Gladys B. Black
"If there are
such things as human treasures I feel us Iowans have one in Gladys
Black. We here in Iowa are very fortunate to have such a person who
has spent so much of her time and energies working to help preserve
our natural surroundings..."
Wade E. Sheeler, 1983
B. Black is known for her untiring efforts to educate Iowans
about their natural surroundings and the need for protecting
the environment for future generations. Her columns on Iowa's
native birds have appeared regularly in The Des Moines Register and other publications, and she has led hundreds of school children
on nature hikes where they discovered the beauty of Iowa's countryside
and wildlife. In 1978, she was awarded an honorary doctorate
degree from Simpson College, Indianola, for being one of the
nation's leading ornithologists, with a special knowledge of
the nesting and migration patterns of American birds. In addition,
her early distinguished work as a public health nurse in rural
Iowa underscores her reputation as a humanitarian and conservationist.
She was born on a farm east of Pleasantville, Iowa in 1909.Black
was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1985.
published weekly bird columns in the Knoxville Journal Express, Pella Chronicle, and the Marion County News. She
also presented programs for civic and church groups on Birds
of Red Rock or Birds of the Bible. Dr. Black assisted in "Environmental
Education" Days for all sixth graders of Marion County and
participated in many book signings for her book, Iowa Birdlife.
Black died on July 19, 1998.