Record Unit 9606, History of Tropical Biology Oral History Interviews, 1997
As part of her research for her Smithsonian postdoctoral fellowship project, in 1997 Catherine A. Christen conducted oral history interviews with two orchid specialists who had conducted research in the neotropics. On 1 July 1997, she interviewed Robert L. Dressler (1927- ), curator and co-ordinator for the Orchidaceae Section of the Flora MesoAmericana at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Dressler received the B.A. from the University of Southern California in 1951 and the Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1957. He was on the staff of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute from 1963 to 1987, when he was named a research associate. On 2 July 1997, Christen interviewed William Louis Stern (1926- ), professor of botany, University of Florida. Stern received the B.S. from Rutgers University in 1950, the M.S. in 1951 and the Ph.D. in 1954 from the University of Illinois. He was curator and then chair of the Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, from 1960 to 1967. In 1967, he was appointed professor at the University of Maryland. From 1978 to 1979, he was program chairman for systematic biology at the National Science Foundation. In 1979, he was named chairman of the Department of Botany at the University of Florida. In 1985 he returned to teaching there as professor of botany. In Florida, he changed his research focus to studies on the vegetative anatomy and systematics of the orchid family.
The recordings of the interview of Cameron and North is open for research use, however, the transcript has not been deeded to the Archives. Researchers may submit a written request to the interviewees, heirs or assigns, for written permission to use the transcript.