Chapman Memorial Scholarship

John Arthur Chapman (1919-1974)
Barbara Jean Chapman (1952-1976)

John Chapman was born and raised in the Philippines.  His parents were missionaries at Silliman University; his mother taught English and his father was an entomologist.  John Chapman's lifetime interest in natural history, and his career as an entomologist were fostered at an early age.  He went to university in the United States and after serving in the American Navy during the Second World War, he completed his doctorate in entomology at the University of California at Berkeley.  He taught at the University of Montana, then moved with his wife and four children to Victoria in 1952, after obtaining a job with the Canadian Forestry Service.  He and the family later became Canadian citizens.

A specialist in insect physiology, he was internationally known in his field.  He pioneered research on use of alternative sex attractants to manipulate bark beetle populations; he was associated with the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science; he was a member of the Biological Council of Canada; and he served as President of the Entomological Society of British Columbia.  During his career he developed close associations with the University of Victoria Biology Department.

He was a kind, gentle man, respected and admired by all who knew him.  A long-time member of the United Nations Association, he was a dedicated worker towards nuclear disarmament and world peace.  He was a natural teacher, who encouraged and inspired many young scientists through his work with the Victoria Natural History Society and as a judge for many years of the National Youth Science Fairs.

A devoted conservationist and outdoorsman, he enjoyed hiking, backpacking and canoeing.  But in 1973 he was stricken with leukemia, and died from this illness at the age of 55.  He passed on his love of nature and wilderness as an enduring legacy to all his children.

His youngest daughter, Barbara, had been a naturalist for several years, first with the British Columbia Parks Branch and then with Parks Canada.  In July 1976, while a naturalist at Glacier National Park near Revelstoke, she was attacked and killed by a mother grizzly with three cubs.  At the tender age of 24, she was already well known as a bright and gifted naturalist with a warm, vivacious personality. Her interpretive programs in British Columbia parks enriched the lives of many, and she served an even greater audience by authoring a book, Gateway to Victoria's Beaches, for the Greater Victoria Environmental Centre. She had intended to continue in a Bachelor of Science program in biology and geography at the University of Victoria in the Fall of 1976, transferring from the University of British Columbia.

The Chapman Memorial Scholarships were established in 1977 by the family of John and Barbara.  In memory of these two well-known conservationists, two scholarships are awarded annually to a student in biology and a student in geography who have respectively completed third year in the Ecology, and Resources and Physical Geography, programs.

Return to Index