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Robert McCracken Peck Edit Profile

naturalist , science historian , writer

Robert McCracken Peck, American naturalist, historian, writer. Recipient Richard Hopper Day Memorial award Academy Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1991, Wyck-Strickland award for contributions to cultural life of Philadelphia, 2003; Eleanor Garvey fellow in printing and graphic arts Houghton Library., Harvard University, 1995; Yale Center for British Art fellow, 1997.


Peck, Robert McCracken was born on December 15, 1952 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of Frederick William Gunster and Matilda (McCracken) Peck.


Bachelor in Art History, Princeton University, 1974. Master of Arts, University Delaware, 1976.


Director Pocono Lake (Pennsylvania) Preserve Nature Center, 1971, 72. Assistant to director Natural History Museum Academy Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 1976-1977, special assistant to president, 1977-1982, acting vice president National History Museum, 1982-1983, fellow, since 1983, curator Art and Artifacts, since 2000, editor science publications, 2001—2003, library, 2003—2007, Senior fellow, since 2003. Technical director Bartram Heritage Study United States Department Interior and Bartram Trail Conference, Atlanta and Montgomery, Alabama, 1977-1978.

Consultant British Broadcasting Corporation, England, 1987-1992. Board directors Longwood Gardens Philadelphia Conservationists, Natural Lands Trust, Philadelphia, Library. Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia City Institute.

Managing editor Frontiers, 1979-1982, editor Proceedings of The Academy of Natural Sciences, 2001-2004. Lecturer in field.


  • Achievements include discovery of a new species of frog, Eleutherodactylus pecki. Research on orthoptera indigenous to the Caribbean, status of invasive African Desert Locust in the West Indies, the Orinoco River and its tributaries, botanical, entomological, ichthyological, herpetological and malacological specimens for the Smithsonian Institution and the Academy of Natural Sciences. Participation in expeditions which discovered several new species of fish in Guyana Shield, Venezuela, discovered several new species of amphibians and insects as well as two new races of birds in Ecuador, investigated the ecological, economic and political impact of instream-flow legislation on the Yellowstone River Basin, current projects include biological and cultural research in Mongolia.



Trustee Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia. Board directors RARE Center Tropical Bird Conservation, Museum Council of Philadelphia. Fellow Royal Geographic Society, Explorers Club (various committees since 1983, Explorers award 1988).

Member Society History of Natural History, Sigma Xi.


Frederick William Gunster Peck

Matilda (McCracken) Peck