Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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Noted ichthyologist Clark Hubbs, 86, died on 3 February 2008 at his home in Austin, Texas. The son of Carl and Laura Hubbs, he carried on a family tradition by becoming an ichthyologist and professor. Hubbs received his AB degree in 1942 from the University of Michigan. From 1942 to 1946 he served in the U.S. Army’s 96th Infantry in the South Pacific campaign, and then entered Stanford University. It was at Stanford where he met and married Cathy Symons; they were married for over 58 years. While still working on his Ph.D., in 1949 Hubbs took a job as instructor at the University of Texas (UT) Austin. Receiving his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1951, he then became assistant professor (1952), served as chair- man of the Division of Biological Sciences (1974–1976), chairman of the Department of Zoology (1978–1986), regents professor (1988–1991), and finally regents professor emeritus (1991 until his death). He published more than 300 articles and was still collecting field data as recently as January 2008.

Hubbs was an active member of the American Fisheries Society. For many years he was especially active in the Texas Chapter and was awarded an honorary AFS membership in 1997. For more than a decade he served as editor of Copeia (journal of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists), and was president of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (1987), American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists (1995–1997), Southwestern Association of Naturalists (1966–1967), Texas Organization for Endangered Species (1978–1979), and the Texas Academy of Sciences (1972–1973). He was chair emeritus of the Research Committee at Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute (1989 until his death). He was a tireless supporter of Texas natural resources and defender of endangered species and habitats.

Hubbs was a talented and energetic teacher who encouraged his students to think about the subject rather than simply memorize. When he found a student who appeared gifted, he encouraged them to consider the rewards of biology, ichthyology, and fisheries biology. He didn’t always convince them but he kept trying. His influence greatly benefited the 46 masters students, Ph.D. candidates, and postdoctoral fellows that he supervised. One measure of the admiration and respect his students had for him was the tribute of the Clark Hubbs Symposium held in 1993 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Austin. A t-shirt designed especially for the symposium held a special place for Hubbs, who had it signed by not only his former students, but also by a wide variety of more than 1,000 scientists, resource specialists, university presidents, and even some politicians!

Hubbs did not do things by half- measures; he brought enthusiasm, energy, and tenacity to everything he did. This included his defense of endangered species and endangered habitats, his membership and work with 21 professional societies, his parenting of three children, and his teaching. Colleagues were constantly amazed at the vitality that he injected into his pursuits and how he somehow always had a little more energy in reserve, especially if there was a small child to play with or a student asking questions.

During 60+ years, Hubbs sampled more streams and springs in Texas, and deposited more fish specimens from the state in fish collections (primarily the Texas Natural History Collection that he founded), than has, or likely ever will, anybody else. In tribute to him and that legacy, his colleagues and former students formed the Hubbs Ichthyological Society to carry on monitoring of Texas fish habitats so that what he started can be maintained and enhanced. The H.I.S. website includes links to more information on Clark Hubbs, his life, and his legacy.

Greninger signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
Office of the General Faculty

This memorial resolution was prepared by Professors F. Douglas Martin, Robert J. Edwards, Dean A. Hendrickson, and Gary P. Garrett.
Original source: D. F. Martin, R. J. Edwards, D. A. Hendrickson, and G. P. Garrett. 2008. Obituary: Clark Hubbs 1921-2008, Ichthyologist. Fisheries 33(6): 302.

Posted on the Faculty Council web site on April 30, 2010. Additional information can be found in the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.