Edmund Jaeger

Edmund C. Jaeger
Born (1887-01-28)January 28, 1887
Loup City, Nebraska
Died August 2, 1983(1983-08-02) (aged 96)
Riverside, California
Resting place Edmund Jaeger Nature Sanctuary
Chuckwalla Mountains
(ashes scattered)
33°41′13″N 115°26′39″W / 33.68696°N 115.44415°W / 33.68696; -115.44415
Citizenship American
Fields Biology
Institutions Riverside City College
Riverside Municipal Museum
Alma mater Occidental College
Known for Hibernation of common poorwill
Influences Lawrence Bruner
J. Smeaton Chase
T. D. A. Cockerell
Carl Eytel
John H. Kellogg
Marcus E. Jones
David S. Jordan
Willis L. Jepson
John Muir
Walter T. Swingle
Influenced David D. Keck
Notable awards Honorary Doctor of Science, Occidental College (1953)
Phi Beta Kappa, Occidental College Chapter (1962)
Professor Emeritus, Riverside City College (1965)
Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of California, Riverside (1967)
Member, University of California Chapter of Sigma Xi (1966)
Author abbrev. (botany) E.Jaeger[2]
Edmund Jaeger documented a state of near-hibernation in the common poorwill.

Edmund Carroll Jaeger, D.Sc.,[1] (January 28, 1887 – August 2, 1983) was an American biologist known for his works on desert ecology. He was born in Loup City, Nebraska to Katherine (née Gunther) and John Philip Jaeger,[3]:V.I,p.159 and moved to Riverside, California in 1906 with his family.[4] He was the first to document, in The Condor,[5] a state of extended torpor, approaching hibernation, in a bird, the common poorwill.[6] He also described this in the National Geographic Magazine.[7]


Jaeger first attended the newly relocated Occidental College in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles (in 1914), but moved to Palm Springs in 1915, where he taught at the one-room schoolhouse. At Palm Springs he met artist Carl Eytel,[8]:168–71 and authors J. Smeaton Chase[8] and Charles Francis Saunders.[8][9] These men formed what University of Arizona Professor Peter Wild called a "Creative Brotherhood"[3] that lived in Palm Springs in the early 20th century. Other Brotherhood members included cartoonist and painter Jimmy Swinnerton,[8] author George Wharton James,[8] and photographers Fred Clatsworthy[8][10] and Stephen H. Willard.[8] The men lived near each other (like Jaeger, Eytel built his own cabin),[11] traveled together throughout the Southwest, helped with each other's works, and exchanged photographs which appeared in their various books.[3] He then returned to Occidental to complete his degree in 1918 and started teaching at Riverside Junior College. Retiring from teaching after 30 years, he worked the Riverside Municipal Museum[12] in Riverside. During all these years Jaeger used his Palm Springs cabin for his research trips across the desert. Throughout his career he wrote many popular nature books and became known as the "dean of the California deserts".[13][14]



(Listed in order of first publication.)


Jaeger contributed to over 25 magazines and journals[1]:443–454 including:

History of Palm Springs

  • "Art in a Desert Cabin". Desert Magazine. 11 (11): 15–19. September 1948. 
  • "Forgotten Trails". Palm Springs Villager. 4 (2): 12–13, 28. September 1949. 
  • "Monk of Palm Springs". Palm Springs Villager. 4 (6): 22. January 1950. 
  • "From Cheese to Cash". Palm Springs Villager. 5 (87): 18–19, 38. February 1951. 
  • "I Well Remember J. Smeaton Chase". Palm Springs Villager. 6 (8): 54–56, 58. March 1952. 
  • "Tall Tales from Old Palm Springs". Palm Springs Villager. 6 (11): 14, 33. June 1952. 

Archives of Jaeger's work



Some 28 patronyms of Jaeger have been made,[1]:234–238 including:


