Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Information compiled by Carol Ann McCormick, Asst. Curator,
Special thanks to Daniel R. Smith,
Dean of Learning Resources & Technology
and Curator of the Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. Library & Museum,
Western Piedmont Community College, Morganton, North Carolina
Scott Harbison, Ruby D. Harbison
Pharr’s son, for photograph
Ruby Deaton Harbison Pharr
Herbarium has catalogued approximately 50 specimens collected by Ruby Deaton Harbison Pharr. Most specimens were collected in Burke
and Ashe Counties, North Carolina, and most were collected under the name
“Ruby D. Harbison.”
Other herbaria that hold Ms. Pharr’s specimens include Appalachian
State University (BOON) and Reedy Creek Park and
Nature Preserve (UNCC).
Deaton Harbison Pharr was born in Montgomery
County, North Carolina, but grew up in Quincy, Florida. Her family moved to Morganton, Burke
County, North Carolina when she was in her teens.1 She graduated with a B.A. from
Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina in
1965, and earned an M.S. from Appalachian State University in Boone, North
Carolina in 1965. She later earned her
Education Specialist in Science from Appalachian State University.
In 1966 she began her teaching career at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton, North Carolina. She taught general biology, environmental
science, botany, anatomy and physiology.1 In 1981 she taught “Ecology of the
Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia” which included a week-long field trip. The course was co-taught by Bob Benner, a
physical education instructor, and included not only “study of the variety
of plant and animal life found in the lakes, prairies, hammocks, swamps and
cypress forests of the swamp,” but also “various camping and canoeing
skills will be learned as the group lives in tents, prepares camp meals,
and canoes thru the Okefenokee wilderness and the adjoining Suwanee River.”2
In 1986 she received the “Excellence in
Teaching Award” from Western Piedmont Community College.
In 1980 Ruby Harbison
authored “Trail Guide to Bluff Mountain Preserve, Ashe County, North
Carolina.” The book was illustrated by Laurie Radford and published by Regulator Press of Durham, North
Carolina. On April 25, 1987 the North Carolina Nature Conservancy recognized her efforts in the protection of Bluff Mountain with the Avery Holman Stewardship Award. When the award was presented, Conservancy
staff noted, “Ruby served as the Chairwoman of the Bluff Mountain Stewardship
Committee since its inception in 1978 until 1986. She is responsible for generating local
support for the Bluff project and for writing and editing the Trail Guide to
Bluff Mountain Nature Preserve, one of the most complete and professional
preserve guides produced by the Conservancy nationwide.”4 Ruby Harbison
Pharr also served on the Bat Cave
Stewardship Committee of the Nature Conservancy in the 1980’s.
Ms. Pharr became Instructor Emerita at Western Piedmont Community College in 1995.
Ms. Pharr is a founder and past
board member of the Foothills
Conservancy of North Carolina. She is the namesake and in 2006 was the
first recipient of the “Ruby Pharr Conservation Volunteer Award” given by the
Foothills Conservancy. “Established in
her honor, the award recognizes a volunteer(s) each year who
embodies Ruby’s outstanding volunteer efforts for the conservancy and her
lifelong devotion to land and water conservation in the Blue Ridge
Winters, Kelly (1988) Teacher gets back to nature. News Herald, Morganton, North Carolina,
issue of 21
(1981) WPCC sets swamp ecology course.
News Herald, Morganton, North Carolina, issue of 9 March 1981.
Pharr Conservation Volunteer of the year Award goes to “Save Chimney Rock”
Leaders. Foothills Conservancy of
North Carolina Newsletter Fall/Winter 2007, page 6. http://www.foothillsconservancy.org/HTMLobj-1424/FCNC_2007_Fall-Winter.pdf
accessed on 21 October 2011.
Nature Conservancy Newsletter, Summer 1987 issue.
Curriculum North Carolina UNC
In Ecology Botanical Garden Biology Department
University of North Carolina
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931
fax: (919) 962-6930
Last Updated: 28 October 2011