Vladimir Joseph Krajina
Vladimir Joseph Krajina, scientist, educator (b at Slavonice, Austria-Hungary [Czech Republic] 30 Jan 1905, d at Vancouver 31 May 1993). He earned his doctorate summa cum laude in 1927 at Charles University, Prague, where he remained on staff until 1948. His botanical studies were interrupted during WWII when, as a leader of the Czech underground resistance, he was active in gathering and transmitting information to the British War Office. This work earned him high military and civilian honours.
Elected to the Czech parliament in 1945, he was forced to seek safety abroad in 1948 when the communists gained power. He immigrated with his family to Canada, where he joined the botany department of the University of British Columbia, and he remained there until retirement in 1973. His major work was to develop and introduce an ecology-based system of vegetational classification, now widely used (seeVEGETATION REGIONS). His leadership in securing establishment in Canada of more than 100 ecological reserves is also widely acknowledged. Recognition of the value of his work includes scientific awards, honorary degrees (DSc, LLD) and membership in the Order of Canada (1981).