Sixteen years of commitment and disciplined service to the Oklahoma Academy of Science by Jimmie Pigg were recognized by a Tenure Service Award. Is there a fish in Oklahoma who doesn't know or owe a debt to Jimmie? In rain or shine -summer, winter, spring, and fall - Jimmie may be found somewhere on the bank of a creek or river checking to see how his fish friends are doing. During the summer of 1991 Jimmie spent 45 nights sleeping on the tailgate of his pickup so he could be close to his nets and start at dawn's earliest light.
Jimmie has two causes that drive his life: providing an unlimited opportunity of Oklahoma youth for a future in science, and improving the environmental well-being of Oklahoma's fishes.
Jimmie was born August 28, 1930 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He attended the public schools of Bartlesville and graduated from College High School in 1948. He attended Bartlesville Junior College 1948-49 and graduated from Oklahoma A&M College in 1953 with a B.S. degree in Education, Biology, and Health and Physical Education. His M.S. degree in Natural Sciences was awarded by Oklahoma State University in 1962. Additional university credit was earned at the University of Alabama, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of California, San Diego. The total number of course credit-hours is an impressive 270.
From 1953 until 1987 Jimmie served the public schools of Oklahoma at Greenfield, Durant, Quinton, Pauls Valley, and Moore as coach and athletic director and as science teacher and science coordinator. Since 1974 Jimmie has served as research biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Health during the summers. Now that he has retired from the public schools, he is a full-time senior environmental specialist for the Environmental Services Laboratory of the Oklahoma State Department of Health and is working on biotrends.
His many memberships include: American Fisheries Society, American Institute of Biological Sciences, Southwest Association of Naturalists, America's Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the National and Oklahoma Science Teachers Associations, Oklahoma and Moore Education Associations, Biology and Classroom Teachers Associations, Oklahoma Wildlife Federation, Coalition for Clean Air, the Oklahoma and Central Oklahoma Officials Associations, and the Professional Sanitarian Association. For the Oklahoma Academy of Science Jimmie has been vice chairperson and chairperson of the Science Education, Conservation, and Biological Sciences sections. He has been director of the Oklahoma Junior Academy of Science since 1982.
Jimmie has coauthored 28 publications, with some 18 in This Journal. He has made numerous civic contributions such as services as Civil Defense director of Pauls Valley and Garvin County for 10 years.
High school science students have been inspired by Jimmie Pigg for years. His name is synonymous with that of the Oklahoma Junior Academy of Science, which has provided students with the challenges and opportunities of a career in science. Many a teenager has been stimulated by association with Jimmie.
Awards are not new for Jimmie. He was the first Oklahoman to be given a
Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching - in 1983. He went back to the White House in 1986 where he was honored as teacher of one of the top high school students who won a Presidential Award.
How does he get so much done? He challenges the boundless energy of teenagers so that they appreciate the ease of the classroom after the grueling schedule of field work. Jimmie's work week usually starts at five on Monday morning and lasts until dark-thirty Friday night. His love of science and youth is a worthy challenge for all of us. How about lending us some energy?
Franklin R. Leach
(with anonymous help from OSDH)