Lichen Record Sets

Harriman Alaska Expedition
Front page expedition album.
Front page of the expedition album created by its members.
In 1899 an interdisciplinary team of scientists and artists traveled from Seattle to Siberia and back exploring the Alaska coastline. Railroad magnate Edward Harriman commissioned the voyage as a hunting trip but it turned into a scientific expedition. The team he brought along to document the trip included some of the best and brightest minds in the country at the time.
Expedition party on dock
Expedition party on a dock in Alaska. Photograph by Edward Curtis. Courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Botanists on the trip included:
William Trelease - director of the Missouri Botanical Garden
De Alton Saunders - phycologist (algae)
Frederick Coville - USDA Chief Botanist and Founder of the United States National Arboretum
Thomas Kearney - research associate in botany at the California Academy of Sciences

Other notable members of the expedition:
John Muir - naturalist
Clinton Hart Merriam - zoologist
John Burroughs - author
Party at Cape Fox Village
Harriman Expedition Party at Cape Fox Village. Courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

In 2001 a new team of scientists and artists retraced the route followed by the Harriman party and filmed a documentary of their travels.

Most bryophyte and lichen collections from the expedition give the collector as "T" for William Trelease. The Missouri Botanical Garden has many of these specimens but duplicates are present at the New York Botanical Garden and elsewhere.
ALCAN Expedition
Alcan Highway
Map of the Alaska Highway (ALCAN Highway)
The ALCAN Highway was constructed during World War II for the purpose of connecting the contiguous United States to Alaska through Canada. It begins at the junction with several Canadian highways in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and runs to Delta Junction, Alaska, via Whitehorse, Yukon. Completed in 1942 at a length of approximately 2,700 km (1,700 mi).
Flora of American Arctic Lichen
Flora of American Arctic Lichen
John Thomson
John Thomson
Teuvo Ahti
Teuvo Ahti
The eminent American lichenologist, John W. Thomson, and the young Finnish lichenologist, Teuvo Ahti, who has since become the world expert in the large lichen genus Cladonia., traveled the Alcan Highway together in 1967, after John had spent a sabbatical in Helsinki. The road was primarily gravel at that point in time, and they had to change tires 13 times. This was one of John’s early expeditions to the American arctic. Across his 40 year career at the University of Wisconsin, he mounted 14 major expeditions across the Canadian and American arctic resulting in an American Arctic Lichen Flora published in two volumes. The Alcan trip of John and Teuvo cemented a lifelong friendship and spurred continued collaboration over several decades. They were among the first lichenologists to traverse the highway and the lichens collected provided an important contribution to the final flora treatments.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation grant ADBC#1115116. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or
recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.