Laurence Markham Huey (1892 - 1963)
At the Museum
"Hueys appointment was indeed fortunate for the Museum. Despite his lack of training, he was a born naturalist and was able to amass the nations most significant collections of birds and mammals from southern California (particularly the Imperial Valley) and northern Baja California. These remain the cornerstone of our holdings.
Huey also wrote over 200 scientific papers and named many new forms of birds and mammals. It was largely his efforts that firmly established the museums eminence in systematic zoology. Huey also built many of the storage cases still in use [Ed. even today, 2003!] in mammalogy, ornithology, and malacology, and he collected the birds for the Identification Species of San Diego County Birds, toward which Ellen B. Scripps contributed $2000 ."
Joseph R. Jehl, Jr., Curator of Birds and Mammals. "A Brief History of the Department of Birds and Mammals," 18 December 1975.
Huey started out as Curator of Vertebrates, a post held first by Frank Stephens,
then by A.W. Anthony, before coming to him. In 1927, his title was changed to
Curator of Birds and Mammals, a description which remains to this day.
During Huey's tenure, publications in Transactions of the San Diego Society
of Natural History were increasing, and therefore the Museum's national reputation
also grew. With donations from other naturalists and acquisitions from Hueys
own expeditions and collecting trips, by 1934, the Museums bird collection
was the 19th largest in the U.S. In 1948, "recognizing its enhanced reputation
in science," the Museum, for the first time, sent Huey as Curator to a national
scientific meeting (Jehl, 1975).
Huey continued to enjoy his work till his retirement in 1961"Now, with a balanced ration of field work collecting specimens, the care of a growing collection of Birds and Mammals with the study necessary to classify them, for a vocation, and photographing as an avocationwell its worth all the arduous tasks life has presented," he wrote.