"Ranging broadly over the natural and human sciences, Webb shows that the Southwest - specifically Arizona, New Mexico, and west Texas - began as a natural laboratory that attracted explorers interested in its flora, fauna, and mineral wealth. Benjamin Silliman's mining research in the nineteenth century, for example, marked the development of the region as a colonial outpost of American commerce, and A. E. Douglass's studies of climatic cycles through tree rings attest to the rise of institutional research. World War II and the years that followed brought more scientists to the region, seeking secluded outposts for atomic research and clear skies for astronomical observations. What began as a colony of the eastern scientific establishment soon became a self-sustaining scientific community."--BOOK JACKET.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Pt. I. The Establishment of Science
1. The Desert Revealed: The Origins of Southwestern Science
2. Applying Science: Benjamin Silliman Jr., Mining Consultant
3. Tree Rings and Climatic Cycles: A. E. Douglass
Pt. II. The Scientific Community
4. Foundations and Institutions, 1900-1940
5. Leading Women Scientists, 1920-1950
6. The Impact of World War II
Pt. III. The Foundations of Modern Science
7. Astronomy in Southern Arizona, 1889-1963
8. Darwin in the Desert: Arizona's Evolution Controversies
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