Gustavus Wurdemann, Surveyor, Tide Expert

Gustavus Wurdemann was commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute to perform coastal surveys in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. United States Coastal Survey. 1854-1858


List of Expeditions (Smithsonian and Non-Smithsonian), 1849-1877

He also submitted specimens to the National Anthropological Archives

United States Army Medical Museum Anatomical Section, Records Relating to Specimens Transferred to the Smithsonian Institution

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VOL. XVIII.
SMITHSONIAN
VOL. xviir.
WASHINGTON: PUBLISHED BY THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.

JUDD A DETWEILER, PUINTKUS.
WASHINCTON, D. C.

VI CONTENTS.

Eulogies and Biographical Sketches :

Page,

G. Wurdemann, by A. D. Bache 164

164 BOARD OF REGENTS.

The Secretary brought before the Board the subject of the pay of the assistants; which, after some remarks, was referred to the Secretary and the Executive Committee

Professor Bache made the following remarks:

Mr. Gustavus Wurdemann, in charge of the tidal observations of the Coast Survey
on the Florida reefs and Gulf of Mexico, died at his home in New Jersey on the 80th
of September. His health had been failing for some years, and during the last year
he had discharged his duties with great difficulty, owing to great physical debility.
Mr. Wurdemann entered the survey under my predecessor, and served throughout a
somewhat extended career, with a fidelity and singleness of purpose that has never
been exceeded. Exact truthfulness was the leading trait of his character, and his
observations, even the most minute, were always reliable. It is easily seen that it is
no exaggeration to say that such a man was invaluable in his place, and an example
worthy to be held up as the type of faithfulness. During the discharge of his labo-
rious duties he found time and opportunity to make collections in natural history,
which have been acknowledged by the Smithsonian Institution as among the most
valuable contributions to the knowledge of the fauna of Florida.

On motion of Professor Bache, the following resolution was unanimously adopted :

Resolved That the Eegents of the Smithsonian Institution have learned with regret
the decease of Gustavus Wurdemann, tidal observer in the Coast Survey, whose col-
lections of specimens from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and especially of the
birds of Florida, liberally furnished to the Smithsonian Institution, have proved of
great importance in increasing our knowledge of the natural history of the southern
part of tne United States.

Resolved That this resolution be communicated to the widow of Mr. Wurdemann.

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And another reference to his work at coastal survey:

THE COAST SURVEY 1807-1867

21. In referring to Wurdemann, who made a profession of observing tides, and another Gulf Coast observer, Superintendent Bache remarked: “The observations were made day and night, hourly for a year, with exceedingly rare omissions … with a degree of faithfulness which merits very great praise. The observers were Messrs. Gustavus Wurdemann and R. T. Bassett….” There are numerous references to Gustavus Wurdemann throughout annual reports which remarked upon his faithfulness and attention to detail in accumulating tidal and meteorological data.

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