Finishing the 4000 footers: Natural history of northern New England with Bob Carson, PhD

Thursday, Nov. 18, meeting at 7 p.m. in Olin Hall, Room 129

Mount Katahdin and the White and Green Mountains, composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks, were overridden by the continental ice sheet, more than a mile thick. Natural plant succession occurred from deglaciation until colonization. Near extinction of beavers, logging, overgrazing by sheep, dam building, dairy farming, and global warming altered the ecology.

Bob Carson began climbing New England’s 4000-foot mountains in 1959, starting with the Presidential Range. He climbed Mount Katahdin 10 times, the last with his wife Clare. With his son Chris, he completed the New Hampshire peaks in 1991. With his brother Walty, he finished the Vermont peaks in 2018. In September he climbed the last seven 4000 footers in west-central Maine.

Reference: Wessels, 1997, Reading the forested landscape: A natural history of New England.

Bob Carson, PhD

Bob on the Horn, 22 September, 2021-photo by Brownie Carson

Bob’s upbringing in Rockbridge County, Virginia led to a life of geology, mountaineering, and
whitewater. After his undergraduate degree at Cornell University, he spent four years in New Orleans
working for Texaco and obtaining an MS from Tulane University. His PhD at the University of
Washington led to teaching at North Carolina State University and Whitman College. Most of his
research has been in the Pacific Northwest, Wyoming, and Mongolia. His books include Hiking Guide to
Washington’s Geology, Where the Great River Bends, East of Yellowstone, Many Waters, and The Blues.

Katahdin - photo by Brownie Carson

Katahdin – photo by Brownie Carson


At this time, we plan to meet in Olin Hall, Room
129 on the Whitman College campus; the meeting is
scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. If the college’s policy
changes prior to September 16th and we are unable
to use the classroom, we will meet via Zoom. Please
watch the BMAS website, Facebook page and your
email inbox for updates.
Entry to Olin Hall is via the main entrance
facing Ankeny Field and all guests will be required
to show proof of full vaccination (either a Covid-19
vaccination certificate or a photo of it); no
exceptions. A door monitor will be at the door from
6:45-7:15 p.m. After 7:15 p.m., the doors will be
We realize these policies may exclude individuals
from attending but in order for us to use campus
facilities we must adhere to these policies. Thank you
for understanding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.