Guide to the Robert W. Holmes Papers

Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration
University of California, Santa Barbara
Harder South 9615
Santa Barbara, California 93106-9615
Phone: (805) 893-2401
Fax: (805) 893-4222
© 2008
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Robert W. Holmes Papers

Collection number: MS-10

Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration

University of California, Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California
Processed by:
Laurie Hannah
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
Laurie Hannah
© 2008 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Robert W. Holmes papers
Dates: 1975-1985
Collection number: MS-10
Creator: Holmes, Robert W.
Collection Size: 1 linear foot
Repository: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (University of California, Santa Barbara). C. H. Muller Library
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9615
Abstract: Correspondence, notes, and field notebooks related to Holmes' collection of diatoms collected from Dall's porpoises from 1982-1985.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, UC Santa Barbara. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Cheadle Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

Robert W. Holmes papers, MS-10, Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. University of California, Santa Barbara.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Holmes.

Processing Information

Arrangement and description of this collection was funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Biography / Administrative History

Robert W. Holmes was born in Dover, NH, in 1925. He began his diatom career at the age of twelve by looking at diatoms and algae in a little pond located on the Haverford College campus, where his father was a professor.
Holmes graduated cum laude from Haverford College in 1949. As a junior he worked with Dr. Ruth Patrick at the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences preparing permanent slides of diatoms for microscopic observation. In the summers of 1948 and 1949 he received fellowships at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitution where he worked with B. Ketchum on diatom nutrition and A.C. Redfield on saltmarsh development.
Holmes attended Yale Graduate School for one year and transferred to the University of Oslo for two years. In Oslo he studied marine phytoplankton and biological oceanography under Dr. Trygve Braarud. After completing the studies for a Magistergrad including a paper on the annual cycle of phytoplankton on the Labrador Sea, he transferred to Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. There he was a research biologist and continued his academic studies receiving a Master's Degree in Oceanography. Research in the tropical Pacific formed the basis of his doctoral dissertation, A Contribution to the Physical, Chemical, and Biological Oceanography of the Northeastern Tropical Pacific, and he received a PhD from the University of Oslo in 1966. During his latter years at Scripps Holmes was an active member of the Marine Food Chain Group.
In 1967 Holmes joined the Biological Science Faculty at UC Santa Barbara. In 1968 he became the first Director of the newly established Marine Science Institute at UCSB. In this position he immediately became involved as one of four UC administrators of the newly formed UC Sea Grant Program. During his tenure as director he organized the Santa Barbara Oil Symposium in response to the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. He also served as the catalyst for obtaining the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) for UC's Natural Land and Water Reserve System (now known as the Natural Reserve System).
In 1984 he received a visiting professorship from the Japanese Science Foundation to collaborate with Prof. T. Nemoto at the Ocean Reseach Institute (ORI) of the University of Tokyo on cetacean research. Prof. Nemoto helped arrange a tour of marine aquaculture facilities which was useful in Holmes' Sea Grant administrative duties. At this time a grant from the ORI enabled him to return to Japan for further work on cetacean diatoms. During his latter visit and subsequently, he worked extensively with Dr. S. Nagasawa of ORI. At UCSB Holmes also worked with Prof. J. Melack in a cooperative program on acid deposition in the high Sierra. Holmes investigated whether diatoms in sediment cores showed a response to acidification in the lake water.
For many years Holmes collected diatoms from a variety of freshwater and marine habitats in the western US. These collections led to collaboration with a number of other investigators: Pat Sims of the British Museum of Natural History on Aulacodiscus, Frank Round and Dick Crawford of the University of Bristol on the genus Coccneis, A.L. Brigger of Yucaipa, CA, on Entogonia, and Don Croll of Moss Landing Laboratory on the diatoms on diving sea-birds.
Professor Holmes retired in 1988. (Adapted from a document by Lillian Busse.)

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection consists of correspondence, notes, and field notebooks related to Holmes' collection of diatoms collected from Dall's porpoises from 1982-1985. The field notes describe diatom specimens that are stored separately at CCBER. A small folder contains material on diatom preparation used in Holmes' Botany 176 and 276 lab courses.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
field notes
lecture notes

Collection Contents


1/1 Correspondence and Research Data 1982-1984


1/2 Botany 176-276 Lab Materials 1975-1975


Box 1 Field notebooks 1-8 1982-1985