Guide to the Stanley A. Cain papers, 1960-1994 MS.106

Processed by Special Collections staff.
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz 95064


Finding aid revised in 2018

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: Stanley A. Cain papers
creator: Cain, Stanley Adair
Identifier/Call Number: MS.106
Physical Description: 6.25 Linear Feet 7 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1945-1994
Abstract: This collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, writings, speeches and conference proceedings as well as leaf book text and drawings, research notes and research material not by Cain.
Physical Location: Collection stored, in part, off-site at NRLF: Advance notice is required for access.


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

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Preferred Citation

Stanley A. Cain papers, MS 106, Special Collections, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Cain Family.


Stanley Adair Cain was born in Indiana in 1902. He received his bachelor's degree from Butler University and his Ph.D. in botany from the University of Chicago and held teaching positions at Butler, Indiana University, the University of Tennessee and the University of Michigan. In 1950 he joined the University of Michigan as the Charles Lathrop Pack Professor of Conservation and Botany and founded the Department of Conservation, the first such academic department in the country. He remained at Michigan until his mandatory retirement in 1972. Cain was called "one of the foremost thinkers in the field of plant ecology" by William Stapp, professor emeritus of resource planning and conservation at the University of Michigan. "What was most significant to me and many students who worked under him was that he approached his work from ecological, economic, political and social perspectives. Everything he did had a very interdisciplinary perspective -- and that was really new thinking in the 1950s." After retirement from University of Michigan he moved to University of California, Santa Cruz, where he was chairman of a committee that planned UCSC's College Eight, which opened in 1972 with an emphasis on environmental studies. Cain had also served as an environmental consultant to UCSC founding chancellor, Dean E. McHenry, before the sprawling 2,000 acre campus opened in 1965. Most recently Cain had served as an adjunct professor of environmental studies at UCSC. Cain's academic specialty was botany, but he was widely acknowledged for pioneering the study of the relationship between people and the environment. Partly because of his work, conservation became an increasing national concern from the 1940s through the 1950s. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson and held the post until 1968. Among his many honors, Cain was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and had served as president of both the Ecological Society of America and the first National Botanical Congress of America. He was also named a Benjamin Franklin Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London and received the Wildlife Society's Aldo Leopold Medal and four honorary doctorates. Cain was also the author of two books, " Foundations of Plant Geography " and " Manual of Vegetation Analysis" and the author of over 100 articles in scientific journals. Stanley A. Cain died April 1, 1995.

Scope and Content

This collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, reprints, writings, speeches and conference proceedings as well as leaf book text and drawings, research notes. Also included is research material not by Cain.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Ecologists -- United States
Cain, Stanley Adair
University of California, Santa Cruz

box 1

Biographical materials, correspondence, writings, speeches, and conference proceedings 15659

box 2-4

Leaf book text and drawings 15658

box 5

Leaf book research notes, research material not by Stanley A. Cain 15657

box 6-7

Reprints, conference remarks, correspondence 1945-1976

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence on brucellosis in Bison in Yellowstone National Park and the UCSC Farm and Garden, as well as a bibliography of Cain's publications.