The Father of Monarch Research
Two years ago, Jose Luis Alvarez and I were inspired by Dr Brower to travel through New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, raising awareness about the plight of the monarchs. We spoke at Harvard, Yale, the Boston Museum of Science, the Philadelphia Zoo and a number of other venues. Our last stop on the "Save the Monarchs Tour" was in Sweet Briar, VA to visit with Dr. Brower. What a pleasure.
Yesterday I received the sad news from my colleagues at Forests for Monarchs that our friend and hero, Lincoln Brower had passed away. "It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of longtime partner, Advisory Board Member and fierce advocate for the Monarchs: Dr. Lincoln Brower. Dr. Brower dedicated his life’s work to the Monarch Butterfly, learning the intricacies, complex characteristics and migration patterns of this beloved pollinator."
Lincoln studied monarchs for some sixty years. He earned a BA in biology at Princeton University and a PhD in zoology at Yale University. He was a Fulbright scholar at Oxford University. I first learned about Lincoln when Kendall and Riley were little. Back then, we would find monarch caterpillars all over in Vernon and we would bring them into school so the kids could watch them metamorphose. It didn't take much research before we learned about Lincoln Brower who spent his lifetime illuminating the monarch's amazing migration.
One of my favorite videos about Lincoln and his work was done a few years ago by Mark Madison, the historian at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. If you knew Lincoln or you're a nature nut like me, it's a joy to watch.
Help Preserve Dr Brower's Legacy
You can continue the work Dr Brower started 60 years ago by planting milkweed in your garden. Milkweed is the only food monarch caterpillars can eat. It's nearly been eradicated from the USA by the advent of glyphosphate weed-killers and GMO crops. The monarch population has dropped by 90% over the last 2 decades. But all across North America people have rallied to try and overcome the negative effects of modern agriculture by planting milkweed in their gardens. Learn about how you can carry on for Lincoln and help conserve monarchs on our blog.
We've been raising milkweed and monarchs at our Stonehurst showroom in Vernon, VT for many years. Visit us if you're ever in our neighborhoodand we'll show you how to do the same.
A Fond Farewell
I took this picture of Jose Luis Alvarez and Lincoln Brower 2 years ago on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Shenandoah National Park. It would be the last time they would see each other after a lifetime of collaborating to save the monarchs.
Farewell, Lincoln. The world is a better place because of you. We send our sympathy to the Brower family.