Stanley Helmer Anderson was born on 6 August 1939 in San Francisco, California. He died peacefully at home with his family in Laramie, Wyoming, on 1 September 2005 after a lengthy illness. His wife Donna preceded him in death in 1999. He is survived by two children, Becky Castano and Greg Anderson, their spouses, and a grandson, Ross Anderson. Stan joined the AOU in 1967, became an Elective Member in 1986, and was elected a Fellow in 1995.
Stan's interest in birds began through participation in Boy Scout programs in the San Francisco Bay area when he was 11. He graduated from high school in Burlingame, California, in 1957, and from the University of Redlands with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry in 1961. A year of graduate courses in Education and Biology at San Jose State College in California followed. Stan went on to serve as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1963 to 1966, after which he obtained an M.S. degree at Oregon State University under John A. Wiens, studying The Avifaunal Composition of Oregon White Oak Stands. He continued for a Ph.D. under Wiens, completing his dissertation, Ecological Relationships of Birds in Forests of Western Oregon, in 1970.
That same year, Stan joined the faculty at Kenyon College, where he worked until 1975. He served as a Scientist at Oak Ridge Associated Universities from 1975 to 1976, and from 1976 to 1980 as Chief of the Migratory Nongame Bird Section of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. In 1980 he moved to Laramie, Wyoming, as Leader of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. He served as Unit Leader and Professor of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming until his death.
The breadth and depth of Stan's contributions to science were substantial. Between 1970 and 2005, he authored almost 200 scientific publications that appeared in journals ranging from The Auk and Ecology to the Journal of Wildlife Management. He also authored or co-authored multiple editions of three textbooks that have been used widely in the field of wildlife management, as well as books on the Prairie Falcon and forest and rangeland birds of the United States. Stan was one of the first avian ecologists to study bird-habitat relations using multivariate statistical techniques. Throughout his career, a special interest in habitat selection guided his research and his training of students. In recent years, he focused increasingly on endangered species and made significant contributions to solving problems confronting black-footed ferrets and Greater Sage-Grouse.
Stan's influence is reflected not only in his extensive contributions to science but also in the many students he mentored. From 1980 to 2005, Stan advised or co-advised 100 graduate students, including 23 Ph.D. and 77 M.S. students. Many of his students currently serve as management or research biologists with state (21%), federal (22%), or tribal (3%) natural resource agencies. Many others are college or university faculty (15%), or biologists with non- governmental organizations (14%) or consulting firms (10%). And still others presently work in secondary schools, medicine, city planning, and ranching, with one bringing his wildlife background to the U.S. Secret Service. Stan's care and sense of responsibility for his students were evident. He frequently mentioned that mentoring his students was the most rewarding aspect of his job, and he often referred to his students as his “academic progeny.”
As one of his graduate students, I remember the camaraderie that Stan and Donna fostered among students by inviting them to their home for group discussions of research. The interactions and Donna's popcorn were especially satisfying. Stan expected scientific excellence and productivity but gave students plenty of intellectual rein. He was generous with his time, and his intriguing mix of encouragement and challenge empowered students to develop confidence in their work. He enjoyed visiting his students at their study sites and helping them solve problems so they could proceed with their research in a scientifically sound manner.
Stan was a professional with intense interests in ornithology, wildlife ecology, and conservation. Contributions to science were his priority. He was gently forthright and amazingly efficient. And his understanding of human nature facilitated effective interactions with people from all walks of life.
Stan's career is wonderfully inspiring. His accomplishments, and the professional manner in which he achieved them, have set a high standard. It was the great fortune of many to have known and learned from him, and his career will continue to serve as a compelling model for how to be a leading scientist and mentor. Members of the ornithological and conservation communities will cherish their memories of Stan as a friendly, energetic, and modest man with a dry wit and a passion for science.
I thank Wayne A. Hubert, Carlos Martínez del Rio, and David B. McDonald for contributing biographical and professional information, and for editing an initial draft. Greg Anderson, Doug Inkley, and John Wiens provided valuable comments on a later draft.