Over the next 50 years, Rod dedicated his career to research, collections, and outreach at the Burke Museum. As a Curatorial Associate, he has built the most diverse and extensive arachnid collection (along with other invertebrates) in the Pacific Northwest. From caves to alpine, he has sampled extensively in Washington—including five years of post-eruption field work on Mount St. Helens—as well as in adjacent areas of the Pacific Northwest and in the Russian Far East. In Washington alone, Rod has collected from more than 3,000 locales.
Through steadfast, long-term research, he has significantly improved the understanding of spider diversity and distributions in Washington state, adding more than 600 species to the state’s checklist (currently at 965 species and counting!).
Unsurprisingly, his contributions extend well beyond the Burke Museum. Over time, the Burke’s very own ‘Spider Man’ has become somewhat of a local celebrity for sharing his knowledge and passion with the community. His work has been featured in numerous media publications. Rod has published more than 80 scientific papers, written more than 50 popular articles, and participated in countless outreach events. In addition, Rod serves as the long-term editor of the ‘Scarabogram,’ the newsletter of Scarabs, the local bug society.
For more on Rod Crawford’s work, visit his website.