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Cover: Giant Chain Fern, Woodwardia fimbriata,
taller than the author’s wife, Elva Rodin
Robert Joseph “Bob” Rodin was born July 15, 1922. He earned his PhD. in botany from University of California Berkeley. His dissertation was on the “Seeding Morphology of Welwitschia.” Welwitschia is considered a “living fossil” that lives in the desert.
Dr. Rodin Professor of Botany at California Polytechnical University San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly SLO) from 1953 to his disability retirement in 1976. He studied ferns in the Himalayas, the Amazon, and Namibia. Rodin was also active in the church as an elder of the First Presbyterian Church, was a member of the the SLO Symphony Orchestra, and was active in local conservation efforts. Robert J. Rodin died June 27, 1978 in San Luis Obispo. His wife, Elva Rodin died May 10, 1986, also in SLO. They had 3 daughters. The “Robert and Elva Rodin Botanical Scholarship” was established at Cal Poly in their honor.
The following obituary was published in Lellinger, David B., “Robert J. Rodin (1922-1978),” American Fern Journal 69(1):28 (Jan.-March 1979):
Roben Joseph Rodin was born in Sacramento, California, on 15 July 1922. He lived in Eureka and in Turlock in his youth. During World War II service in the U.S. Marine Carps, he was stationed in Guam and China. In 1948 he married Elva Bain who, with three daughters, survives him. He received a Ph.D. degree in botany from the University of California at Berkeley in 1951. After graduation, he accepted a position as a professor of biology at Forman Christian College, Lahore, West Pakistan. He collected ferns in the Himalayas extensively during this time. From 1953 until his retirement in 1976, Rodin was a professor of biology at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. His research specialties included the anatomy of the Gnetales, ethnobotany of Ovamboland, and the taxonomy of the pteridophytes of California, an interest which led to his publishing the “Ferns of the Sierra” for the Yosemite Natural History Association. In recent years he was active in the conservation movement in California. In 1966–67 he was a Fulbright Professor at the University of Delhi. He also took part in botanical expeditions to South Africa in 1947 and to southwestern Africa in 1973. He died in San Luis Obispo on 27 June 1978.—D.B.L
Robert Joseph Rodin (1922-1978), Ferns of the Sierra (Yosemite: Yosemite Natural History Association, 1960). Published as Yosemite Nature Notes 39(4):45-124 (1960). Illustrated. 24 cm. Saddle stitched. Paper cover with a color photograph. LC Call number category QK525.5.
Digitized by Dan Anderson, September 2006,
from a personal copy.
These files may be used for any non-commercial purpose,
provided this notice is left intact.
—Dan Anderson, www.yosemite.ca.us
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