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Edmund Jaeger

Edmund C. Jaeger
Born(1887-01-28)January 28, 1887
DiedAugust 2, 1983(1983-08-02) (aged 96)
Resting placeEdmund Jaeger Nature Sanctuary
Chuckwalla Mountains
(ashes scattered)
33°41′13″N 115°26′39″W / 33.68696°N 115.44415°W / 33.68696; -115.44415
Alma materOccidental College
Known forHibernation of common poorwill
AwardsHonorary Doctor of Science, Occidental College (1953)
Phi Beta Kappa, Occidental College Chapter (1962)
Professor Emeritus, Riverside City College (1965)
Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of California, Riverside (1967)
Member, University of California Chapter of Sigma Xi (1966)
[1]: 216, 378, 397, 404, 406 
Scientific career
InstitutionsRiverside City College
Riverside Municipal Museum
Author abbrev. (botany)E.Jaeger[2]
Edmund Jaeger documented a state of near-hibernation in the common poorwill.

Edmund Carroll Jaeger, D.Sc.,[1] (January 28, 1887 – August 2, 1983) was an American biologist known for his works on desert ecology. He was born in Loup City, Nebraska to Katherine (née Gunther) and John Philip Jaeger,[3]: V.I, p.159  and moved to Riverside, California in 1906 with his family.[4] He was the first to document, in The Condor,[5] a state of extended torpor, approaching hibernation, in a bird, the common poorwill.[6] He also described this in the National Geographic Magazine.[7]


Jaeger first attended the newly relocated Occidental College in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles (in 1914), but moved to Palm Springs in 1915, where he taught at the one-room schoolhouse. At Palm Springs he met artist Carl Eytel,[8]: 168–71  and authors J. Smeaton Chase[8] and Charles Francis Saunders.[8][9] These men formed what University of Arizona Professor Peter Wild called a "Creative Brotherhood"[3] that lived in Palm Springs in the early 20th century. Other Brotherhood members included cartoonist and painter Jimmy Swinnerton,[8] author George Wharton James,[8] and photographers Fred Payne Clatworthy[8][10] and Stephen H. Willard.[8] The men lived near each other (like Jaeger, Eytel built his own cabin),[11] traveled together throughout the Southwest, helped with each other's works, and exchanged photographs which appeared in their various books.[3] He then returned to Occidental to complete his degree in 1918 and started teaching at Riverside Junior College. Retiring from teaching after 30 years, he worked the Riverside Municipal Museum[12] in Riverside. During all these years Jaeger used his Palm Springs cabin for his research trips across the desert.[citation needed] Throughout his career he wrote many popular nature books and became known as the "dean of the California deserts".[13][14]



(Listed in order of first publication.)
  • The Mountain Trees of Southern California: a Simple Guide-book for Tree Lovers. Nabu Press. 2010 [1919]. p. 132. ISBN 978-1177055239. LCCN 21001210. OCLC 8666171. Carl Eytel...furnished the sketches of the mountain animals.
  • Denizens of the Desert: A Book of Southwestern Mammals, Birds, and Reptiles. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1922. pp. 299. OCLC 1459267.
  • A Preliminary Report on the Flora of the Charleston Mountains of Nevada. Occasional papers of Riverside Junior College., v. 1, no. 1. Riverside, CA: The Junior College. 1927. p. 15. OCLC 5663721.
  • Birds of the Charleston Mountains of Nevada. Occasional papers of Riverside Junior College., v. 2, no. 1. Riverside, CA: The Junior College. 1927. p. 8. OCLC 16016140.
  • Denizens of the Mountains. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. 1929. p. 168. ASIN B00085C1KE. OCLC 716567.
  • A Dictionary of Greek and Latin Combining Forms used in Zoological Names (revised and enlarged from 1930 ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. 1931. ASIN B002AQF1BU. OCLC 10567568.
  • The California Deserts: A Visitor's Handbook (also 1933, 1938, 1955 ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1965. p. 220. ISBN 978-0804712231. OCLC 716807042. (Samuel Stillman Berry and Malcom Jennings Rogers contributed chapters)
  • Desert Wild Flowers. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1978 [1940]. ISBN 978-0804703659. OCLC 631689191.
  • A Source-book of Biological Names and Terms (3rd ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. 1978 [1944]. p. 323. ISBN 978-0398061791. OCLC 1524400. (illustrations by Merle Gish and the author)[15]
  • Our Desert Neighbors. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1950. p. 329. ISBN 978-1121357754. OCLC 1436846.
  • A Source-book of Medical Terms. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. 1953. ASIN B000L3JHR8. OCLC 14670855. (Irvine H. Page was a co-author)
  • The Desert in Pictures. Palm Springs, CA: Palm Springs Museum. 1955. p. 42. OCLC 9932064. (editor)
  • A Naturalist's Death Valley (5th ed.). Palm Desert, CA: Death Valley '49ers, Inc. 1979 [1957]. p. 70. ASIN B0007FK6VQ. OCLC 6573909.
  • The North American Deserts. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1957. pp. 320. ISBN 978-0804704984. OCLC 630598569. (Peveril Meigs contributed a chapter; illustrations by John D. Briggs, Lloyd Mason Smith, Morris Van Dame, and Jaeger )
  • The Biologist's Handbook of Pronunciations (first in 1960 ed.). Charleston, SC: Nabu Press. 2011. p. 340. ISBN 978-1175764539. OCLC 310096649. (illustrations by Morris Van Dame and Jaeger)
  • Desert Wildlife (revised and enlarged of 1950 Our Desert Neighbors ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1961. p. 320. ISBN 978-0804701242. OCLC 637075718.
  • Introduction to the Natural History of Southern California (first as 1966 ed.). University of California Press. 1977. pp. 104. ISBN 978-0520032453. OCLC 22526487. (Arthur Clayton Smith was a co-author; illustrations by Gene M. Christman)


