Laurence Markham Huey (1892 - 1963)
One Naturalist's Legacy
Huey recalled that his first official collecting trip to Baja California was with
Griffing Bancroft in 1923. "In those days, we cooked on the camp fire, ate
beans and rice, and lived on 30 cents a day."
By the time he retired, in addition to expanding the museum collections to
the "more than 50,000 specimens" noted by Lindsay, he had built a private
collection of 4000 bird and 1000 mammal skins, mostly from Imperial Valley and
Northern Baja California. This collection was purchased by the Museum for $6500
He continued to make pictures throughout his career, and when he retired, had
"20,000 feet of uncut film still to edit and thousands of still photographs."
According to the San Diego Evening Tribune, Huey found and named 84
species of mammals in California, Arizona, Utah, Mexico and Baja California, and
10 species of birds in Baja California alone.
Self-motivated, with a largely self-directed educationreading, apprenticeship, and help "for Latin and Greek" from a former schoolteacher, Laurence Huey had a long and distinguished career at the SDNHM. He left a rich legacy of research, scientific collecting and conservation in specimens, pictures, and words.
* Note: Huey's words in Early Years taken from undated archive piece. Other quotations, unless otherwise attributed, are from "Mammal and Bird Expert to Retire," San Diego Evening Tribune, 25 October, 1961. An amusing profile of Huey can be found in the Museum publication Environment Southwest Oct-Nov 1974 No. 467, p.19.