Dale W. Rice was a born naturalist. He was that kid (many of us are) who studied birds and insects from a young age. He was born on January 21, 1930, in Grand Haven, Michigan, and attended public schools in Springfield, Illinois; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Indianapolis, Indiana.
He published his first paper at the age of 16 when he was still in high school:
Rice, D. W. (1946). Notes on the birds of Marion County. Indiana Audubon Society Yearbook, 24, 40-41.
He knew his path from a young age. This is his bio sketch in his high school yearbook:
RICE, DALE WARREN. Biology: Club. Zoology assistant. Indiana Audubon Society. Majors: English, science. Hobby: ornithology. Vocation: zoologist. Indiana University
Dale received his Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in June 1952 and began graduate studies in Biology at the University of Florida in February 1953.
His Master's thesis from the University of Florida was his first major life history and ecology paper:
Rice, D. W. (1955). Life history and ecology of Myotis austroriparius (Master's thesis). University of Florida, Gainesville. 74 pp.
After graduation, Dale's first job as a professional research biologist was for the Denver Wildlife Research Laboratory, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. He was assigned to study and mitigate interactions between albatrosses and naval aircraft on Midway Island. Dale worked closely with noted ornithologist Chandler Robbins and was part of the team that banded "Wisdom, The Albatross" in December 1956. Wisdom is the oldest known albatross; she hatched her most recent chick in February 2017.
During his time on Midway, Dale (along with Karl Kenyon) produced three landmark papers on albatross:
Kenyon, K. W., & Rice, D. W. (1958). Homing of Laysan albatrosses. Condor, 60, 36.
Rice, D. W., & Kenyon, K. W. (1962). Breeding cycles and behavior of Laysan and black-footed albatrosses. Auk, 79, 517-567.
Rice, D. W., &...