Nebraska Authors

Paul B. Sears

Born 1891-12-17 Bucyrus, OH (USA)

A distinguished plant ecologist who, at the beginning of his career, studied and taught in Nebraska in the golden age of botany and ecology at the University of Nebraska. He had a long career as a professor of botany first at Oberlin College and later as professor of conservation at Yale University and director of the Yale Nature Preserve. After his retirement in 1960 he taught as a visiting professor at a number of other institutions. His 1935 book, Deserts on the March, published at the climax of the 1930s drought and Dust Bowl, was an early attempt to convey principles of ecology to the general public, and is considered a "conservation classic."

See also: Charles Bessey, Frederic Clements, Roscoe Pound and John Weaver

Places Lived

Lincoln, NE
Chicago, IL
Oberlin, OH
New Haven, CT

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Botany; Ecology; Native Plant Conservation


BS, Ohio Wesleyan, 1913
MA, University of Nebraska, 1915
PhD, University of Chicago, 1922


Plant Ecologist

Places Worked

United States Army, 1917-1919
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1919-1927
University of Oklahoma, 1927-1938
Oberlin College, 1938-1950
Yale University, 1950-1960


Named an Eminent Ecologist by the Ecological Society of America, 1965


Writer Paul M. Sears was his son.


Besides professional publications and monographs, Paul B. Sears published a number of works for the general reader including the following:

Deserts on the March. 1935. (Reprinted in the "Conservation Classics" series in 1988)
Charles Darwin: The Naturalist as a Cultural Force. 1950.
Where There is Life. 1962.

Sears also published in general circulation magazines including Harper's, American Scholar, American Mercury, Scientific American, Saturday Review, Daedelus and Science.

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Paul B. Sears

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)