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I thought you would be interested in this article from environment: YALE magazine, the Journal of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
By Alan Bisbort
Tom Siccama has some sage and simple advice for students agonizing over whether to pursue botany or zoology.
“Plants stand still, which means they are easier to catch,” he deadpans.
Homespun wisdom like this, imbued with a wry—if offbeat—sense of humor, had long endeared F&ES students to Siccama, who after 41 years on the faculty officially retired last fall. He is also something of a character for his unpretentious wardrobe of baggy Dockers held up by suspenders, scuffed leather shoes and outmoded aviator-style glasses, as well as his legendary lunches of Wonder Bread (two slices between two slices, really) chased by a Pepsi, chocolate chip cookie dough and Oreos. On overnight field trips, he would sleep in his truck.
Such eccentricities have never obscured the fact that Siccama is, in the words of John Battles, his former student and now an associate professor of forest community ecology at the University of California, Berkeley, “one of the foremost ecologists of the Northeastern forests.” Mary Arthur ’83, a former student and current professor of forest ecology at the University of Kentucky, calls him “an unbelievably good naturalist who can read any landscape at a glance.” According to his long-time teaching partner, Herb Bormann, “Tom is a genuine scientist who has made…
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