Myers, Jack 1913-2006

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Myers, Jack 1913-2006

(Jack Edgar Myers)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born July 10, 1913, in Boyds Mills, PA; died of cancer, December 28, 2006, in Austin, TX. Biologist, educator, and author. Myers was noted for his work in researching the uses of algae as a food source, but he was also a prolific children’s author who explained concepts to young audiences as the science editor of Highlights for Children. His educational background included a B.S. from Juniata College in 1934, an M.S. from Montana State University in 1935, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1939. He joined the University of Texas faculty in 1941, becoming a professor of botany and zoology. Myers would teach there until 1980, but he remained at the university as a researcher until he finally retired in 1999. An expert on the processes of photosynthesis and phototropism, he had a special fascination for the potential of algae as a food source. His research demonstrated that algae could be used as a protein source that could be grown at rates sixty times more efficient than soy beans. He also worked with NASA to see how algae could be used both for food and for converting carbon dioxide to oxygen in space vehicles. This work result in a Founders Award from the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology in 1998. Myers was the son of Gary and Caroline Myers, who were the founders of the educational magazine Highlights for Children. Beginning in 1960, he assisted with the periodical, writing articles, editing the science section, and answering thousands of letters from children over the years. He strongly believed in making science understandable and fascinating for young people. Toward this end, he authored many science books for children. Among these titles are Can Birds Get Lost? And Other Questions about Animals (1991), Do Cats Really Have Nine Lives? And Other Questions about Your World (1993), and How Dogs Came from Wolves: And Other Explorations of Science in Action (2001).



New York Times, January 6, 2007, p. A13.