Rudolf Willem Becking was a professor of Forestry and Natural Resources at Humboldt State University from 1960-1983. He did
extensive work in Northwestern California. His research interests included Redwoods, sustainable forestry (Plenturung), plant
community ecology (Phytosociology), serpentine endemics, the Marbled Murrelet, timber cruise methodology, and many other topics.
He worked in the Great Smoky Mountains in the 1950s-1960s and again in the 1970s. He did additional scholarly work in Indonesia,
the USSR and in China. Becking also participated in political processes in the Northern California region. Highlights include
involvement in the establishment and later expansion of Redwood National Park (1960s and 1970s), municipal environmental issues
related to the city of Arcata, California and Humboldt Bay in the 1970s and 1980s, revision of the California Forest Practices
Act in the 1970s, and many other regional environmental issues.
Rudolf Willem Becking was born in 1922 in Dutch-occupied Indonesia to a Dutch family. He had an early interest in the natural
sciences that he shared with his brother and father. During World War II, Becking was captured as a Prisoner of War by the
Japanese. He received two forestry degrees from Wageningen University in The Netherlands in 1952. Becking married H. Louise
Sheltema, and they moved together to Seattle, WA, where he received his PhD from the University of Washington in 1954. He
had brief employment with the Dutch Forest Service and universities in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Alabama before being
hired at Humboldt State University in 1960. He retired from HSU in 1983, but remained an active professor emeritus, teaching
classes and sponsoring graduate students for many years after. Both Becking and his wife died in 2009 and were survived by
all three of their children.
122.0 Cubic feet
94 Record Storage Boxes, 9 Oversize Boxes
Copyright to the unpublished Becking material is the sole property of Humboldt State University Library. To obtain permission
to publish or reproduce, please contact the Special Collections Librarian.
The collection is open for research.