3/6/07

Dear Dr. Ewart,

The ornithological community is grieving the loss of Mel Carriker. His
books detailing his father's ornithological expeditions - and
particularly the last - Rio Beni, which chronicled his own adventures in
Bolivia - have been distributed throughout South America and have been
greatly appreciated by the ornithologists in that region. Mel was
supportive of the development of ornithology in the Neotropics. I first
met him when he offered to donate copies of Vista Nieve to those
attending the Neotropical Ornithological Congress. We were grateful for
this generous gift. Later that year, I drove to Delaware to meet Mel for
the first time. With me was a young Mexican ornithologist who was
studying the impacts of various management practices in shade coffee
plantations - a topic that interested Mel because both the Cincinnati
and Vista Nieve fincas were shade plantations. Indeed, shade coffee was
considered far superior in those days; sun-grown coffee was rare. We
were supposed to have lunch with Mel on the Friday of the week he died.
A young Colombian ornithologist who had just the week before been
studying Meb's specimens at the Carnegie Museum and the American Museum
of Natural History was so looking forward to meeting Mel, but it was not
to be.

Mel had published a memoriam to his father in the most recent issue of
the Auk (the journal of the American Ornithologists' Union). I've
attached a copy, along with a copy of the review Storrs Olson wrote of
Mel's books in that same issue. Perhaps you would want to post them (and
this message) on the CarrikerFest webpage.

Ellen Paul

--
Ellen Paul
Executive Director
The Ornithological Council
Ornithological Council Website:  http://www.nmnh.si.edu/BIRDNET
"Providing Scientific Information about Birds"