The Reindeer Botanist

The Reindeer Botanist: Alf Erling Porsild, 1901-1977 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.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Northern Lights Series 3
Copyright Page 5
Table of Contents 6
Frontispiece 9
Foreword 10
Preface 14
Introduction 20
Part One - REINDEER SURVEY/ exploration, 1901-1928 24
Chapter 1 - GREENLAND BEGINNINGS 26
Chapter 2 - MALTE AND THE NATIONAL HERBARIUM 38
Chapter 3 - CALL OF THE NORTHWEST 48
Chapter 4 - IN SEARCH OF REINDEER 56
Chapter 5 - LITTLE DIOMEDE TO KOTZEBUE SOUND 68
Chapter 6 - COASTAL ALASKA BY DOGSLED 80
Chapter 7 - TRAVELLING ALONE: AN ACCIDENT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES 92
Chapter 8 - MAIL TIME IN AKLAVIK 106
Chapter 9 - SCHOONER TRAVEL ON THE ARCTIC COAST 118
Chapter 10 - RETURN TO AKLAVIK 132
Chapter 11 - COMPLETING THE 1927 RECONNAISSANCE 142
Chapter 12 - LOOKING BACK AND FORWARD 154
Chapter 13 - WINTER TRAIL TO GREAT BEAR LAKE 162
Chapter 14 - DEASE ARM AND THE NORTHEAST BARRENS 174
Chapter 15 - CHANGING TIDES AND SEASONS 186
Chapter 16 - OF ICE AND “FLIES” AND MISERABLE DOGS 196
Chapter 17 - MCTAVISH ARM AND CONJUROR BAY 210
Chapter 18 - END OF THE INVESTIGATION 222
Part Two - CANADA’S REINDEER HERD,1929–1935 238
Chapter 19 - RESULTS OF THE SURVEY 240
Chapter 20 - “THE BEST LAID PLANS” 250
Chapter 21 - FIELD REPORTS, 1930 262
Chapter 22 - SAD NEWS AND SUMMER IN SCANDINAVIA 276
Chapter 23 - DESTINATION REINDEER STATION 288
Chapter 24 - THE DRIVE CONTINUES 302
Chapter 25 - THE END OF THE PROJECT 314
Part Three - THE NATIONAL HERBARIUMIN PEACE AND WAR, 1936–1977 330
Chapter 26 - THE NATIONAL HERBARIUM 332
Chapter 27 - “PUBLISH OR PERISH” 350
Chapter 28 - RUMBLES ON THE HORIZON 372
Chapter 29 - THE PROBLEM OF GREENLAND 390
Chapter 30 - CONSULAR GREENLAND 408
Chapter 31 - HERBARIUM INTERLUDE 428
Chapter 32 - GREENLAND’S WAR OF NERVES 444
Chapter 33 - UNCERTAINTIES IN WARTIME OTTAWA 462
Chapter 34 - ACTING CONSULS DUNBAR AND PORSILD 480
Chapter 35 - LAST CONSULAR YEAR 496
Chapter 36 - ROAD TO THE YUKON 512
Chapter 37 - THE YEAR THE WAR ENDED 534
Chapter 38 - POSTWAR SETTLEMENT 552
Chapter 39 - THE “OLD MAN” OF THE HERBARIUM 574
Chapter 40 - STORM OVER THE ARCTIC 592
Chapter 41 - STUDY YEAR IN EUROPE 618
Chapter 42 - ROCKY MOUNTAINS AND HUDSON BAY LOWLANDS 636
Chapter 43 - NINTH INTERNATIONAL BOTANICAL CONGRESS 650
Chapter 44 - THE LAST YEARS 666
Epilogue - CLOSING THE CIRCLE 680
NOTES 686
SOURCES AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 712
SELECTED REFERENCES 718
INDEX 728