Prolific ornithologist and mammalogist. In his capacity as naturalist under Joseph Henry, first secretary of the Smithsonian, he provided specimens to Louis Agassiz and Leidy in the 1850's. After succeeding Henry he founded what became the U.S. National Museum (now the NMNH). Baird then built a massive collection by establishing a widespread collecting network across the United States. Baird' widely-used 1857 checklist of North American birds made heavy use of quantitative measurements to define populations, which was influential on Allen's later research. Initiated biological research at Woods Hole. First secretary of the AAAS; founding member of the American Ornithologists' Union.
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