George Van Dyne

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Staff of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory circa 1975, Van Dyne is second from the right

George Van Dyne (1933–1981) was a pioneer of systems ecology and served as the first director of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory in the United States.[1]

Early career[edit]

Van Dyne was brought up on a ranch at Trinidad, Colorado, not far from the New Mexican border. Having developed skills as a horseman and an interest in the American West, he studied animal science at the Colorado State University. He followed this with a master's degree in range science at Dakota State University. He then gained his PhD from the University of California developing mathematical models for the ecosystem of rangeland. He then went to work at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he led the Environmental Sciences Section. He joined Jerry Olson and Bernard Pattern in delivering the first Systems Ecology course at the University of Tennessee.[2]


  1. ^ History of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
  2. ^ Coleman, David; Swift, David; Mitchell, John (2004). From the Frontier to the Biosphere. 26. Society for Range Management. pp. 8–15.