Obituary - Dr. Mary Byrd Davis

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edfrank
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Obituary - Dr. Mary Byrd Davis

Post by edfrank » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:17 am

DAVIS Dr. Mary Byrd, passed away on Feb 11, 2011. The daughter of the late John D. and Joanna F. Byrd, she was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1936. Her family moved to Florida in 1947. Mary was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Agnes Scott College and earned Masters and Doctoral degrees in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters in Library Science at Simmons College. After several years as a college librarian, she worked for 30 years as a free-lance writer and editor, publishing several books and articles on English literature and on environmental issues, and was active in various peace and environmental organizations and activities. Her principal occupations, however, were wife, mother, and grandmother. She offered ceaseless and effective encouragement to her children and grandchildren to realize their potential academically and personally. She leaves her husband Bob; her son John, her daughter Carol, their spouses; her grandsons, Samuel and Matthew; her sister Joan and her brother Frank and their spouses; and brothers-in-law William and Richard Davis and their spouses. A memorial service for Mary will be held at 2pm Feb 22 at Faith Baptist Church in Georgetown, Kentucky. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be made to the Hospice of the Bluegrass at 2312 Alexandria Drive, Lexington, Kentucky 40504 or to the Wilderness Network at P.O. Box 5284, Titusville, Florida 32783. Johnson's Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. http://www.johnsonsfuneralhome.com
Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on February 17, 2011

Read more: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/kentuc ... z1EKOKrfJn
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Re: Obituary - Dr. Mary Byrd Davis

Post by edfrank » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:50 am

ENTS,

I am saddened by the passing of Mary Davis. I had never met her personally but had corresponded with her many times over the years. She was an amazing person and her passing is a loss to everyone. Her books on old growth in the east I am sure inspired all of us tree people to pursue the search for old growth forests.


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Here is the bio note I had posted about her on the ENTS website cobbled together from a variety of sources:

Mary Byrd Davis

Mary Byrd Davis is a freelance researcher, writer, and editor. Her publications include Guide de l’industrie nucléaire française (L’Harmattan and Wise-Paris, 1988); The Green Guide to France (Merlin, 1990), Going Off the Beaten Path: An Untraditional Travel Guide to the U.S. (Noble, 1991, published under the name Mary Dymond Davis), Les déchets militaires nucléaires français (co-author) (Editions CDRPC, 1994), Eastern Old-Growth Forests: Prospects for Rediscovery and Recovery (editor) (Island Press, 1996), La France nucléaire: matières et sites, 2002 (WISE-Paris, 2001), and Old Growth in the East: A Survey (revised edition) (ASPI, 2003). She co-authored a reference book for libraries on biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons published in 2006 by Facts on File.

She graduated from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, and holds a PhD in English with a minor in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MS in library science from Simmons College. She has served as a librarian at Northern Michigan University, Georgetown College, and the University of Kentucky.

She is vice president of the Centre de Documentation et de Recherche sur la Paix et les Conflits (CDRPC) in Lyon and was co-founder and first publisher of Wild Earth. Currently she directs Yggdrasil, a project of Earth Island Institute.
My sincere condolences to John and the rest of her loving family.

Edward Frank
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Neil
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Re: Obituary - Dr. Mary Byrd Davis

Post by Neil » Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:30 am

Dear ENTS,

Mary was a quiet, but strong and tireless contributor to the eastern old-growth movement. I'd bet she spent much of her own money [the little she had] on producing the first few catalogs on Eastern Old-growth Forests. As a young student in the mid-90s, her collection of information of known old-growth forests was gold. We kept Mary's document in a special place in the lab and went back to it often. She actually gave me a copy at the end of a conference when I said I couldn't afford to purchase a copy.

Years later when I realized I moved to within 20 miles of her home, I spent much of a day at her house and learned so much about Mary. I do not think I can put it into words what she accomplished in her life that is sufficient. Did you know that besides editing the eastern old-growth forest book [which must have been like herding cats], she wrote a book on weapons of mass destruction http://tinyurl.com/4ocvqj4? or that she was an expert on Nuclear France? http://www.francenuc.org/ or wrote a book on 'untraditional traveling in the US? http://www.amazon.com/Going-Off-Beaten- ... 1879360012 [of course, Ed tracked all that info done - kudos Ed!] - you can tell that until that visit, I had no idea that this kind, gentle, quiet and sweet person was so strong and productive and had an incredible amount of foresight. I never got this sense chatting with Mary when our paths crossed at several points in time. Yet, it was obvious that this tiny person saw the big picture with clarity.

Thank you Mary for being a bright light in life!

neil

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dbhguru
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Re: Obituary - Dr. Mary Byrd Davis

Post by dbhguru » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:13 am

ENTS,

I knew Mary Byrd davis for over 20 years. She was a dear friend and colleague. Her loss is beyond simple words to express. I was privileged to work with Mary on the old growth projects and assist in the old growth books. I plan to write an extended article about Mary in a few weeks. I need time now to collect my thoughts and just remember her, what she accomplished, and what she stood for.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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edfrank
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Re: Obituary - Dr. Mary Byrd Davis

Post by edfrank » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:59 am


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A Tribute to Mary Byrd Davis
http://www.biohabitats.com/ndg_newsite/ ... popup.html
A Tribute to Mary Byrd Davis

Sadly, John's mother, Mary Byrd Davis, died of cancer shortly after he began TrekEast. A tireless advocate for world peace and environmental protection, and author and editor of books on both subjects, Mary Byrd Davis played a key role in the protection of old-growth forests in the Eastern U.S. Her books Old Growth In the East: A Survey and Eastern Old-Growth Forests: Prospects for Rediscovery and Recovery include the most complete survey to date of old growth forests in the Eastern U.S. The book not only enabled conservationists TO locate these forests, but it also helped call attention to the need to protect them. In 1990, Mary Byrd Davis, along with John and colleagues Dave Foreman, Reed Noss, and David Johns, started Wild Earth magazine. Published until 1997, Wild Earth blended conservation biology and wildlands activism. Mary Byrd Davis also produced a great deal of research and writing on the nuclear industry, particularly in France, where she was well known for her expertise on the subject. Along with John's father, Bob Davis, Mary Byrd Davis fostered in her children a love of and connection to nature and a passion for protecting wild places. All of us at Leaf Litter mourn the loss of Mary Byrd Davis and celebrate her contributions to all living things.
Leaf Litter Talks With John Davis
http://www.biohabitats.com/ndg_newsite/ ... erview.php
Writer, adventurer and naturalist John Davis recently began TrekEast, a 4500-mile journey along what is being called the "Eastern Wildway," an envisioned, continental-sized wildlife corridor along the East Coast of North America. Intent on using mostly human power, John is hiking, paddling, cycling and skiing through the spectacular and biologically diverse lands and waters stretching from the southernmost points of Florida to the Acadian forests of Maritime Canada.
.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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bbeduhn
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Re: Obituary - Dr. Mary Byrd Davis

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:09 am

I'm reading Eastern Old Growth Forests at present. It really widens the scope of appreciation for old growth and the future of old growth. There is much more to old growth than simply hoping today's second or third growth will attain old growth in 100 or 150 years. A forest with a small number of species isn't true old growth, even if the forest has attained great age. The book has really opened my eyes to the ecosystem behind the old growth. Mary Byrd Davis put out an incredible piece of ecoliterature. A number of authors were involved. I encourage all who haven't read it to seek out a copy or at least read portions online. You'll come across some familiar names from ENTS as well!
Brian

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