Dr. James E. Crouch joined the faculty of San Diego State College in 1932 and progressed through the various levels of teaching and faculty affairs to the position of Chairman of the Division of Life Sciences. Along the way he served as Chairman of the Zoology Department, Faculty Chairman of the Senate, and President of the AAUP.
James Crouch started life in an academic environment, having been born on the campus of the University of Illinois, while his father was the farm manager. He attended Cornell University through the master's degree, where his thesis was on the natural history of the cedar waxwing. His Ph.D. was earned at the University of Southern California, where his dissertation was on the natural history of another bird, the phainopepla. His interest in ornithology and natural history made him a valuable staff member of the Audubon Society's summer camps in California and Wyoming.
Much of Professor Crouch's national reputation came from his ability to put life into his writing about human and comparative anatomy. Two of his laboratory manuals (including Functional Human Anatomy) enjoyed wide adoption across the country, and he also published a cat anatomy and two human anatomy texts for use in colleges and universities. His natural history movies have been shown at meetings of the National Audubon Society and of the Los Angeles, Pasadena, and San Diego Audubon Societies. Dr. Crouch retired in 1973 and died in 2000.
1986 interview with James E. Crouch, SDSU Professor Emeritus of Zoology from 1932-1973.
Download the PDF transcript.
In this interview totalling approximately 2 hours, Crouch discusses his birth and education, as well as his early work history and interest in zoology. He describes what the area around San Diego State at the time was like, and what type of wildlife and birds he saw when he first arrived. Crouch also reflects on the "family feel" of life on campus during the 1930s, compared to the changes he saw on the larger campus in the 1970s.
Interviewed by Lyn Olsson on 6/24/86.
Image credit: James Crouch in 1960, University Archives Photograph Collection, Special Collections & University Archives.