Western Libraries is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. James (Jim) Scott, Professor Emeritus of Western’s Department of Geography and a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.
Dr. Scott joined the faculty at Western Washington State College in 1966, and as an historical geographer became a noted and prolific scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. His interdisciplinary interests and expertise were evidenced in his wide range of professional achievements. In addition to his teaching, research and writings, he was chair of the Department of Geography and Regional Planning (1974-1982), and in 1971 established the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies as a regional research institute and manuscript repository. Under Dr. Scott’s leadership, CPNWS grew to operate a successful series of academic publications and conferences, and archived a host of key historical collections that form the foundation of its present-day holdings.
Dr. Scott’s contributions to Western, the community and to regional scholarship were remarkable. He authored, co-wrote and edited a wide variety of publications, including Whatcom County in Maps, Early Industries of Bellingham Bay and Whatcom County (both with Daniel Turbeville III), an Historical Atlas of Washington (with Roland L. DeLorme) and the award-winning Washington: A Centennial Atlas. He served on the Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board, co-founded the Association of Washington Geographers, was active in the Pacific Coast Geographers’ Association, and was also a founding member of the Northwest Archivists Association. Following retirement in 1993, Dr. Scott and his wife Barta resided in Aberdeen for many years, and had recently returned to Whatcom County.
Dr. Jim Scott (right) pictured at Huxley Map Library, circa 1974-1977.
Image courtesy of Western Libraries Special Collections.