Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Al Loving Biography - Loved Painting from Early Age to Alice McGill Biography - Personal » Michael A. Mares: 1945—: Mammologist, Field Biologist Biography - Studied Desert Life During Field Research, Wrote Field Narratives While Teaching, Shared Wondrous World Through Museum

Michael A. Mares: 1945—: Mammologist, Field Biologist - Shared Wondrous World Through Museum

oklahoma history university natural

Mares became the director of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in 1983. After struggling for some years with both an up-and-down economy and shifts in university and museum administration, Mares undertook a $40 million renovation of the museum. Mares himself worked to raise the money from public and private donors. In the end, the museum became a state-of-the-art attraction and educational facility. The museum included classrooms for Oklahoma University graduate and undergraduate students, and featured digital and interactive exhibits that left the old, yellowed bones of yesterday's natural history museums in the dust. "You can't present this stuff in a dry manner anymore," Mares told the Wall Street Journal. "People won't come and see it." But come and see it they did; in the first two months after its reopening, the museum attracted 100,000 visitors—more people than had previously attended the museum in a year.

Gould summed up Mares' achievements in his fore-word to A Desert Calling: "Mares has truly proven … that we live on a most wondrous planet, a place where every nook of space and every sentient object (even the insentient ones, for that matter) loudly proclaim the truth of Shakespeare's appended examples for his famous proclamation about the sweet uses of adversity: 'sermons in stones, and good in every thing.'"


Selected writings

(Editor, with H. H. Genoways) Mammalian Biology in South America, Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, Special Publication, 1982.

(Editor) Charles Banks Wilson's Search for the Pure-bloods, Special Publication, 1983.

Heritage at Risk: Oklahoma's Hidden Treasure, Special Publication, Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 1988.

(With R. A. Ojeda, and R. M. Barquez) Guide to the Mammals of Salta Province, Argentina, The University of Oklahoma Press, 1989.

(With Caire, W., B. P. Glass, J. T. Tyler) The Mammals of Oklahoma, The University of Oklahoma Press, 1989.

(Editor, with D. J. Schmidly) Latin American Mammal-ogy: History, Biodiversity and Conservation, The University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.

(With Barquez, R. M. and R. A. Ojeda) The Mammals of Tucumán (Los Mamíferos de Tucumán), Special Publication, Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 1991.

(With Barquez, R. M., and N. Giannini) Guide to the Bats of Argentina (Guía de los Murciélagos de Argentina), Special Publication, Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 1993.

(Editor) Encyclopedia of Deserts, University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.

(Editor, with Barquez, R. M. and J. K. Braun) The Bats of Argentina, Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, 1999.

(Editor) A University Natural History Museum for the New Millennium, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2001.

A Desert Calling: Life in a Forbidding Landscape, Harvard Univ. Press, 2002.

Also is the author of more than 155 articles, as well as reviews, lectures, addresses, grants, and contracts. In addition, wrote and produced the video Behind the Rain: The Story of a Museum, in 2002.


Sources

Books


Mares, Michael A., A Desert Calling: Life in a Forbidding Landscape, Harvard Univ. Press, 2002.


Periodicals


Journal Record (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), September 28, 1994.

Library Journal, April 1, 2002, p. 135.

New Scientist, May 4, 2002, p. 56.

Science, July 1, 1983, p. 49.

Science News, June 22, 2002, p. 399.

Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2000, p. W12.


Other


Additional information for this profile was provided by Michael A. Mares.

—Brenna Sanchez

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