Charles Haskins Townsend, Sc.D. (1859–1944) was an American zoologist.
He was born at Parnassus, Pennsylvania, and educated in public and private schools.
In 1883, he became assistant United States Fish Commissioner in charge of salmon propagation in California. For a time, he was in charge of deep-sea explorations on the USS Albatross. From 1897 to 1902, he served as chief of the Fish Commission's fisheries division. He then served as director of the New York Aquarium at Castle Garden, from 1902 until his retirement in 1937.
Memberships and honors
In 1902 he was an expert before the Russo-American fisheries arbitration at The Hague. In 1912-13 he was president of the American Fisheries Society. He was elected a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences.
He is commemorated in the names of Townsend's Shearwater and the Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi).
He wrote extensively on fisheries, whaling, fur seals, deep-sea exploration and zoology.