University of Arizona

Special Collections is available by appointment. Read our update.

Steve McLaughlin field notebooks

This collection contains 32 field notebooks handwritten by botanist Steven McLaughlin, spanning the years 1973 to 2016. The notebooks vary in size and completeness, and a majority are related to the thousands of plant specimens he collected over his career, listing locations and specimen numbers. Some notebooks contain personal anecdotes and journal entries detailing Steve's various camping and canoe trips throughout Arizona and the Southwest.

Steve McLaughlin, 1948-December 29, 2019, was a professor of Arid Lands Resource Sciences at the University of Arizona from 1979 to 2006 and a curator of the UA Herbarium from 2001 to 2006. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Ecological Systems and Problems from University of Washington in 1972, and his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Arizona in 1978. He collected more than 11,000 plant specimens throughout Arizona and the West, and deposited most of those at the Herbarium. Steve compiled local floras, which are lists of all plant species within a defined area; many of the specimens he collected were voucher specimens for those local floras, proving that he found that species in those locations. Steve's areas of research included drug discovery and new-crop development, particularly fiber crops that could be used in making specialty papers. Over the course of his career, he authored more than one hundred scientific publications and presentations.