Shimek, Bohumil, 1861-1937

Alternative names
Birth 1861-06-25
Death 1937-01-30

Biographical notes:

Shimek lived most of his life in Johnson County, Iowa. He earned a degree in civil engineering and a master's of science from the University of Iowa. His primary interests were zoology and biology. His only recorded bird observations were from his college years. He served as county surveyor (1883-1887) and taught science at Iowa City High School (1884-1888). After two years at the University of Nebraska, Shimek returned to Iowa City to teach at the University of Iowa (1890-1937). An Iowa City elementary school and a state park in Lee County bear Shimek's name.

From the description of Bohumil Shimek ornithological papers, 1879-2007. (Iowa Sate Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 732989233

Bohumil Shimek (1861-1937) studied civil engineering at the State University of Iowa (SUI), where he received a C.E. degree in 1883 and an M.S. degree in 1902. He served as railroad and county surveyor for Johnson County, Iowa, 1883-1885, and taught sciences at Iowa City High School, 1885-1888. From 1888 until 1890, Shimek was an instructor in zoology at the University of Nebraska. From 1890 to 1932, he taught botany at SUI and served as the head of the Department of Botany, 1914-1919. In 1914, Shimek was an exchange professor at Charles University in Prague. Shimek was also Curator of the Herbarium, SUI, 1895-1937; President of the Iowa State Academy of Sciences, 1904-1905; a geologist for the Iowa State Geological Survey, 1908-1929; and Director of the Lakeside Laboratory, Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Shimek's interest in the natural sciences and geology covered many areas, but he was mostly known for his study of loess, loess fossils, and fossil malacology in Iowa and the prairie states. He was the author of the term, NEBRASKAN, which is used to describe the layer underneath the Aftonian interglacial deposits.

Smithsonian Institution Archives Field Book Project: Person : Description : rid_299_pid_EACP296


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  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Birds


  • Geologists
  • Botanists
  • Zoologists
  • Paleontologists


  • Iowa--Johnson County (as recorded)