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Finding Aid to the Charles S. Thaeler, Jr. papers MVZA.MSS.0258
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Arrangement note

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Charles S. Thaeler, Jr. papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MVZA.MSS.0258
    Contributing Institution: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.4 Linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1956-1963
    Language of Materials: Materials primarily in English
    Creator: Thaeler, Charles, Jr., 1932-2004

    Administrative Information

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright restrictions may apply. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives in writing for approval. Please contact the Museum Archivist for further information.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Charles S. Thaeler, Jr. papers, MVZA.MSS.0258, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives, University of California, Berkeley.

    Biographical note

    Dr. Charles S. Thaeler, Jr., born on January 9, 1932, mainly studied pocket gopher species in California and the Western United States during his time with the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley. Although formally a graduate PhD student under Dr. Seth B. Benson from 1964-1969, Thaeler was affiliated with the MVZ prior to his enrollment as a graduate student. The Thaeler Field Notes Collection contains his research from 1956-1963 on the genus Thomomys, smooth-toothed pocket gophers, which were the subjects of his PhD dissertation entitled “An Analysis of the Distribution of Pocket Gopher Species in Northeastern California (Genus Thomomys)” (1968). Thaeler’s research took him all throughout California, but he mainly focused his research on Northern California counties, including Lassen, Shasta, Siskiyou, Plumas, and Mendocino county.
    Although the Thaeler Field Notes Collection provides a glimpse into Thaeler’s life through his journal entries, the Thaeler Correspondence, also housed in the MVZ, reveals much more about the man behind the words. Thaeler’s warm personality and humorous side exude from his numerous letters and memos to friends and colleagues. He liked to simply go by “Charlie”, and he often asked how his friends and their families were doing. A family man himself, Thaeler was married to Marianne Hobbs Thaeler and had three boys, Charles III, Kent, and Bret.
    Thaeler was an Assistant Professor of Biology at Indiana University until 1966, after which he and his family moved to New Mexico. In New Mexico, Thaeler joined the faculty of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces as an Assistant Professor of Biology. In 1975, Thaeler became a Full Professor of Biology, and he taught courses in systematics while also being involved in the field of cytogenetics. He was also Chairman of the Committee on Systematic Collections under the American Society of Mammalogists while at NMSU in the early 1980s.
    Thaeler continued his tenure at NMSU until at least 1985, during which he mentored at least five successful PhD students. He died on November 18, 2004 in Roswell, NM at age 72.

    Scope and Contents note

    The Charles S. Thaeler, Jr. papers consist of two bound volumes spanning the years 1956-1963. The field notes focus mainly on the Thomomys genus, smooth-toothed pocket gophers, with some research on the Empidonax genus, birds of the tyrant flycatcher family. The notes include journals, catalogues, and species accounts from localities within California and Nevada. Some of the field notes contain map sketches. The Thaeler correspondence spans from his time at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology as a graduate student to his time as a professor of biology at New Mexico State University.

    Arrangement note

    The arrangement of the collection is chronological and in its original form. The sections are bound in the order presented in this guide.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Biological specimens--Identification
    Field notes
    Pocket gophers
    Pocket gophers--United States.
    Pocket gophers--Variation.
    Thomomys bottae--California--Geographical distribution.
    Thomomys bottae--Variation--California.