Martin, Paul S. 1928- (Paul Schultz Martin)
Martin, Paul S. 1928- (Paul Schultz Martin)
Born August 22, 1928, in Allentown, PA; married; children: three. Education: Cornell University, B.A., 1951; University of Michigan, M.S., 1953, Ph.D., 1956; Yale University, postdoctoral research, 1955-56.
Office—Desert Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1675 W. Anklam Rd., Tucson AZ 85745.
University of Arizona, Tucson, research associate with Geochronology Laboratories, 1957-1961, assistant professor, 1961-62, associate professor, 1962-68, professor in department of geosciences, 1968-1989, professor emeritus, 1989—.
The Last 10,000 Years: A Fossil Pollen Record of the American Southwest, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 1963.
(Editor, with Richard G. Klein) Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 1984.
(Editor, with Julio L. Betancourt and Thomas R. Van Devender) Packrat Middens: The Last 40,000 Years of Biotic Change, University of Arizona Press (Tucson), 1990.
Gentry's Río Mayo Plants: The Tropical Deciduous Forest and Environs of Northwest Mexico, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 1998.
Geoscientist, researcher, and writer Paul S. Martin was born August 22, 1928, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He earned his undergraduate degree at Cornell University, then went on to continue his education at the University of Michigan, earning first a master's degree and then his doctorate. He later did postdoctoral work at Yale University, performing research in biogeography. A professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, he first began working at the school in 1957, when he took a position as a research assistant at the Geochronology Laboratories. He went on to serve on the faculty in the department of geosciences, working his way up from assistant professor to associate professor to full professor, taking on an emeritus status in 1989. Over the course of his career, Martin has participated in numerous research projects, including making a significant contribution to the primary theory regarding the prehistoric overkill and its role in the prehistoric extinction of numerous large species over the last fifty thousand years. His work has taken him to eastern Mexico, where he studied biogeography, as well as to various areas in the southwestern United States, primarily Arizona. As a result of his research, Martin has written or edited a number of important books regarding prehistoric extinctions and with a particular focus on the Pleistocenes.
Martin served as editor, along with Richard G. Klein, of Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution. The book is a collection of writings from nearly fifty contributors, but unlike Pleistocene Extinctions: The Search for a Cause, which Martin edited nearly two decades earlier, the book does not stem from a conference and the academic papers presented there. Instead, Martin and Klein generated material through requests for contributions pertaining to the title subject. The book also includes an overview of three chapters that discusses the purpose of the volume, the goals in requesting the materials from the contributors, and offers a brief summary of the content of those contributions. Richard E. Morlan, in a review for Science, commented that "many of the observations that might be made in a review of the book are already provided in the three overview chapters, each of which is an excellent synthesis." He went on to conclude that, when compared to Pleistocene Extinctions, "Quaternary Extinctions is markedly improved over its parent and reflects the benefit of nearly two decades of vigorous work by numerous researchers."
In Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Rewilding of America, published in 2005, Martin addresses the concept of extinction and discusses reasons why various animals that have long been extinct may lead to the improvement of certain now- endangered species. While conservationists insist on paying attention only to animals that still exist but are currently in danger, Martin suggests it may be just as important to look at the species which descend from major animals that are long extinct in order to use these ancestors to strengthen that species' strain in the genetic pool. He goes on to suggest that humans and their hunting habits were responsible for the disappearance of a number of these species, through overhunting and later through changes in climate. He proposes that we learn from past behaviors and apply these lessons to current concerns regarding endangered species. Keith Kloor, in a review for Audubon, commented that "Martin makes a cogent, impassioned case that has the potential to reshape conservation biology practices." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that Martin's effort is "an energetic and highly entertaining look at one of the most controversial issues in his field of geoscience: overkill."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Antiquity, July, 1992, David B. Madsen, review of Packrat Middens: The Last 40,000 Years of Biotic Change, p. 568.
American Scientist, May 1, 2006, "What Became of the Megafauna?," p. 279.
Audubon, January 1, 2006, "Land of the Lost: Woolly Mammoths and Mastodons Flourished in North America 13,000 Years Ago before Vanishing in a Geological Heartbeat. Now One Ecologist Has a Bold Plan to Bring Them Back," p. 74.
Booklist, October 15, 2005, Carol Haggas, review of Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Rewilding of America, p. 15.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, April, 2006, P.K. Strother, review of Twilight of the Mammoths, p. 1432.
Earth Science, fall, 1985, review of Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution.
Ecology, April, 1991, George L. Jacobson, review of Packrat Middens, p. 760.
Natural History, May, 1987, review of Quaternary Extinctions, p. 82.
Nature, May 25, 2006, Alan B. Shabel, review of Twilight of the Mammoths, p. 408.
New Scientist, November 12, 2005, "Lost Forever?," p. 62.
Publishers Weekly, September 5, 2005, review of Twilight of the Mammoths, p. 49.
Science, May 17, 1985, Richard E. Morlan, review of Quaternary Extinctions, p. 870; February 17, 2006, Paul L. Koch, "Land of the Lost," p. 957.
Science Books & Films, May, 1985, review of Quaternary Extinctions, p. 297.
Scientific American, February, 1985, Philip Morrison, review of Quaternary Extinctions, p. 27; February, 2001, "Mammoth Kill: Did Humans Hunt Giant Mammals to Extinction? or Give Them Lethal Disease?," p. 22.
SciTech Book News, May, 1989, review of Quaternary Extinctions, p. 14.
Times Literary Supplement, May 17, 1991, Rob Scaife, review of Packrat Middens, p. 20.
University of Arizona Desert Laboratory Web site,http://wwwpaztcn.wr.usgs.gov/ (February 15, 2008), faculty profile.