Walter Prine Nickell (WPN) (September 10, 1903-early January 1973) grew up mostly in Kentucky, spending some time in Oklahoma and Tennessee. WPN attended Morton Elliot Junior College, 1923-1924, and Kentucky Wesleyan College, 1925-1927. He attended Southern YMCA Graduate School off and on from 1928 to 1930. During visits to Tuskegee Institute, WPN was greatly influenced by George Washington Carver (GWC), and they corresponded throughout the 1930s.
He married the former Billie York in January 1932. Their son, John Carver, was born November 1932 and their daughter, Rima Jean, in 1936.
WPN joined the staff of Cranbrook Institute of Science (CIS) in 1935, where he worked until his retirement in 1968. At CIS, he worked as a naturalist, leading adult and youth nature groups, preparing exhibits, etc. His professional work included numerous trips around the country and abroad, focusing primarily on geology during the 1940s and ornithology during the 1950s and 1960s. WPN was a charter member of the Detroit Audubon Society and gave frequent lectures on nature and ornithology, including those to clubs and organizations, public lectures, and radio broadcasts. (This information is from the collection.)