Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 9579
Rand, A. Stanley (Austin Stanley), 1932-2005, interviewee
A. Stanley Rand Oral History Interviews, 1986, 1989-1990
Austin Stanley Rand (1932-2005), was a herpetologist and Senior Biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). He was born on September 29, 1932, in Seneca Falls, New York. He received his B.A. in zoology from DePauw University in 1955, served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957, and received his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University in 1961. In 1961 he married Patricia Rand, and they had three children, Hugh, Margaret and Katherine.
Rand began his scientific career in 1950, when he worked three summers as an Assistant in the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. In 1957, he worked as an Assistant in the Division of Mammals at the Field Museum. Upon completing his Ph.D., Rand served as a Research Assistant in Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University from 1961-1962, and as a Zoologist for the Secretary of Agriculture in Sa Paulo, Brazil from 1962-1964. Rand first arrived at STRI in 1964 as a herpetologist. From 1973-1979, Rand also served as Coordinator of the Tropical Program of the Smithsonian's Environmental Sciences Program, coordinating research projects on marine and terrestrial monitoring. In 1974, Rand was appointed STRI's Assistant Director, with special responsibilities for the operation of the Barro Colorado Island field station, as well as budget and planning for STRI. In 1979, he was appointed Senior Biologist, a position which he held until his death. In 1988, he also became responsible for coordinating scientific activities at STRI's facilities in Gamboa, Panama. At STRI, Rand supervised graduate student and postdoctoral research, and consulted for the Panamanian government as requested.
Rand's research interests were primarily in studies of the behavior and ecology of tropical reptiles and amphibians, particularly social behavior and vocal communication in lizards (Iguana iguana and Anolis limifrons) and Tungara frogs (Physalaemus pustulosus). His major field work included a month or more in Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Haiti, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, Santo Domingo, and Venezuela, as well as shorter visits elsewhere. He was a prolific producer of articles, both alone and as co-author, and both organized and participated in various symposia.
Rand was a member of various professional societies, including the American Society of Naturalists, the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Association for Tropical Biology, Herpetologist's League, and Animal Behavior Society.
The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program staff conduct interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Austin Stanley Rand was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his distinguished scientific career, and long tenure at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute as both researcher and administrator. Additional interviews of Rand can be found in Record Unit 9580, Barro Colorado Island Group Oral History Interview, and Record Unit 9553, Conservation of Endangered Species Videohistory Interviews. Additional information about Rand can be found in the Records of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the A. Stanley Rand Papers which are also housed in Smithsonian Institution Archives.
The Austin Stanley Rand Interviews were conducted during three sessions from December 1986 through June 1990. The first interview was in December 1986 by Daryl Jones, a student at the University of Maryland; the second, in April 1989 by Smithsonian Institution Archives historian, Pamela M. Henson, and Joel Bartholemew Hagen, a Smithsonian postdoctoral fellow; and the third, in June 1990 by Pamela Henson. They consist of 3.5 hours of audiotape and audio cassette recordings and 81 pages of transcript
The Austin Stanley Rand Interviews discuss his background, education and early interest in zoology; career at STRI; recollections of colleagues and life on Barro Colorado Island (BCI), including Martin Humphrey Moynihan, Neal Griffith Smith, and Dagmar I. Werner; discussions of his and his colleagues' major research interests; STRI's regional role; and changes at STRI over the years.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Rand, A. Stanley (Austin Stanley), 1932-
- Moynihan, M.
- Smith, Neal Griffith, 1937-
- Werner, Dagmar I.
- Jones, Daryl, interviewer
- Henson, Pamela M., interviewer
- Moynihan, M.
- Hagen, Joel Bartholemew, interviewer
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- Departmento de Zoologia (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
- DePauw University
- Harvard University
- Tropical biology
- Oral history
- Barro Colorado Island (Panama)
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9579, A. Stanley Rand Oral History Interviews