Jaeger contributed to over 25 magazines and journals[1]: 443–54  including:

History of Palm Springs

  • "Art in a Desert Cabin". Desert Magazine. 11 (11): 15–19. September 1948.
  • "Forgotten Trails". Palm Springs Villager. 4 (2): 12–13, 28. September 1949.
  • "Monk of Palm Springs". Palm Springs Villager. 4 (6): 22. January 1950.
  • "From Cheese to Cash". Palm Springs Villager. 5 (87): 18–19, 38. February 1951.
  • "I Well Remember J. Smeaton Chase". Palm Springs Villager. 6 (8): 54–56, 58. March 1952.
  • "Tall Tales from Old Palm Springs". Palm Springs Villager. 6 (11): 14, 33. June 1952.

Archives of Jaeger's work

  • Much of Jaeger's original work is archived at the University of California, Riverside, Library Special Collections.[16]
  • Also see: Manuscripts and correspondence, OCLC 44935014 (Summary: biographical material, list of publications, newspapers articles and correspondence of Edmund C. Jaeger, Head of the Zoology Dept. at Riverside City College. 358 items in one box)



Some 28 patronyms of Jaeger have been made,[1]: 234–38  including:


  1. ^ a b c d Ryckman, Raymond E.; Zackrison, James L. (1998). Son of the Living Desert – Edmund C. Jaeger, 1887–1983: Ecologist, Educator, Environmentalist, Biologist, and Philanthropist. Loma Linda, CA: R.E. Ryckman. p. 466. ISBN 978-0966356304. OCLC 39497413. LCC QH31.J33 R97 1998 University of California, Riverside, Science Library Archived 2016-01-07 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Author Details for Edmund Jaeger" (HTML). International Plant Names Index. International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI).
  3. ^ a b c Wild, Peter (2007). News from Palm Springs: The Letters of Carl Eytel, Edmund C. Jaeger, J. Smeaton Chase, Charles Francis Saunders, and Others of the Creative Brotherhood and Its Background. Vol. I and II. Johannesburg, CA: The Shady Myrick Research Project. OCLC 163456618.
  4. ^ Ewan, Joseph (May 1987). "Edmund Carroll Jaeger (1887–1983), Dave Keck's Mentor". Taxon. 2. 36 (2): 402–04. doi:10.2307/1221431. JSTOR 1221431. (Nita Hiltner, next reference, says the move was in 1910.)
  5. ^ Jaeger, Edmund C. (May–June 1949). "Further Observations on the Hibernation of the Poor-will". The Condor. 3. 51 (3): 105–09. doi:10.2307/1365104. ISSN 0010-5422. JSTOR 1365104. OCLC 478309773. Earlier I gave an account (Condor, 50, 1948:45) of the behavior of a Poor-will (Phalaenoptilus nuttallinii) which I found in a state of profound torpidity in the winter of 1946–47 in the Chuckawalla Mountains of the Colorado Desert, California. (photographs by Kenneth Middleham)
  6. ^ Hiltner, Nita (February 20, 2011). "A Look Back". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, CA: Enterprise Media. Retrieved November 15, 2011.[permanent dead link] (Joseph Ewan, the preceding reference, says the move was in 1906.)
  7. ^ Jaeger, Edmund C. (January 1953). "Poorwill Sleeps Away the Winter". National Geographic Magazine. 103 (2). Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society: 273–80. ASIN B004PH1X8W.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Niemann, Greg (2006). Palm Springs Legends: creation of a desert oasis. San Diego, CA: Sunbelt Publications. p. 286. ISBN 978-0932653741. OCLC 61211290. (here for Table of Contents Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine)
