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George T. Baxter* -- Diamond Jubilee Outstanding Alumnus
Bachelor of Science
Master of Science -- 1946 -- Zoology
One of George Baxter's former students remembers him saying, "Study hard, but leave some time for fishing." Part of the legacy of Baxter's lifetime of service to the University and state is the wise management of Wyoming's fish resources, so that those who take time for fishing have some assurance of success!
Baxter was an instructor in the Department of Zoology and Physiology in 1947. In 1951, after completing his PhD at the University of Michigan, he returned to the department where, over the next 33 years, he was the mainstay of the fisheries biology, pre-medicine, and Science Camp programs. He was department head during a critical growth period, and a source of encouragement and a role model for younger faculty. In the classroom and in the field, he put students first. A generation of them credit "Doc" Baxter for making learning memorable, challenging and joyful. He retired as professor emeritus in 1984.
Baxter is the expert on the state's and region's fishes, reptiles, and amphibians. His monumental works, Wyoming Fishes and Amphibians and Reptiles of Wyoming, are these fields' standard references. His research with and for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been the basis for effective management of aquatic resources. Baxter has involved his students in all his research. One colleague notes, "His main research product and his most outstanding contribution to the knowledge of man has been literally 'embodied' in his students." The American Fisheries Society has honored him with their Award of Excellence, acknowledging him as the "Father of Fisheries in Wyoming."
He says, "I have enjoyed a career of teaching biology to bright, enthusiastic young people bonded by an affection for living and other natural things."
*In loving memory.