Ricketts Family Connection:
Part of Sitka Sound Science Center’s vision is to build on Sitka’s history of science. Sitkan Nancy Ricketts has a very special connection to that history. Born in Paciﬁc Grove, Calif., in 1924 to Ed and Nan Ricketts, Nancy spent her childhood with her family in tidepools and tidal flats on marine specimen collecting trips. Her father, Ed Ricketts, was a marine biologist in Monterey, California.
Nancy Ricketts was especially close to her father and her relationship with him has had a major inﬂuence on her life. Ed Ricketts, with Jack Calvin (who lived in Sitka for many years), authored the seminal textbook on West Coast marine ecology titled Between Paciﬁc Tides. Ed had a marine lab on Cannery Row in Monterey and collaborated with his friend, author John Steinbeck, whose book The Sea of Cortez related the story of their voyage to that area. Ed Ricketts died in an accident in 1948. Over the years Nancy Ricketts has faithfully gathered information on his life and studies while she has built a life for herself here in Sitka as an archivist, museum enthusiast, and an engaged and contributing community member.
This interview with Nancy was put together by Dr. Mike Lannoo whose book Leopold’s Shack and Ricketts’ Lab sparked a friendship with Nancy. It was filmed and edited by Ellen Frankenstein. Rebecca Poulson interviewed Nancy who shares her childhood memories of her father than deepens Ed profile beyond the one dimensional portrait that Steinbeck paints of his friend in the short novelCannery Row. This video allows observers to meet Nancy Ricketts, an extraordinary woman whose unique science influences led her to Sitka, Alaska.
Watch the video here.