Rudolf Willem Becking

Rudolf Becking Sketching

Rudolf Willem Becking was a professor of Forestry and Natural Resources at Humboldt State University from 1960-1983. He did extensive research in Northwestern California, including writing a guide to coastal Redwood forest plants and discovering some of the tallest trees in the world at that time.  Rudolf, or "Rudi," was a gifted botanical sketch artist who also drew insects, salmon, and birds.

Becking also participated in political processes in the Northern California region. Highlights include involvement in the establishment and later expansion of Redwood National Park (1960s and 1970s), environmental issues related to the city of Arcata, California and Humboldt Bay in the 1970s and 1980s, and many other regional environmental issues. He continued his scholarly work, botanical sketching, and political agitation regarding environmental issues until his death in 2009.

 For more information about Becking and a complete description of the contents of the Rudolf W. Becking Collection, please visit the finding aid at


Exhibit curated by Christine Emerson