Joel Hedgpeth
Joel W. Hedgpeth was a marine biologist, environmentalist
An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"...

 and author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

. He was an expert on the marine arthropods known as sea spiders (Pycnogonida), and on the seashore plant and animal life of southern California. He was a spokesperson for care for the floral and faunal diversity of the California coastline.

Early life

Hedgpeth was born on September 29, 1911 in Oakland, California
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

. He married Florence Warrens in 1944, and the couple would have two children. He obtained his PhD (on the distribution and ecology of invertebrates along the Texas and Louisiana coasts) from the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 in 1952. While at Berkeley, he studied under two of the most important marine biologists of the era, S.F. Light and Ralph I. Smith.


Hedgpeth met and corresponded with Edward F. Ricketts (1897–1948), a charismatic researcher of West Coast marine biology and the real-life model for the character "Doc" in John Steinbeck's novel, Cannery Row. Hedgpeth himself may have been the model for the character, "Old Jay" in Steinbeck's novel, Sweet Thursday [Schram and Newman 2007]. Hedgpeth later was the editor of several editions of Ricketts' "Between Pacific Tides," a classic in marine biology, describing marine life along the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. Hedgpeth edited more of Ricketts' writings in two volumes of "The Outer Shores."

His publications included the massive Volume 1 of the "Treatise on Maine Ecology & Paleoecology" (1957); and Introduction to Seashore Life of the San Francisco Bay Region (1962). His teaching posts included the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, is one of the oldest and largest centers for ocean and earth science research, graduate training, and public service in the world...

 at University of California, San Diego
University of California, San Diego
The University of California, San Diego, commonly known as UCSD or UC San Diego, is a public research university located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, United States...

. He was also director of the Pacific Marine Station, a University of the Pacific research facility at Dillon Beach
Dillon Beach, California
Dillon Beach is a census-designated place in Marin County, California, United States. Dillon Beach is located west of Tomales, at an elevation of 89 feet . The population was 283 at the 2010 census...

, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, from 1957 to 1965. He was director of the Yaquina Biological Laboratories of the Marine Science Center
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Hatfield Marine Science Center is a marine science research and education center next to Yaquina Bay of the Pacific Ocean in the U.S state of Oregon. It is operated by Oregon State University in cooperation with five state and federal agencies co-located on site. Named after Mark Hatfield, a...

, Oregon State University
Oregon State University
Oregon State University is a coeducational, public research university located in Corvallis, Oregon, United States. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees and a multitude of research opportunities. There are more than 200 academic degree programs offered through the...

, Newport, Oregon
Newport, Oregon
Newport is a city in Lincoln County, Oregon, United States. It was incorporated in 1882, though the name dates back to the establishment of a post office in 1868...

, from 1965 to 1973. He retired as Professor of Oceanography in September, 1973. He and his wife moved to Santa Rosa, California during retirement. He died July 28, 2006 in Hillsboro, Oregon
Hillsboro, Oregon
Hillsboro is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon and is the county seat of Washington County. Lying in the Tualatin Valley on the west side of the Portland metropolitan area, the city is home to many high-technology companies, such as Intel, that compose what has become known as the...

. His archives are housed at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California.

The nudibranch
A nudibranch is a member of what is now a taxonomic clade, and what was previously a suborder, of soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusks which shed their shell after their larval stage. They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms...

 Polycera hedgpethi was named in his honor by Ernst Marcus, a marine biologist who taught at the University of São Paulo
University of São Paulo
Universidade de São Paulo is a public university in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. It is the largest Brazilian university and one of the country's most prestigious...

 in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...


