In Memoriam

Daniel Howard Norris


  Dan Norris

Dan Norris died on 30 September 2017 after a long period of being debilitated by Parkinson's disease. For two decades before that he held the position of Curator of Bryophytes at UC Berkeley. Dan said that one should be a little bit obsessive about one’s group. He believed alpha taxonomy was the foundation of his sort of biology, and truly loved bryophytes.

Dan was a professor at Humboldt State University for three decades, where he was a very influential teacher (see list of his students below). He retired from teaching in 1991. Moss identification and species description were his primary concerns, and his research was in floristics with major collections from every continent except Antarctica.

"He was an expert in his field, easy to understand, took us outside a lot, which was a magic ingredient in itself, and Dan was the kindest specimen of the human species," says Paul Wilson. Dan was very fond of developing evolutionary hypotheses, which he demurely called "half-baked ideas". In addition to Dan’s work on California mosses, he was a leader in exploring the bryoflora of Papua New Guinea. He is survived by about 116,000 specimens mostly at UC and H.

Meredith Alpert: M.S.
Kenneth Clark: Research Scientist, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Global Change Program.
Richard Dewey: U.S. Forest Service, Bend, Oregon.
Lance Holmberg: U.S.Forest Service, Dufur, Oregon.
David Jamieson: Professor of Biology, Fort Lewis College, Gunnison, Colorado.
Bruce Jenkinson: M.S.
Douglas Kelt: Professor of Wildlife, University of California, Davis
Karen McGrew: M.S.
Arlee Montalvo: Research Scientist, University of California, Riverside.
Wilbur Peterson: Professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Cumberland University.
Constance Rutherford: Fish & Wildlife Service, Ventura, California.
Steven Selva: Professor of Botany, University of Maine at Fort Kent.
David Smith: Professor of Botany, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Richard Spjut: Research Scientist, National Institutes of Health, Washington, D.C.
Lloyd Stark: Associate Professor of Biology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Constance Vigno: M.S.
Alan Whittemore: Research Scientist, National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.
Paul Wilson: Professor of Biology, California State University, Northridge.

Audio file about Dan by Brent Mishler

Click here to play the audio file.

Audio file about Dan by Jim Shevock

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Photos (below) taken at the
Celebration of the Life of Dan Norris event,
November 8th, 2017.