[MARMAM] R. Natalie P. Goodall – April 13, 1935 – May 25, 2015

Lida Pimper liditas at gmail.com
Mon Jun 8 07:59:00 PDT 2015


*Rae Natalie Prosser Goodall*

We have known Natalie as one of the old settlers of Tierra del Fuego,
borned collectionist, and tireless explorer of the coasts and mountains of
this land. But most of all, we have known her as a teacher, guide,
inspirational woman that spread her passion and most important, as a Friend.

She was born in Lexington, Ohio, US, graduated with honours as a BS in
Education, Biology and Art at Kent State University in 1957, and got later
a Master in Biology in 1959. She worked as a teacher in schools from Mobil
Oil in Venezuela during four years and travel later along South America.
While she was in Patagonia, she read “The Uttermost part of the earth”
written by Lucas Bridges in 1948, one of the sons of the Anglican missioner
Thomas Bridges. After this, she decided to travel to Harberton, first
Estancia (ranch) of the island of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and home of
many stories that Lucas wrote about in his book. It was there that she met
Thomas Goodall, grandson of Thomas Bridges, who travelled to US in 1963 to
marry her. The family completed with two daughters and 6 Fuegian
grandchildren.

While living in Tierra del Fuego (during more than 50 years), her desire to
learn more about the history of the native people, the first explorers and
the life in the region, took her to many expeditions throughout the whole
Fuegian Archipelago. Mixing art and science, she started to collect and
draw native plants, with a result of a private Herbarium of more than 8,500
specimens, many botanical publications and more than 90 illustrations in
the book “Flora of Tierra del Fuego” by David Moore, among others. All the
experiences that she lived and learned during those years, were written in
her book “Tierra del Fuego” declared of historical, cultural and touristic
value by the local authorities, and used as a reference handbook in local
schools. She even drew a map of Tierra del Fuego, which she published with
her own Editorial House (Ediciones Shanamaiin).

At the time she was searching the coasts and shores looking for plants of
the island, she came upon some interesting bones of dolphins. This was the
beginning of her fascinating research with austral marine mammals and sea
birds of the region, recording opportunistic sightings and collecting bones
of stranded marine mammals. The specimens collected are stored in the Museo
Acatushún de Aves y Mamíferos Marinos Australes, founded and directed by
Natalie, at Estancia Harberton, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The RNP
collection, with 2,900 specimens of marine mammals and 2,500 birds, is one
of the most important collections in South America in this subject. Her
Museum has trained 8-10 university-level interns per month during the
warmer austral months from 2001 until this last season in 2015. With more
than a 100 papers, book chapters and articles, Natalie has been the pioneer
and main reference in the study of the southernmost marine mammals.

She had mostly worked as ad-honorem researcher, receiving numerous grants
and funding from many organizations and institutions, like National
Geographic Society and Total Austral S.A. So many years of efforts in this
research, gave her many awards and recognitions such as DsC honoris causa
Kent State University and Investigador Independiente ad-honorem from
CONICET (Argentinean National Research Council), among others.

Her studies about basic biology and distribution of spectacled and
Burmeister’s porpoises, Commerson’s dolphins and many species of beaked
whales, have been important contributions to the knowledge of these elusive
species of cetaceans.

Natalie, your students, “your girls", will always miss you. You changed our
lives, showed us the way and left us a great legacy that we will follow.
What we have learned from you, no one can take it from us. And as someone
said many years ago when Kenneth Norris passed away, we are now standing on
the shoulders of giants.

Claudia Boy – Iris Cáceres-Sáez - Natalia A. Dellabianca – Angeles González
- Sheryl Macnie - María Constanza Marchesi – Lida E. Pimper - Luciana
Riccialdelli - Analía San Martín – Mónica Torres
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