Dr. George T. Baxter led the way in fisheries conservation in Wyoming for over 40 years, three decades of that as a professor at the University of Wyoming with the fishery biology program. Described as an “old-school naturalist” he was highly versed in everything from ichthyology, to herpetology, to forestry, and agriculture.

Dr. Baxter was born on March 19, 1919, in Grover, Colorado. He was raised in Burns, Wyoming where he lived through high school. He served as an Army officer during World War II. After, he earned his Bachelor of Science then his master’s degree from the University of Wyoming in in zoology. He served as an instructor at UW while conducting his PhD research on amphibians and reptiles of Wyoming. Upon receiving his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1952, Dr. Baxter became an assistant professor and professor of Zoology at the University of Wyoming until his retirement in 1984.

During his career, Dr. Baxter taught, supervised and mentored hundred of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as junior faculty that have played major roles in the natural resource conservation agencies in Wyoming for over 50 years. He led a systematic survey of Wyoming’s fish fauna completed in 1964 that serves as the major baseline of fish distributions in Wyoming.  Dr. Baxter identified the Wyoming Toad and led both monitoring and conservation efforts for this species, one of America’s most endangered amphibians.

His monograph, co-written with retired Wyoming Game and Fish Fisheries Director Mike Stone, on “Wyoming Fishes” and “Amphibians and Reptiles of Wyoming” are landmark works and the standard references in the field.  He was acknowledged by the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the American Fisheries Society as “The Father of Fisheries in Wyoming.”

Dr. Baxter’s other honors include the UW College of Arts and Science’s Exemplary Alumni and Outstanding Former Faculty Member awards.  He was also honored by the UW Alumni Association with their "Medallion Service Award. Former UW Professor Robert Jenkins once   wrote, “The current health of the Wyoming Fishery is due in major part to the dozens of research projects that George Baxter and his graduate students completed for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department."  Dr. Baxter passed away in 2006. He and his wife Phyllis were married for 62 years and had three children, Judy, Richard and Linda. The Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome Dr. George T. Baxter as part of the 2018 class.

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