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Fred Cooke Collection

Fred Cooke Collection

 

The Fred Cooke Collection (Prof. Fred Cooke in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, August 2011, above)

Research at La Pérouse Bay began in 1968, when Fred Cooke, a young professor in the Biology Department at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, began looking at the genetics of the two colour phases of lesser snow geese in a small colony, east of Churchill, Manitoba on Hudson Bay.

The Fred Cooke Collection contains a wide selection of the publications and images from the twenty-five year period (from 1968 to 1992) in which Fred led the snow goose project at La Pérouse Bay.

During this time, Fred invited and hosted many, many students, colleagues and friends with a specific and general interest in biology and nature conservation at Camp Finney.

This included Robert (Bob) L. Jefferies who first came to LPB in 1978. Bob Jefferies’ subsequent research at La Pérouse Bay and Churchill environs spanned the period 1978 to 2009, when his untimely death occurred, and is presented in another Yorkspace Collection (the Robert Lenthall Jefferies Collection).

The Fred Cooke Collection came into being at the time of the Memorial Conference held in 2011 in Churchill to celebrate the life and research of Bob. This marked the occasion of the opening of the new Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) building. Fred was the first scientific director of the centre (appointed in 1977).

Fred, who returned to Churchill for this event, for the first time since 1992, with his wife, Sylvia, was the Keynote speaker at the conference. He has kept in touch with many of the people whom he brought to LPB and undertook in the year following the opening of the new CNSC building and the conference, to write The History of the La Pérouse Bay Project. Fred has gathered many photos and memories from this community of researchers, journalists, artists and science writers, and they have been deposited in this digital archive.

In 1992, Fred was appointed to the Canadian Wildlife Service Chair in Wildlife Ecology at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Fred held this Chair until his retirement in 2001. Research from this later period of Fred’s career is also represented in this Digital Collection.

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