Scientific Explorations: The Albatross
Hugh McCormick Smith (1865-1941)
As Director of the Philippine Expedition, Hugh M. Smith was responsible for planning the itinerary, assembling the equipment, and selecting the scientific crew. A native of Washington, D.C., Smith joined the U.S. Fish Commission in 1886 and spent over forty years in government service. During the time of the Expedition, he was the Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (formerly U.S. Fish Commission.) While the marine sciences and natural history remained his main interest throughout his life, he received an M.D. degree in 1888 and taught on the medical faculty of Georgetown University until 1905. Dr. Smith visited 22 countries to study their marine resources and fisheries, and the extensive collections obtained during these expeditions are now deposited in various museums, including the Smithsonian. Among his numerous publications, The Fresh Water Fishes of Siam, or Thailand (1945), a classic work in ichthyology, was the result of his decade-long study of native fishes in Thailand, where he lived from 1923 to 1935. In honor of Smith's contributions to natural history, 25 species of fishes, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and plants were named for him.
Frederick Morton Chamberlain (1867-1921)
When the Albatross set off on her Philippine cruise in October 1907, Chamberlain was the resident Naturalist on board. Born and educated in Indiana, Chamberlain studied under influential ichthyologists Carl Eigenmann and Barton W. Evermann, and joined the U.S. Fish Commission in 1897. As an assistant on the Albatross, he participated in various explorations in Alaska, the Bering Sea, the Hawaiian Islands, and the South Pacific. Following his appointment as Naturalist in late 1903, Chamberlain became in charge of all natural history collections gathered by the Albatross. The Philippine Expedition, however, was his last cruise, and he resigned from the Bureau of Fisheries in 1911 to become agent for Alaskan salmon fisheries. His many contributions to the marine sciences include pioneering studies of salmon and native fish populations in Alaska and California, collections of thousands of natural history specimens on board the Albatross, design and construction of collecting equipment, and his innovative application of photography in the study of fisheries.
Paul Bartsch (1871-1960)
Paul Bartsch represented the Smithsonian Institution on the Philippine Expedition. Born in Silesia (now in western Poland) and educated in Iowa, Bartsch joined the Smithsonian staff in 1896 and stayed until his retirement in 1942. During his long career at the Smithsonian, he participated in numerous expeditions and became an authority on mollusks. In addition to his duties at the Smithsonian, he taught at George Washington University and Howard University. He organized the first Boy Scout troop in Washington, and was an active member of the Audubon Society of the District of Columbia. A summary of his experiences on the Philippine Expedition was published in Copeia in 1941.
Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960)
When Andrews joined the Albatross staff during the last part of the Philippine Expedition in 1909, he was a doctoral student at Columbia University and had already done some important work on whales. Full of youth and enthusiasm, he brought a fresh perspective to the work being undertaken on the Albatross. In his autobiography, Under a Lucky Star (1943), he devoted a section to his Philippine experiences, which remains one of the two published narratives of the Expedition (the other being by Paul Bartsch). Andews spent his entire career at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, rising through the ranks from departmental assistant to director of the Museum. He is better known for his Central Asian expeditions and finding dinosaur eggs.
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