Arthur Donovan Welander Becomes Curator of Fishes
Arthur Donovan Welander (1908-1982) inherited the duties previously assigned to Schultz. Welander was not an ichthyologist, but a fishery biologist whose primary interests related to the effects of radiation on fishes (Fig. 9). From 1936 to 1978 he taught ichthyology and for much of that period he also supervised the Fish Collection (Fig. 10).
All of Welander’s
higher education was at the
became involved with studies of the effects of radiation on fishes during the
testing of atomic weapons in the South Pacific in the mid-1940s. This work was funded by the U.S. Atomic
Energy Commission and led to the establishment of the Laboratory of Radiation
Biology in the
Over a 40-year period, Welander and associates and students made major collections of fishes, particularly in the South Pacific during the many expeditions in which he participated. The number of fishes accessioned to the Collection grew significantly during his tenure (Table 1). Welander published about 40 papers on taxonomic aspects of fishes (Pietsch, 1982b). Many of these papers reported distributional records of fishes in the region (e.g., Welander and Alverson, 1954; Welander et al., 1957).
Because Welander was not primarily an ichthyologist he did not attract many students interested in studying ichthyology. He supervised the graduate work of just five students in over 30 years whose work was in systematic ichthyology (Appendix). He also served on other graduate committees in which his knowledge of fishes would be of value.
was a rather passive individual, quiet and reserved. His personality may well have caused him
problems at the UW with more aggressive or dominating people. For example, in 1939 the Director of the
During his short tenure as
the Director of the
Welander responded in a brief letter, writing “Since I have already been appointed to teach Fisheries 101, 102 and 103 for the school year 1947-1948, I intend to fulfill the terms of the contract unless the administration orders otherwise.” And later “I shall look forward with interest to the results of your endeavors to obtain me a position elsewhere, and wish to thank you for the efforts you are making on my behalf.”40
Chapman, whose graduate
work was in systematic ichthyology (M.S. and Ph.D. at the UW under Leonard
Schultz), undertook a search for an ichthyologist to replace Welander. He first
made overtures to George Sprague Myers (1905-1985) of
came to the UW in 1948 to oversee the Fish Collection and to work on the
Philippine fishes he had amassed and in that same year Web Chapman left the UW
to become Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State for Fish and
Wildlife. Because Arthur Welander had tenure, he remained on the faculty of the