2:00pm, and it will include several short talks and a book signing. The Beaty Biodiversity Museum will also be showcasing several specimens collected by McTaggart-Cowan that are highlighted in the book.
Pioneering biologist, educator and conservationist Ian McTaggart-Cowan (1910-2010) was responsible for inspiring countless British Columbians to learn more about the incredible environment in which we live. His passion for wildlife began when he was a boy observing wildlife in the woods around his North Vancouver home, and culminated in a lifetime of impressive achievements in biology and conservation. He was a Professor of Zoology at the University of British Columbia, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and an Assistant Museum Curator of Biology at the Royal BC Museum.
As a teacher, McTaggart-Cowan extended the ethics of conservation and resource use through his students, many of whom went on to hold important government positions. During one period in the 1960s, the directors of wildlife in every province in Canada were his former students. As a researcher, he had a great influence on conservation and scientific documentation in British Columbia, and he was awarded the Order of Canada in 1970.
Originally intended as a centenary birthday gift, Ian McTaggart-Cowan: The Legacy of a Pioneering Biologist, Educator and Conservationist is a celebration of McTaggart-Cowan’s lifetime and achievements. In addition to being a fascinating account of his life, the book contains explanations of his major work, and the work of his students, and memories from a hundred people whose lives he touched.
Ronald D. Jakimchuk was President of Renewable Resources Consulting Services Ltd. from 1967 to 2008. As a consulting wildlife biologist, he worked extensively in the Arctic regions of Canada and Alaska. He was the founding President of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists and is a retired member of the College of Applied Biology of British Columbia.
R. Wayne Campbell is an award-winning writer and has authored and co-authored over forty books, including, as senior author, the four-volume set The Birds of British Columbia. He received the Order of British Columbia in 1992.
Dennis A. Demarchi was awarded the Association of Professional Biologists of British Columbia’s Award of Excellence (now called the Ian McTaggart-Cowan Award of Excellence in Biology) for spearheading the development of the British Columbia wildlife habitat classification and ecoregion classification systems.
Ian McTaggart-Cowan: The Legacy of a Pioneering Biologist, Educator and Conservationist
from BCBW (Autumn)
Harbour Publishing has released Ian McTaggart-Cowan: The Legacy of a Pioneering Biologist, Educator and Conservationist (Harbour, $49.95), co-edited by R. Wayne Campbell with Ronald D. Jakimchuk and Dennis A. Demarchi, slightly in advance of Penn’s book.
Ian McTaggart-Cowan died on April 18, 2010, at the age of 99. The co-written biography from Campbell et al. was commenced as a project to mark his hoped-for 100th birthday.
McTaggart-Cowan’s milestones were many: he was the founder of the first Canadian university wildlife department and his early work in Canada’s national parks became the basis for wildlife conservation and environmental education.
McTaggart-Cowan addressed issues from climate change to endangered species before these topics were on the public’s radar.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1910, McTaggart-Cowan came to Canada in 1913. He taught in the zoology department of UBC from 1945 to 1975, serving as head of the faculty from 1953 to 1964.
At UBC, where McTaggart-Cowan became dean of Graduate Studies from 1964 to 1975, he served as an inspiration for David Suzuki’s populist approach to science and environmental activism. McTaggart-Cowan’s two widely-seen programs on national television in the 1960s, The Living Sea and The Web of Life, prompted Suzuki to create The Nature of Things.
McTaggart-Cowan was similarly a scientific forefather for prolific naturalist and bird expert R. Wayne Campbell, one of the editors of The Birds of British Columbia (UBC Press 2001).