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October 9, 2006

UCSC publishes oral history memoir of biologist Todd Newberry

The Regional History Project of the University Library at UCSC has published an oral history of founding faculty member Todd Newberry. Titled Andrew Todd Newberry, Professor of Biology, 1965-1994, Reflections on UC Santa Cruz, this oral history was conducted by Randall Jarrell, the former director of the Regional History Project, as part of a series of interviews with faculty who took early retirement in the 1990s.

Photo of Todd Newberry

Todd Newberry

Newberry is a professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology whose passion for teaching inspired several generations of students at UCSC. In his oral history, Newberry speaks of teaching "as a form of persuasion, of launching, of getting people interested in things." He won the Distinguished Teaching Award at UCSC in 1987. Newberry provides his recollections of Cowell College and the early years at UCSC in this oral history. He characterizes those years as "exhilarating" and an "improbable adventure."

In his retirement, Newberry has continued to be affiliated with UCSC as a teacher and researcher. In addition, he has a remarkable record of publication. In 2005 he published The Ardent Birder (Ten Speed Press), in which he shares the wisdom of a lifelong birder, an accomplished scientist, and an extraordinary teacher. Written in the great tradition of literary natural history, the book offers tips on birding and information about birds, but also Newberry's meditations on the experience of birdwatching itself.

Newberry leads birdwatching trips for the UCSC Arboretum and other groups in Santa Cruz County. His wife, Louise, died suddenly in May 2004. She had worked for five years as director of the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery at UCSC and helped to launch the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz.

Copies of this volume are available in the University Library at UCSC and on the library's web site at

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