Edward William Nelson - Death Valley Expedition, 1890-1891

About the Project

In 1890, naturalist Edward W. Nelson (1835-1934) joined an expedition of other naturalists to Death Valley to survey its biodiversity. His companions included recognizable figures from the United States Department of Agriculture such as naturalists Vernon Bailey, C. Hart Merriam and botanist Frederick Colville. Led by Merriam, this was the first of several expeditions funded by Congress to aid in the effort to build a comprehensive understanding of geographic distribution of flora and fauna in the continental United States. Nelson's field book capture his daily activities, including details of traveling and his expeditionary companions starting at the very beginning with the train ride out. Hop on board and team up with other volunteers to transcribe this journal and learn about the early work of the Bureau of Biological Survey.

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