Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Robert E. Stewart, Sr., was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Iowa. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa in 1936 and his Master of Science degree in zoology from the University of Michigan in 1937.
He served with the U.S. Navy during World War II, stationed at Pearl Harbor, then began a long and distinguished career as a wildlife research biologist with the federal government--a career that spanned several decades and included studies from the East Coast to the northern Great Plains. He was a member of the expedition to find the whooping crane breeding grounds in the Northwest Territory of Canada.
Stewart was skilled in plant and animal ecology, and his work laid the foundation for modern wetland classification and our understanding of waterfowl and avian ecology. He authored or co-authored 87 professional publications, but to North Dakotans, Stewart is probably best-known for his 1975 book, Breeding Birds of North Dakota.
Stewart was the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Meritorious Service Award in 1976 from the Secretary of the Interior, an honor that recognized his significant scientific accomplishments.
Robert E. Stewart passed away in July 1993 at the age of 80. Although he never saw our study to its completion, he was pleased we were repeating this landmark study.