Soper, Joseph Dewey
Joseph Dewey Soper, naturalist, explorer, writer (b near Guelph, Ont 5 May 1893; d at Edmonton 2 Nov 1982). Soper exemplified the quiet, unpretentious men who, surveying for the Dominion government, established the outline and substance of Canada. The wilderness of western Canada attracted him before WWI. After the war, he opened new territory in the eastern Arctic (1923-31) and discovered the breeding grounds of the blue goose. Later he contributed important knowledge about bison in Wood Buffalo National Pk. He also ranged the prairies, (especially along the international boundary), the Rocky Mt parks, the NWT and the Yukon. His more than 100 scientific and popular articles and books were illustrated often with his own pen sketches and watercolours. The names of several mammals (eg, Soper's ringed seal) and geographical features on Baffin I (eg, Soper R) testify to his work. In 1960 he received an LLD from U of A.