Frederick Vernon Coville
Frederick Coville (1867-1937) studied botany at Cornell
University. He graduated in 1887 and took a job with the
Department of Agriculture in Washington. He also became a
member of the Cosmos Club, a social club that attracted some
of the brightest scientists in the city. Merriam was a
member, and a friend of Coville's as well. This, and that
fact that Coville had done extensive fieldwork in places
such as Death Valley, secured him a berth on the Harriman
At 32, he was one of the younger men on board. He took
advantage of every opportunity to hike, camp, and explore
Alaska's coast. He stayed for three days on Columbia Glacier
with Palache and Gilbert. He also spent a good deal of time
talking with the more seasoned scientists, particularly Fernow.
As with many "progressive" nineteenth century scientists, he
sided with those who would use, rather than preserve,
wilderness, and noted that Alaska's "enormous growth of grass"
was "going to waste every year."
After the trip, he returned to Washington, D.C. and to
botany, and eventually directed the National Arboretum. He died
[PBS.com, Harriman Expedition Retraced]
F. V. 1897. The August vegetation of Mount Mazama,
Oregon. Mazama 1(2):170-203.
Frederick V. Josephine Adelaide Clark, Botany of the
Death Valley expedition. Report on the botany of the
expedition sent out in 1891 by the U.S. Department of
agriculture to make a biological survey of the region of
Death Valley, California. Washington, Govt. Print. Off.,
Frederick Vernon Coville, Forest Growth and Sheep
Grazing in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, 1898, Govt.
Frederick Coville and Daniel T.
Macdougal, Desert Botanical Laboratory of the Carnegie
Institution, Nov., 1903., Carnegie Institution.
Frederick V. Coville, Courtesy Crater Lake National
Park Museum and Archives Collection.