Hedgpeth was an iconoclast and an early environmentalist. He spoke Latin, German, Welsh, and Russian. He founded the "Society for the Prevention of Progress" and was its sole member, under a pseudonym, Jerome Tichenor [Schram and Newman 2007]. Under the same pseudonym, he published "Poems in Contempt of Progress" and vocally opposed a nuclear power plant once proposed at Bodega Head, California [Carlton 2006]. He was influential in the developing West Coast environmental movement in the 1970s. His influence was instrumental in getting the California freshwater shrimp, Syncaris pacifica
Syncaris pacifica
Syncaris pacifica is an endangered species of freshwater shrimp in the family Atyidae that occurs only in a limited range within the northern San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA. Specifically, this species occurs only in 17 stream segments within Sonoma, Napa and Marin Counties...

, listed as an endangered species [Schram and Newman 2007].


  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. Introduction to seashore life of the San Francisco Bay region and the coast of northern California. Illustrated by the author and Lynn Rudy. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1962. 136 p. illus. 19 cm.
  • The Outer shores / edited by Joel W. Hedgpeth. Eureka, Calif. : Mad River Press, c1978- v. : ill. ; 22 cm. ISBN 0-916422-13-5
  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. Animal diversity: organisms [by] Joel W. Hedgpeth. [New York] McGraw-Hill [1974] 31 p. illus. 28 cm. ISBN 0-07-005345-6
  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. Animal structure and function [by] Joel W. Hedgpeth. [New York] McGraw-Hill [1974] 32 p. illus. 28 cm. ISBN 0-07-005343-X
  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. Common seashore life of southern California. Illustrated by Sam Hinton. Edited by Vinson Brown. Healdsburg, Calif., Naturegraph Co., c1961. 64 p. illus. (part col.) map. 22 cm.
  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. On the evolutionary significance of the Pycnogonida. Washington, Smithsonian Institution, 1947. 53 p. plate. 25 cm.
  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. Pycnogonida of the United States Navy Antarctic Expedition, 1947-48. Washington. (1954). p. 147-160. illus., chart. 24 cm.
  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. The Pycnogonida of the western North Atlantic and the Caribbean. Washington. [n.d.] p. 157-342. illus., maps (part fold.) 24 cm.
  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. Report of the Pycnogonida collected by the Albatross in Japanese waters in 1900 and 1906. Washington. [n.d.] p. 233-321. illus., maps (1 fold.) 24 cm.
  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. Twice to the mark : translations from the Greek / Joel W. Hedgpeth. Oakland, Calif. : J.W. Hedgpeth, [198-?] [11] p. ; 15 cm.
  • Hedgpeth, Joel W. (Joel Walker), 1911-2006. Willapa Bay : a historical perspective and a rationale for research / by Joel W. Hedgpeth and Steven Obrebski. Washington, D.C. : Coastal Ecosystems Project, Office of Biological Services, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 1981. viii, 52 p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
  • National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on a Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology. Treatise on marine ecology and paleoecology. Joel W. Hedgpeth, editor. [New York] 1957. 2 v. illus., ports., maps (part fold.) charts, diagrs., profiles, tables. 26 cm.
  • Ricketts, Edward Flanders, 1897-1948. Between Pacific tides : an account of the habits and habitats of some five hundred of the common, conspicuous seashore invertebrates of the Pacific Coast between Sitka, Alaska, and northern Mexico / Edward F. Ricketts and Jack Calvin ; foreword by John Steinbeck ; line drawings by Ritchie Lovejoy. 3rd ed., rev. / revisions by Joel W. Hedgpeth. Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1962. xiii, 516 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
  • Ricketts, Edward Flanders, 1897-1948. Between Pacific tides / Edward F. Ricketts, Jack Calvin, and Joel W. Hedgpeth. 5th ed. / revised by David W. Phillips. Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1985. xxvi, 652 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. ISBN 0-8047-1229-8, ISBN 0-8047-1244-1 (student ed.)
  • Tichenor, Jerome (a pseudonym
    A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

    for Joel Hedgpeth), 1911-2006. Poems in contempt of progress. Edited by Joel W. Hedgpeth. Pacific Grove, Calif., Boxwood Press [1974] viii, 70 p. 22 cm.
  • Google Scholar results for Joel W. Hedgpeth
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