  9. ^ "Charles Francis Saunders and Mira Culin Saunders Collection of Photographs and Negatives". Online Archive of California (OAC). Regents of the University of California. Archived from the original on June 19, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2011. Charles Francis Saunders (1859–1941) ...and his first wife, Elisabeth Hallowell Saunders (d. 1910), were both avid naturalists ...
  10. ^ "Fred Payne Clatworthy (U.S., 1875–1953)". Autochromes: The World Goes Color-Mad. American Museum of Photography. 2008. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2011. Fred Payne Clatworthy ... a professional photographer in...Colorado, published Autochromes in National Geographic ...
  11. ^ Yerxa, Cabot (December 1951). "Carl Eytel". Palm Springs Villager. 6 (5): 17, 41.
  12. ^ "Riverside Museum: Permanent Exhibits". Archived from the original on 2011-12-02. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  13. ^ Houk, Rose (2000). Mojave Desert (American Deserts Handbook). Tucson, AZ: Southwest Parks & Monuments Association. p. 26. ISBN 978-1583690086. OCLC 44039342.
  14. ^ Lillard, Richard G. (April 1973). "The Nature Book in Action". The English Journal. 62 (4). National Council of Teachers of English: 537–48. doi:10.2307/813109. JSTOR 813109.
  15. ^ Translated into Chinese as: 生物名称和生物學术语的词源 (sheng wu ming cheng he sheng wu xue shu yu de ci yuan). Beijing: 科学出版社 (ke xue chu ban she) (Science Press). 1965 and 1979. p. 577. OCLC 49256075, 36154159. (responsibility includes: 滕砥平, 蔣芝英譯. (Teng Di Ping, Jiang Zhiying translation))
  16. ^ UCR Library, Special Collection 110 photographs, letters, manuscripts, miscellaneous publications, notebooks and sketches (18 linear ft. 37 document boxes) OCLC 173618331
  17. ^ "Moreno Valley College Catalog" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  18. ^ MCV Scholarship List
  19. ^ Wicinas, David (2000). Hufstader, Louisa (ed.). Native Grandeur: Preserving California's Vanishing Landscapes. San Francisco: The Nature Conservancy of California. p. 6. ISBN 978-0962459054. OCLC 48764772.
  20. ^ See:
  21. ^ Japenga, Ann (October 2003). "The Dean of the Deserts: Edmund C. Jaeger". Desert Magazine. 2 (10). Palm Desert, CA: 98. Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-11.
  22. ^ "Campus Times, University of La Verne, "ULV's hidden Edmund C. Jaeger Museum", December 3, 2008". Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  23. ^ "PUC Biology Scholarships". Archived from the original on 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  24. ^ "PUC Education Scholarships". Archived from the original on 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  25. ^ "Fellows of the California Native Plant Society" (PDF). Fremontia. 31 (1). California Native Plant Society: 27. January 2003. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 17, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  26. ^ "Past Award Recipients: Auld Lang Syne Award". Occidental College. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2011. For unwavering loyalty to Occidental College and the principle for which it stands, the Auld Lang Syne Award is presented to deserving members of the Fifty Year Club on Fifty Year Club Day each spring. More than 100 alumni have received the award, which was created in 1954.
  27. ^ V.W. Steinmann & J. André, Aliso 30(1): 1. (2012)

Further reading

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Edmund Jaeger
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