Jackson R. Pope, III
Jackson Rinn Pope, III, passed away in early September in Norman, Oklahoma. He moved to Norman in fall 2014 from his hometown of Gallatin Gateway, Montana, to join the graduate program of the History of Science Department. Jackson joined the MA program in the history of science, technology and medicine as an Alumni Fellow after completing a BS in Psychology at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico, and a BA in History at Montana State University. While at Montana State, he worked as a volunteer with The Extreme History Project helping to transcribe oral histories of reservation life from Crow tribal elders as part of the Fort Parker Oral History Project. After graduation he decided to pursue his interests in the history of science and spent a year in independent research in preparation for graduate school. Jackson had many scholarly interests, but he was particularly interested in the history of amateur science and the relationships between scientists and amateurs. In his master’s thesis, which he defended in May 2016, Jackson examined the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology as a space where professional ornithologists and amateur bird watchers interacted as part of a larger community of bird watching.
Jackson intended to expand his thesis project as he continued into the doctoral track. He was awarded a 2016 George Miksch Sutton Scholarship from the Department of Biology to create a digital online archive of bird song records with assistance from the Fine Arts Library, the Digitization Laboratory, the Department of Biology, and the Digital Scholarship Lab. Under the direction of his committee chair, Associate Professor of History of Science Dr. Katherine Pandora, at the time of his death, Jackson was researching recordings made from the 1930s-1960s by Arthur A. Allen, Albert R. Brand, and Peter Paul Kellogg of Cornell University. Their work, along with their interactions within a network of amateur bird song recorders in the 1950s-1960s, created the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s famous Library of Natural Sounds, now the largest repository of animal recordings in the world. Jackson had begun work on an archive to be available to researchers through ShareOK, and at other sites as it developed.
Jackson was an active member in the HSCI graduate student community, including service as President of the History of Science Association campus student organization. In his free time, Jackson enjoyed reading, especially H. P. Lovecraft, watching what he termed “terrible” sci-fi movies, and experimenting with photography.
Jackson is survived by his mother Sue, his father Jackson R. Pope, II and his wife Sarah Pope, and siblings Abby Pope and Gabriel Pope, as well as his HSCI student, faculty, and staff family.
Jackson blogged about his research at Parliament of Owls, and posted some of his work on his YouTube channel Jackson Pope.