OSU Press mourns the loss of David Marshall, a champion for Oregon wildlife, who passed away on November 22 at age 85.
As a boy growing up in Portland in the 1930s, Dave’s passion was birding. With friends he would bike from Mount Scott to Kelley Point, looking for birds—early escapades that are recounted in “Hometown,” a short essay by Dave and Tom McAllister that appears in the new edition of Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine.
In 1940, the Oregon State College Faculty Publications Committee (later to become OSU Press) published its first hardcover book, the landmark Birds of Oregon by Ira Gabrielson and Stanley Jewett. Fourteen-year-old Dave read Birds of Oregon the year it was published. He knew then that someday the book would need updating, and that he might even play a role. Sixty-three years later, the OSU Press published Birds of Oregon: A General Reference, the first complete reference work on the subject since Gabrielson and Jewett’s definitive volume. Dave Marshall was the driving force and senior editor. That Gabrielson and Jewett had both been mentors of Dave’s made his involvement all the more significant.
Prior to his work on the 704-page Birds of Oregon—what co-editor Alan Contreras called “The 8-Pound Book of Truth”—Marshall, an OSU graduate in Fish and Game Management, had a distinguished career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, serving as resident biologist at several national wildlife refuges in the West, including Malheur. Later he was instrumental in establishing Baskett Slough, Finley, and Ankeny wildlife refuges in the Willamette Valley. After passage of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, Dave served in Washington, DC, as one of the first biologists to initiate the Service’s endangered species program.
For more on Dave’s life, we recommend the links below and his wonderful Memoirs of a Wildlife Biologist, published in 2008 and available at the Audubon Society of Portland Nature Store.
A celebration of Dave’s life will be held at noon on Saturday, December 10, at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland.
The Well-Read Naturalist: David Marshall, 1926-2011
The Oregonian: David Marshall, Born to be a birder