Harold Greenfield Cumming.
Harold Cumming, longtime Ontario wildlife biologist, Lakehead University Professor, and first editor of Alces (originally published as the Proceedings of the North American Moose Conference and Workshop) died Aug. 18, 2011 at the age of 82. Harold was educated at the University of Toronto, Michigan State University, and received his PhD in 1966 from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Harold was a deeply respected wildlife biologist and professor described by a former employee as a mentor who made biologists and students better observers, thinkers, and managers.
Harold was employed initially with the Ontario Department of Lands & Forests as a District Biologist in Geraldton in 1953-58. He then took a paid leave to undertake PhD studies on the ecology of roe deer at Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1959-1963. Returning to Ontario, he became a Provincial Big Game Biologist--Game Management Section, Wildlife Branch, Lands & Forests, Ministry of Natural Resources--in Maple, Ontario from 1963-1971. His primary responsibilities included moose, deer, and caribou management. Among his many accomplishments in moose management were coordination of the Provincial moose inventory (aerial surveys), centralizing the harvest assessment program in 1968, making recommendations for annual hunting seasons, and coordinating browse surveys. Harold understood the value of obtaining hunter cooperation to increase biological data, wisely starting the highly successful "moose hunter crest" program in 1967 to boost voluntary submission of lower moose jaws. Harold also set deer seasons and helped to establish the Provincial deer range management program.
In 1972 Harold moved to Thunder Bay and began a second career as Professor in the School of Forestry at Lakehead University where he taught Wildlife Management to Forestry students for more than 20 years (1972-1993). He also maintained a strong research program with much focus on the effect of moose browsing on forests and the impact of herbicides on moose habitat. Several related publications by him and his students serve as the foundation for continued research today. During his latter tenure he concentrated on woodland caribou studies in the Lake Nipigon area of Northwestern Ontario. Several of his students completed MS degrees in moose and caribou habitat-related research.
Harold was instrumental in developing Alces into a respected, peer-reviewed international scientific journal by serving as the first Chief Editor of the annual Proceedings of the North American Moose Conference and Workshop 1978-82. He formed the first editorial committee to help arrange the timely publication and distribution of the annual Proceedings and the successor journal Alces by Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Previously, each hosting jurisdiction was responsible for editing and publishing the annual issue and most took several years to fund and complete this task. Thus, through Harold's leadership, hosting jurisdictions were no longer expected to produce the annual proceedings as production costs, page charges, and distribution arrangements were established at Lakehead University and Alces became financially independent. In an arrangement that continues to this day, Harold had the Lakehead University Bookstore print and distribute Alces through a special fiscal account. Further, he wisely distributed sets of previous issues to three abstracting services to help advertise the availability of Alces publications beyond the North American Moose Working Group.
Harold's efforts were instrumental at a pivotal time in establishing the long-term commitment at Lakehead University to advance Alces, A Journal Devoted to the Biology and Management of Moose. His professional colleagues and students, and the current editorial board at Alces recognize the outstanding contributions of Harold Cumming to the moose world and are deeply saddened by his passing.
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|Title Annotation:||IN MEMORIAM|
|Article Type:||In memoriam|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2012|
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