Karl Frank Lagler was Professor of Fisheries in the School of Natural Resources, and Professor of Zoology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, at the University of Michigan.
Lagler was born on November 15, 1912. He attended public schools in Rochester (N.Y.), earned his A. B. from the University of Rochester, his M. S. in Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries in 1936 from Cornell University, and his Ph. D. in Zoology and Fisheries in 1940 from the University of Michigan (UM).
After teaching botany from 1934 to 1935 at the University of Rochester (N.Y.), Dr. Lagler was hired as a teaching fellow at the UM in 1939. He quickly rose through the ranks to be Chairman and founder of the Department of Fisheries by 1950, a post he held until 1965. Lagler also served as Distinguished Professor of Aquatic Biology for Michigan State University’ Kellogg Biological Station and as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Ichthyology at Ohio State University in the summer of 1959.
Dr. Lagler was employed variously as a biologist or consultant for many governmental and private agencies, including the then Cranbrook Institute of Science, now Cranbrook Educational Community, the Institute for Fisheries Research of the Michigan Department of Conservation, and for the National Wildlife Federation. He served as an advisor, Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand, May 1964-1965. His travels as a consultant or observer took him to France, Norway, Alaska, Rome, the Bahamas, Malaysia, Africa, and South America.
In addition to his teaching and consultant work, Dr. Lagler was a Fellow of the International Academy of Zoology, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the American Institute of Fishery Research biologists, serving as president, 1963-1964, of the International Academy of Zoology, and of the International Academy of Fishery Scientists, serving as president, 1967-1968. He was also a life member of several organizations, and was associated with a number of state and national organizations as well.
Dr. Lagler helped the Trusts Fund for Fisheries Research of the Associated Fishing Tackle Manufacturers develops into the active Sport Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Institute of Washington, D. C.
He taught two telecourses at the UM, including the first UM Telecourse which was entitled “Man in this world.” From 1961 through 1971 Dr. Lagler produced a weekly fifteen-minute radio commentary called “Conservation report” which was broadcast from the UM radio’s station to over three dozen Michigan stations.
In 1956 he became a founding member and Fellow of the American Institute of Fishery Research biologists. In 1957 Dr. Lagler was awarded a coveted Guggenheim Fellowship for six months of travel and research in Europe.
Dr. Lagler also worked on major river systems throughout Africa and South America in 1969 and 1972, and was awarded a million dollar grant in 1972 to implement a plan for a basin wide environmental impact study on Mekong basin fisheries in Southeast Asia. From 1982 to 1984 he worked as Field Director on the Gambia River basin environmental and socio-economic studies.
Dr. Lagler published over 150 scientific publications, technical and semi-popular papers, laboratory manuals, and monographs, scientific papers and other articles, mostly about fish and fishery subjects and education in the area. He originated the published series “Michigan fisheries.” In addition Dr. Lagler published a number of books, including: Guide to the fishes of the Great Lakes and tributary waters (with C. L. Hubbs), 1941; Fishes of the Great Lakes region (also with Hubbs), 1947; Fish and fishing in Michigan, 1949; Freshwater fishery biology, 1952; Peches continetales (with R. Vibert), Paris, 1961; Ichthyology (with J. Bardach and R. Miller), 1962; Continental fishers (with R. Vibert), c1960; and Natural history and ecology of the Great Lakes region. Twenty-eight of his publications are separately cataloged at the Clarke.
His work brought Dr. Lagler international recognition, many honors, and awards. In addition to his academic work he was active as an editor, and in his professional organizations and university committees, as well as in public service work in his community.
In 1941, Dr. Lagler married Mary Jane Manchester, another Ph.D. Together, they had three children: Karl, Susan, and MaryLou. On August 25, 1985 Dr. Lagler died in Ann Arbor (Mich.). (This information is from the collection.)