  1. 1 2 3 4 Ryckman, Raymond E.; Zackrison, James L. (1998). Son of the Living Desert – Edmund C. Jaeger, 1887–1983: Ecologist, Educator, Environmentalist, Biologist, and Philanthropist. Loma Linda, CA: R.E. Ryckman. p. 466. ISBN 978-0-9663563-0-4. OCLC 39497413. LCC QH31.J33 R97 1998 University of California, Riverside, Science Library
  2. International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI). "Author Details" (HTML). International Plant Names Index.
  3. 1 2 3 Wild, Peter (2007). News from Palm Springs: The Letters of Carl Eytel, Edmund C. Jaeger, J. Smeaton Chase, Charles Francis Saunders, and Others of the Creative Brotherhood and Its Background. Vol. I and II. Johannesburg, CA: The Shady Myrick Research Project. OCLC 163456618.
  4. Ewan, Joseph (May 1987). "Edmund Carroll Jaeger (1887–1983), Dave Keck's Mentor". Taxon. 2. 36 (2): 402–404. doi:10.2307/1221431. JSTOR 1221431. (Nita Hiltner, next reference, says the move was in 1910.)
  5. Jaeger, Edmund C. (May–June 1949). "Further Observations on the Hibernation of the Poor-will". The Condor. 3. 51 (3): 105–109. doi:10.2307/1365104. ISSN 0010-5422. JSTOR 1365104. OCLC 478309773. Earlier I gave an account (Condor, 50, 1948:45) of the behavior of a Poor-will (Phalaenoptilus nuttallinii) which I found in a state of profound torpidity in the winter of 1946–47 in the Chuckawalla Mountains of the Colorado Desert, California. (photographs by Kenneth Middleham)
  6. Hiltner, Nita (February 20, 2011). "A Look Back". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, CA: Enterprise Media. Retrieved November 15, 2011. (Joseph Ewan, the preceding reference, says the move was in 1906.)
  7. Jaeger, Edmund C. (January 1953). "Poorwill Sleeps Away the Winter". National Geographic Magazine. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society. 103 (2): 273–280. ASIN B004PH1X8W.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Niemann, Greg (2006). Palm Springs Legends: creation of a desert oasis. San Diego, CA: Sunbelt Publications. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-932653-74-1. OCLC 61211290. (here for Table of Contents)
  9. "Charles Francis Saunders and Mira Culin Saunders Collection of Photographs and Negatives". Online Archive of California (OAC). Regents of the University of California. Retrieved November 22, 2011. Charles Francis Saunders (1859–1941) ...and his first wife, Elisabeth Hallowell Saunders (d. 1910), were both avid naturalists ...
  10. "Fred Payne Clatworthy (U.S., 1875–1953)". Autochromes: The World Goes Color-Mad. American Museum of Photography. 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2011. Fred Payne Clatworthy ... a professional photographer in...Colorado, published Autochromes in National Geographic ...
  11. Yerxa, Cabot (December 1951). "Carl Eytel". Palm Springs Villager. 6 (5): 17, 41.
  12. Riverside Museum: Permanent Exhibits
  13. Houk, Rose (2000). Mojave Desert (American Deserts Handbook). Tucson, AZ: Southwest Parks & Monuments Association. p. 26. ISBN 978-1583690086. OCLC 44039342.
  14. Lillard, Richard G. (April 1973). "The Nature Book in Action". The English Journal. National Council of Teachers of English. 62 (4): 537–48. doi:10.2307/813109. JSTOR 813109.
  15. Translated into Chinese as: 生物名称和生物學术语的词源 (sheng wu ming cheng he sheng wu xue shu yu de ci yuan). Beijing: 科学出版社 (ke xue chu ban she) (Science Press). 1965 and 1979. p. 577. OCLC 49256075, 36154159. (responsibility includes: 滕砥平, 蔣芝英譯. (Teng Di Ping, Jiang Zhiying translation))
  16. UCR Library, Special Collection 110 photographs, letters, manuscripts, miscellaneous publications, notebooks and sketches (18 linear ft. 37 document boxes) OCLC 173618331
  17. Moreno Valley College Catalog
  18. MCV Scholarship List
  19. Wicinas, David (2000). Hufstader, Louisa, ed. Native Grandeur: Preserving California's Vanishing Landscapes. San Francisco: The Nature Conservancy of California. p. 6. ISBN 978-0962459054. OCLC 48764772.
  20. See:
  21. Japenga, Ann (October 2003). "The Dean of the Deserts: Edmund C. Jaeger". Desert Magazine. Palm Desert, CA. 2 (10): 98.
  22. Campus Times, University of La Verne, "ULV's hidden Edmund C. Jaeger Museum", December 3, 2008
  23. PUC Biology Scholarships
  24. PUC Education Scholarships
  25. "Fellows of the California Native Plant Society" (PDF). Fremontia. California Native Plant Society. 31 (1): 27. January 2003. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  26. "Past Award Recipients: Auld Lang Syne Award". Occidental College. Retrieved December 14, 2011. For unwavering loyalty to Occidental College and the principle for which it stands, the Auld Lang Syne Award is presented to deserving members of the Fifty Year Club on Fifty Year Club Day each spring. More than 100 alumni have received the award, which was created in 1954.
  27. V.W. Steinmann & J. André, Aliso 30(1): 1. (2012)

Further reading

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