Ronald H. McPeak, Underwater and Coastal California Photographs, 1965-1999.
Over 2000 35 mm color mounted slides, taken by Ron McPeak of the underwater biota of giant kelp forests in California and Baja Mexico from 1965 to 1999. There also are images of kelp harvesting in California, salmon spawning in Alaskan streams, and aerial and landscape views of coastal California and its offshore islands.
Ronald H. McPeak grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. He was keenly interested in natural history as a youth and his fascination with marine life led him to become a certified scuba diver in 1956, long before it was popular. He soon began exploring the underwater kelp forests of California where he has logged over 5,700 scuba dives. Ron obtained a Bachelor's of Science degree in Zoology from California State University at Long Beach in 1964 and a Master's of Science degree in Biology from the University of Southern California in 1967. He spent most of his working career as a marine biologist for the Marine Resource Department at Kelco Division of Merck and Co., Inc , where he was responsible for managing kelp resources using aerial and diving surveys and conducting kelp restoration efforts. His hobby of underwater photography became an important tool for his profession and during his time at Kelco Ron became an acclaimed underwater photographer known for his astonishing images of submarine forests of giant kelp. His photographs have won numerous awards, been on display at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Disney World, and have appeared in numerous books, magazines and scientific journals. His widely acclaimed book "The Amber Forest" (coauthored with D. A. Glantz and C. R. Shaw, Watersport Publishing) culled from the best of thousands of images captured the essence the undersea world of kelp forests and the many benefits that we derive from them. Now retired, Ron continues his interest in natural history, giving talks and following his life-long passion of collecting scarab beetles; his personal collection now numbers nearly 40,000 specimens and counting.
His photographs were all taken with color slide film and originally were housed in vinyl sleeves maintained in three-ring binders arranged by subject categories. Most of the slides in his collection are well documented with captions, date and location, and subject matter including scientific names. Each slide in the collection has been digitally scanned at approximately 3,300 pixels in long dimension.
Images are licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). For information on obtaining high resolution images, contact the Department of Special Collections (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Acquisition and digitization of the Ronald H. McPeak collection was made possible with funding from the National Science Foundation to the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research project.
- Ron H. McPeak