Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Herbert F. Frolander

November 15, 2012

Sadly, we received news that one of the pioneers of our College, Professor Herbert F. Frolander, has died at the age of 90, November 8, 2012.

In 1959, the Department of Oceanography was established at Oregon State College. Wayne Burt, the new department head, wasted no time in assembling a department faculty; programs of instruction and research were initiated and students attracted. With little to offer but opportunity and potential growth, Burt persuaded a group of scientists to join him as faculty of the new department.

The department was organized according to traditional disciplines of Oceanography: Physical, Chemical, Biological and Geological/Geophysical. That first year, Herb Frolander (Biological) joined Wayne Burt as faculty.

Before coming to Oregon State, Dr. Frolander was on the faculty of the Department of Oceanography of the University of Washington. His research there was in the study of the zooplankton of the Gulf of Alaska and PugetSound. Dr. Frolander took his bachelor’s degree at Rhode Island College of Education and received his Master of Science and Ph.D. in biology at Brown University.

Frolander stayed with the OSU Oceanography program until his retirement. Other pioneer faculty who stayed until their respective retirements include John Byrne, William Pearcy, Drew Carey, and Larry Small. June Pattullo, another early hire, died while still a faculty member.

In 1961, with the newly commissioned RV Acona, Professor Pattullo initiated a program of systematic sampling and measurement of ocean properties regionally and with depth off Oregon. The results of the study of the physical and chemical nature of the ocean off Oregon were of considerable benefit to the early biological studies by Professors Small, Frolander, Pearcy and Carey. The team of biologists addressed research questions of the trophic levels of the food web. Professor Small studied the phytoplankton; Frolander, the zooplankton; Pearcy, the nekton, notably fish, squid and shrimp; and Carey studied the benthic animals.

Professor Frolander initiated studies of the identification and distribution of zooplankton species in near-shore waters and their relationship to the zooplankton of Yaquina Bay. Regularly scheduled sampling trips served not only to identify daily, seasonal and long-term patterns of zooplankton distribution, but they were also significant as training exercises for graduate students.

The archived zooplankton samples were of value in later decisions involving location of water intakes for the aquaria at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center and in research involving the landward intrusion of upwelled water.

Also, much credit is due Dr. Frolander for developing the beginning Oceanography course, which brought attention to Oceanography at the undergraduate level throughout Oregon State College/University.

Dr. Frolander was frequently called on by Dr. Burt to spread the word about the growing Oceanography department throughout Oregon, by means of public presentations to service clubs and other organizations.

He and his wife Marjorie took great joy in being a part of the university community for many years. His presence will be deeply missed by many and his contributions will continue to positively impact CEOAS, the university, and the broader community for many years to come.

Dr. Frolander believed in a helping to pave the way for future generations and established Herbert F. Frolander Graduate Teaching Assistant Award Endowment Fund to do just that.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to this fund by sending a check payable to "OSU Foundation" and sending it to the Foundation at 850 SW 35th St. Corvallis, Oregon 97333.

Herbert Frolander and Wayne Burt

Herb Frolander (left) and Wayne Burt. Courtesy: OSU Archives

Herbert Frolander

Dr. Frolander with zoology samples in Weigand Hall, in the very early days of the Department of Oceanography. At this time he conducted routine zooplankton surveys in Yaquina Bay in a small boat. Courtesy: OSU Archives.

Herbert Frolander displays specimen

Dr. Frolander displays a specimen to members of the Portland Rose Festival Court. Courtesy: OSU Archives.

Herbert and Marjorie Frolander

Dr. Frolander and his wife Marjorie at a 50th Anniversary celebration for the College.


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