Weston, Henry G., Jr. (1922-2001)

Weston, Henry G., Jr. (1922-2001)

Date Updated



Biological Sciences

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Iowa State College, 1950 Ph.D.

University of California, Berkeley, 1947 MA

San Diego State College, 1943 BA

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1955-1988

Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA, 1950-1955

University of California, Berkeley, 1944-1945

Administrative and Professional Experience

Seasonal Junior and Senior Ranger Naturalist, Summers 1951‑1955, Yosemite National Park, California.

Selected Publications

Handbook of Birds of California, Naturegraph Publishers, 1961, 1965, 1973, 1986 (3rd edition).

Numerous articles in a variety of publications.

Personal Commentary

My life‑long interest in nature was launched in the late 1920's. Spring, in Hemet, California, meant it was time for my mother to take us into the surrounding foothills to enjoy spring wildflowers. Trips never to be forgotten. Further fueling my interest in the out‑of‑doors were our childhood summers spent in the San Jacinto Mountains at Idyllwild enjoying the surrounding forest, plants, and animals.

The first strong introduction to the idea of science teaching was offered by my eighth grade science teacher, Miss Drewisch. Teaching as a possible profession held my interest through High School. At San Diego State College, two outstanding science faculty members had a significant impact on my career choice; Dr. James Crouch, Zoology, and Dr. Dorothy Harvey, Botanist. They both encouraged me to continue field research at UC Berkeley (M.A.) and then Iowa State University (Ph.D.).

My science teaching career began in 1950 at Grinnell College, a small liberal‑arts midwest college with high caliber students. In 1955, I felt extraordinarily fortunate to join the Biology staff at San Jose State. One could never have had more helpful mentors than Dr. Bill McCallum, Dr. Joe Young, and Dr. John Harville. The Field Studies Program, especially, was a unique opportunity to teach what I loved and what I did best. It enabled me to participate in the Peace Corps program, the West Coast Nature School, and the Natural History Field Studies program. All these programs allowed us on the staff to attract and serve bright, interesting, mature, and dedicated students. It represented teaching at its most congenial level.

My interests, related to but separate from teaching, have included: (1) banding birds for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 51 years (1942‑1993); (2) doing consulting for several ecology consulting companies; and (3) writing Handbook of Birds of California, still well received and in print. My hobbies have always had an outdoor component, such as hiking, back‑packing, camping, and fishing, most often happily in Yosemite or the Sierras. Unrelated to any of the above, but with the utmost satisfaction for many years, I enjoyed the role of certified Track and Field official, in charge of San Jose State's fine officials. Seeing outstanding athletes come through San Jose and often go on to the Olympics was a very special pleasure for me.

To thank and remember everyone involved with one's career is never possible. But I would be remiss in not re‑emphasizing my mother's unfailing interest in my chosen career. And my other daily champion for almost 50 years has been my wife.. Supporter, critic, advisor, and chief cheerleader ...she has filled all roles with energy and class. My children also deserve my thanks. I consider myself lucky to know them and I value each of their unique personalities. Both family and career have been gifts beyond measure. One could not ask for more.

Date Completed: 5/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Weston, Henry G., Jr. (1922-2001)