The decline of Invertebrate Zoology

Kirk Fitzhugh kfitzhug at NHM.ORG
Wed Mar 31 09:32:21 CST 2004

Dear Colleagues,

For those of you who are invertebrate zoologists/systematists or are in
some field of marine biology, I thought you might be interested to know of
a disturbing event which has occurred at Texas A&M University at Galveston,
an institution long known for its Marine Biology program. By a majority
vote of the Marine Biology faculty and the "Academic Council," the
university decided that the Invertebrate Zoology course will no longer be a
requirement for receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology.
Ironically, however, the Vertebrate Zoology course IS required! Not only
former students, but even current students actively protested this change,
but to no avail (see

My passion for invertebrates and marine biology was due in large part to
the marine program at Texas A&M, and the excellent teaching and support
provided by Dr. Donald E. Harper, Jr., who still teaches the Invertebrate
Zoology course. The thought of a Marine Biology program as well known as
Texas A&M's producing "marine biologists" who never took a course in
invertebrate zoology seems unconscionable. We can only hope this will not
be the trend among other well-known marine biology programs.


J. Kirk Fitzhugh, Ph.D.
Associate Curator of Polychaetes
Invertebrate Zoology Section
Research & Collections Branch
Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90007

Phone:   213-763-3233
FAX:     213-746-2999
e-mail:  kfitzhug at

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