Walker, Theodore J. 1915-2003
WALKER, Theodore J. 1915-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born January 7, 1915, in Great Falls, MT; died of complications from a stroke February 28, 2003, in Seattle, WA. Biologist and author. Walker was a noted oceanographer and marine biologist who was best known for his research on whales, though he was interested in all types of wildlife. He received his B.A. from Montana State University in 1938, his M.S. from the University of Oklahoma in 1940, and, after serving in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant during World War II, his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 1947. A research oceanographer with the renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography from 1948 to 1971, Walker was also a naturalist for the U.S. Park Service for many years. He resigned from Scripps in order to live for seven months on Baranof Island in Alaska. Here he conducted research that was eventually published in his Red Salmon, Brown Bear: The Story of an Alaskan Lake, Based on the Experiences of Dr. Theodore J. Walker (1971), which was later adapted as the documentary Alaskan Wilderness Lake, a film that was nominated for the Oscar. Walker, who discovered that whales feed on plankton during their migrations, was also the author of Whale Primer: With Special Attention to the California Gray Whale (1962; revised edition, 1979), and of film scripts and article contributions to National Geographic magazine. He also served as a consultant for the Jacque Cousteau film Desert Whale.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2003, p. B15.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 8, 2003, p. B4.