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Langenheim, Jean H. Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
    Title: Jean H. Langenheim papers
    source: Langenheim, Jean H.
    creator: Langenheim, Jean H.
    Identifier/Call Number: UA.068
    Physical Description: 22 Linear Feet 49 document boxes, 2 flats
    Date (inclusive): 1899-2017


    Collection is open for research. Certain digital and audiovisual media is unavailable until reformatted. Contact Special Collections at speccoll@library.ucsc.edu in advance for information regarding access.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights for this collection reside with the University of California. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. The publication or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or educational purposes requires written permission from the copyright owner. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit guides.library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/reproduction-publication.

    Preferred Citation

    Jean H. Langenheim Papers, UA 68. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.


    Jean H. Langenheim is a plant ecologist and educator based in Santa Cruz, California. She was born in 1925 in Homer, Louisiana to Jeanette Smith and Virgil Wilson Harmon. She graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1943, and earned a BS in biology from the University of Tulsa in 1946. Langenheim earned an MS in 1949 and PhD in 1953, both in plant ecology from the University of Minnesota. After coming to the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1966, she studied the evolution of resins as amber and the chemical ecology of resin-producing trees, particularly in the tropics. The first woman to be promoted to full professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Langenheim was also the first female faculty member in the natural sciences at UCSC, and the first woman to be chosen to be a UCSC faculty research lecturer.
    Langenheim performed interdisciplinary research in the fields of plant ecology, paleobotany, chemistry, and ethnobotany, with a focus on amber and other plant resins. She published over 130 scientific papers and several books, including the definitive reference work, Plant Resins: Chemistry, Evolution, Ecology and Ethnobotany (Timber Press, 2003). She conducted ecological field expeditions in western regions of the United States, southern Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Angola, Ghana, and parts of the Amazon rainforest. Langenheim was awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society, and several other granting agencies over the course of her career.
    Langenheim served in leadership roles for a variety of professional organizations and UCSC committees. She served as the first woman president of the Association for Tropical Biology (1985), and the International Society for Chemical Ecology (1986-1987), as well as the second woman president of the Ecological Society of America (1986-1987), and the Society of Economic Botany (1993-1994). She is the recipient of a number of honors and awards from the California Academy of Sciences, the Botanical Society of America, the Ecological Society of America, and other scientific organizations.
    Before becoming Professor of Biology at UCSC in 1974, Langenheim held research and teaching positions at various institutions (see biobibliography below for details). She taught UCSC residential college courses from 1966-1994, and was active as an emeritus sponsoring graduate students until 2009. Langenheim endowed a Chair in Plant Ecology and Evolution at UCSC in 2006, and a Graduate Fellowship also in Plant Ecology and Evolution in 2004. In 2010, she published a memoir, The Odyssey of a Woman Field Scientist, which is available via the Library Catalog.
    Also see Langenheim's biobibliography for a full listing of her academic history, publications, professional activity, and more: Jean H. Langenheim biobibliography 

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection comprises the professional papers of Jean H. Langenheim, including correspondence, notes, photographs, slides, and publications related to her research, teaching, and other professional activities. Also included are correspondence, photographs, and other materials related to her family, childhood, and early education.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Women botanists
    Faculty papers
    Langenheim, Jean H.