other scholars to leave their academic legacies for future generations.
Edwardsville, IL (Vocus) December 18, 2009
Aldemaro Romero Jr., who became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences earlier this year at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, recently donated his personal papers to SIUE’s Elijah P. Lovejoy Memorial Library.
The collection contains thousands of scientific journal articles, various writings, photographic slides, audio tapes and source documents—some of which date back to the 16th Century—from the many fields of biology and oceanography. “As a person who has used archives from many libraries in many countries, I know that documentation makes a difference in the nature of the modern library,” Romero said.
The entire collection consists of more than 50,000 items, collected individually over a lifetime of research, spanning some four decades. “As far as I am aware, this is the most comprehensive collection of printed material on cave biology and the largest private collection of marine mammal documentation,” Romero said. The collection also contains Romero’s personal archive of the saga of his journeys from around the world.
Regina McBride, dean of library and information services at SIUE, said, “the collection is a great resource to SIUE students and faculty conducting research in the fields of biology, marine biology, political science and cultural history. The collection is part of what makes Lovejoy Library unique and we are very grateful for Dean Romero’s support.”
Romero said he believes giving his collection to SIUE demonstrates his commitment to SIUE as an excellent academic institution and that he hopes the gesture encourages “other scholars to leave their academic legacies for future generations.”
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Romero earned a bachelor’s in biology (zoology emphasis) at the University of Barcelona, Spain, in 1977. He continued his work as a science writer in both Spain and Venezuela and, in 1981, became a graduate student in biology at the University of Miami, Florida, where he studied evolutionary biology of cave fishes.
Romero went on to work as the Venezuela program director of The Nature Conservancy in Washington, D.C., and in 1986 founded The Venezuelan Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity (BIOMA) with headquarters in Caracas.
He became an associate professor and director of the Environmental Studies Program at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., where he continued his teaching and research in the areas of cave fish behavior and the environmental history of marine mammals.
Since 2003, Romero has been professor of biological sciences and chair of that department at Arkansas State University. While at ASU, He created a host of new courses in the areas of biospeleology, marine mammals, history and philosophy of science, science in the cinema and science communication.
Throughout his career, Romero published more than 560 pieces including numerous books, peer-reviewed publications and monographs on a wide variety of subjects including cave biology, marine mammals, paleontology, environmental studies, and history and philosophy of science. He has produced, written, and, in many cases, directed and hosted about 1,500 radio broadcasts and 50 television shows, including award-winning nature documentaries.
The SIUE College of Arts and Sciences combines foundational education with diverse and highly-specialized coursework. Faculty help students explore diversity of ideas, experiences and people while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of a global society. The College offers 44 degree programs in the arts, humanities and social and natural sciences.
SIUE is a nationally recognized public university offering a broad choice of degrees and programs ranging from career-oriented fields of study to the essential, more traditional, liberal arts. At SIUE we offer 44 baccalaureate degrees, 13 post-baccalaureate certificates, 47 master's degrees, 11 post- master's certificates, two first-professional degrees, and one post-first professional certificate.
SIUE offers the advantages of a small, liberal arts college with the low tuition rates of a state university. Our emphasis on undergraduate education, complemented by faculty research, creates practical applications for student learning. Located in the second most populated area of the state, this Illinois university draws students from all 102 Illinois counties, 42 states and 50 nations.
One of 12 Illinois colleges and universities, SIUE is located on 2,600 acres of rolling hills and woodlands in Edwardsville, just 25 miles from St. Louis, a major metropolitan area. Proximity to the St. Louis area enhances SIUE’s energy and vitality. The campus is easily accessed from several major interstates, while the city of Edwardsville offers ample opportunity for jobs, entertainment, shopping and fun.
Gregory J. Conroy