Robert G. White founded the Large Animal Research Station in 1979 with a nearly half-million
dollar grant from the National Science Foundation. He rejuvenated the site’s muskoxen
herd and then brought caribou to the station so they could be studied.
White’s contributions range far beyond that accomplishment, though. The UAF professor
emeritus has produced a vast number of publications on the physiology and ecology
of these animals and others.
White grew up in central Australia and earned respective bachelor’s, master’s and
doctoral degrees in agriculture, physiology and nutritional biochemistry. He came
to UAF in 1970 for a year or two of post-doctoral work but never left.
White joined the UAF biology faculty in 1972. He led the Institute of Arctic Biology
twice, most recently for six years prior to his retirement in 1998.
In the broader Fairbanks community, White is probably known as much for his skill
with a bagpipe as his scientific prowess. He learned to play as a teen in rural Australia.
After retiring, White has continued to publish and collaborate with researchers from
around the world, focusing primarily on caribou. He serves on the steering committee
of the CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network, which monitors caribou
herd health around the Northern Hemisphere.
From 2008-2011, White served as the University of Alaska Anchorage’s vice provost
of research and dean of its Graduate School. He continues to live in Anchorage with
his wife, Lura.
More online about Bob White: