California Academy of Sciences

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California Academy of Sciences organized the first Channel Islands biological survey in 1918 and 1919 under the direction of Barton Warren Evermann(1853-1932), director of the Academy from 1914 to 1932.

Channel Islands Survey participants included:

The following are known to have visited all eight California Channel Islands:

  • Barton Warren Evermann (1853-1932), California Academy of Sciences (1918 + 1919)
  • Joseph Richard Slevin (1881-1957), California Academy of Sciences (1918 + 1919)
  • John Van Denburgh (1872-1924), California Academy of Sciences (1918 + 1919)


» also: Alice Eastwood; August Gustav Eisen; William George Washington Harford; Henry Hemphill; John Thomas Howell; Albert Kellogg; John Ward Mailliard; John Stewart Rowley; Harry Schelwald Swarth; Ira Loren Wiggins





» 1868. LeConte, Joseph California Academy of Sciences Proceedings V:152


» 1872. Davidson, George Concerning G. W. Blunt and the Fossil tooth of Santa Rosa Island in California Academy of Sciences Proceedings IV:152



In the News~

September 2, 1879 [DAC]: “The regular meeting of the Academy of Sciences was held lst evening, H. C. Hyde the Chair… Several donations to the cabinet were made, the principal being some fish hooks found in a shell mound, 18 feet from the surface, on San Nicolas Island, Santa Barbara Channel…”


1887. Greene, E. L. Notes on the Botany of Santa Cruz Island in California Academy of Sciences Bulletin II: (7):377-418.


1890. Brandegee, T. S. Flora of the Santa Barbara Islands in California Academy of Sciences Proceedings I, 2nd series: (201-226) 1888


1890. Brandegee, T. S. Flora of the Californian Islands in Zoe I (5):129-148.


June 13, 1897 [SFCall]: “Dr. Gustav Eisen, curator of the department of biology of the [California] Academy of Sciences, has just returned from an exploration trip to Santa Rosa Island and reports that he is highly gratified with what he saw and found there… Santa Rosa Island is about the only place on the coast where abalones can still be obtained. They are still plentiful, although a few years ago the Chinese found out about it and the work of exterminating them is progressing as fast as possible. Last year they secured fifteen tons and expect much more this year…”


1898. Eastwood, Alice Notes on the Plants of St. Nicholas [sic] Island in California Academy of Sciences Proceedings 3:89-120.


January 12, 1905 [SBMP]: “Late arrivals from San Francisco report that the big leatherback turtle that George Gourley caught in the channel last week reached San Francisco, and that it attracted a great deal more attention in the city than it did here. From the time it was unloaded until it was taken to the [California] Academy of Sciences, it was followed by crowds of people who had never before had an opportunity of seeing such a monster tortoise.


March 7, 1911 [LAT]: “Reports reached here today that Mrs. Blanche Trask, who left two months ago to search the deserts for archaeological and botanical specimens for the Academy of Scientists of San Francisco and the Department of Agriculture at Washington has arrived at Thermal, Riverside county. Many specimens of Indian relics have been found and some few rare weeds which have heretofore not been classified… Several years ago, Mrs. Trask commenced to collect products of the early Indians, who formerly inhabited the islands of San Clemente, San Nicolas, San Miguel and Santa Catalina, and her information compiled has been entered upon record with several universities. She is the author of several scientific books.”


October 3, 1912 [LAT]: “J. R. Slevin, of the San Francisco Academy of Science, returned today from a five days’ cruise in the launch Flyer to Santa Barbara Island. He brought back several glass jars of little reptiles and a sack full of live island lizards.”


October 18, 1912 [LAT]: “Prof. J. A. Slevin and two geologists, representing the Academy of Science in California, left today in the chartered launch Neptune for Santa Barbara, San Nicolas and San Clemente islands on a voyage of investigation which may last several weeks. Still other of the Channel Islands in addition to those named may be visited. A search for reptiles common to the various isles will be made and the scientists expect to find many features of interest in their study of natural history. They will spend a week each on Clemente and San Nicolas.


October 19, 1912 [LAT]: “No snakes on San Clemente. After hunting reptiles on the Channel Islands for the past three months, Prof. J. R. Slevin of the [California] Academy of Science of San Francisco, finished a four-day hunt on San Clemente Island and added nine varieties of lizards to his collection. No snakes were found on San Clemente Island… Each specimen has been preserved and will be sent to San Francisco. ‘It is the desire of my department,’ said Prof. Slevin, ‘if possible, to connect the Channel Islands by their reptiles and other scientific proofs. I have found exactly the same species of lizards on San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands. Two of these islands, however, have no snakes…”


September 25, 1917 [SBMP]: “…Miss Eastwood, on behalf of the Academy, very completely botanized Santa Cruz and Catalina islands. On all her exploring trips over these islands, she was accompanied by Mrs. Miller, herself an enthusiastic botanist, and when the two ladies left the sailing party to return home by rail from San Diego a short time ago, they took with then a comprehensive exhibit of the flora of the islands mentioned…”


1942. Howell, John Thomas The vascular plants from San Nicolas Island, California in California Academy of Sciences Proceedings 4: 21, 22, 277-284