U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Human-Wildlife Interactions 2010 4(2):317


DR. WILLIAM B. JACKSON of Chicago, Illinois, passed away July 15, 2010. He was a scientist, teacher, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Over the years, he served as an advisor and mentor to many people who found their way to his classes or offices at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).

He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 10, 1926, and spent many hours collecting insects and watching birds, becoming president of his high school nature club and an Eagle Scout. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, and his Sc.D. in vertebrate ecology from Johns Hopkins University, where he was involved in David E. Davis's groundbreaking research on the ecology of urban rats. He served several years in the U. S. Navy ahd as an commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. He then spent 2 years in Micronesia with his wife Shirley studying rodent population ecology for the National Research COUl1cil. This started an international career leading to his work on all continents except Antarctica and on many islands, including Bikini and Enewetak atolls, where he studied the ecological effects of nuclear testing.

Returning from Micronesia in 1957, Bill settled at BGSU, where he served variously as professor of biology, assistant dean of Liberal Arts, and founding director of the Environmental Studies Center. He trained more than 100 graduate students, including 60 international students, in applied ecology. Many of his students conducted research at the National Wildlife Research Center in Colorado, and many of these went on to hold important positions in industry and government in several countries. Before his retirement in 1985, he was named Distinguished University Professor of Biological Sciences.