Remembering Dr. George C. West

Many people have fond memories of Dr. George C. West that they want to share. This is one place to do that. If you would like to add a remembrance to this page, please send me an email. George’s obituary has been published by the Daily News Miner in Fairbanks, the Homer News in Homer, and Green Valley News in Green Valley. There are online guest books on those pages. Also, Ellen West asks people who want to donate something in George’s name to choose the scholarship fund  at Friends of Madera Canyon, Box 1203, Green Valley, AZ 85622.


My friend Dianne Howard wrote an article about meeting Dr. West, which was published in Arizona Wildlife Views magazine’s July–August 2014 issue. It’s reprinted here by special permission from the editor. “Pole Knoll and Karma”


Here is a remembrance from Jim Gessaman:

“Fifty years ago (from 1965–1967), George West was my co-major advisor during my doctoral research on Snowy Owls. At that time in George’s career, his research focused on avian energetics and the physiological adaptations of birds to Arctic environments.  In his laboratory at the Institute of Arctic Biology in Fairbanks, I spent many weeks using his equipment to measure the oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production of owls at various cold temperatures and air speeds and measuring the caloric value of owl food and feces with a bomb calorimeter. George visited me at the Naval Arctic Research Lab in Barrow, Alaska to review my project and advise me on trapping owls on the tundra. George and I had both earned our PhDs from the University of Illinois, although nine years apart, working under the same major professor, Dr. Charles Kendeigh. In 1965, with George now at IAB, he accepted Kendeigh’s invitation to be a co-major advisor on my Snowy Owl research.

Forty years later, I retired to Tucson, and learned of George’s hummingbird banding project in Madera Canyon, where I volunteered as a trapper on several occasions.

He was a very talented researcher, field biologist, artist, photographer, and educator. I have fond memories of George West. His legacy will live on through his bird paintings and photos.”


Here is a note from Luis Calvo:

This wonderful man will be missed by all those that he touched, including me. I was fortunate to have known George since he and Ellen moved to Green Valley, AZ. He shared his knowledge and kindness with everyone that he met. The world was certainly a better place with him in it. His legacy will live on. My memories of George still bring a smile to my face. I was truly lucky to have met such a gentle man of knowledge. I can’t wait to read his memoir!


For my remembrance about Dr. West, see this post.

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