Field notes, Death Valley Expedition, 1891

About the Project

Death Valley – just the name suggests the barest of landscapes, an empty place. Why would a botanist be excited to go to such a place, one might wonder. These field notes might give us some insight into that question. Throughout his career, Coville was known to be greatly enthusiastic about scientific expeditions. Two years after this particular expedition, Coville’s observations were published, and he became the USDA’s Chief Botanist and Honorary Curator of the National Herbarium. His Botany of the Death Valley Expedition has been recognized as an important work on desert plants.

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