SREL Reprint #0040




Birds of the AEC Savannah River Plant area


R. A. Norris




Prior to the completion of the Atomic Energy Commissionís plant, to be known as the Savannah River Plant Area, the Commission brought in several highly specialized scientist to make a careful and, as far as possible, a definitive ecological survey of the region. For when the plant was completed the entire area was to be sealed off under heavy guard; none but authorized personnel would be allowed to enter, and even they would be restricted in their movements.

One of the scientists asked to participate in the survey was Dr. Robert A. Norris.For three years (1955-58) he conducted an intensive study), of the ornithological aspects of an area of some 200,000 acres -- an area practically untouched by any ornithologist. This work is a summary of his findings.It complements the work of the late Dr. Eugene Edmund Murphey whose study, entitled Observations on the Bird Life of the Middle Savannah Valley, published nearly thirty years ago by the Museum, covers a contiguous area further up the Savannah River.

From the time he was a boy Dr. Norris had an interest in ornithology. He came under the tutelage of the well-known Herbert L. Stoddard who, in his usual kind manner, did everything possible to develop this interest. After three years' service in the U. S. Navy during World War II (Pacific Theater), Dr. Norris attended the University of Georgia where he received his bachelor's degree in 1948.Under the supervision of Dr. Eugene Odum he continued his studies, writing his master's thesis on the distribution of birds in Southwestern Georgia. Turning then to the University of California at Berkeley, he studied under Dr. Alden H. Miller and Dr. F. A. Pitelka, earning his doctorate in 1954.


SREL Reprint #0040


Norris, R.A. 1963. Birds of the AEC Savannah River Plant area. Contributions from the Charleston Museum Bulletin 14:1-78.


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