Jeffrey A. Smallwood, Ph.D.
The Smallwood Fountain
Jeff Smallwood taught general biology and directed student labs as an instructor in Life Sciences at Pierce College. He also taught biology of sexually transmitted diseases, where his direct approach in handling this sensitive subject was applauded by students.
Smallwood earned a B.S. degree (cum laude) at University of Wisconsin, Platteville, majoring in zoology with a minor in chemistry; received his master's degree from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in environmental biology (with distinction). He completed his Ph.D. in ecology, behavior and evolution at UCLA doing his research at Southwest Research in Arizona and Rio Grande National Forest in Texas.
He continued doing field research at Canyonlands National Park in Utah and the deserts of Arizona. He was an avid field biologist who was observant, dedicated, watchful, detailed and respected by his peers.
Smallwood's was a faculty lecturer at CSUN in various field of biology (avian ecology, conservation, field ecology, vertebrate, community ecology). At UCLA he taught conservation biology and ecology. He later worked at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles (LMU) as assistant professor lecturing on avian, evolution and ecology, where he especially enjoyed hands-on field trips with students.
Smallwood was known as an energetic and vibrant man who loved his science. He inspired many students who made the commitment to follow careers in biology.
Jeffrey Alan Smallwood died November 24, 2003, from complications of AIDS. He was 47.
The Smallwood Fountain in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Botanic Garden is located near the center of the Pierce College campus. It was privately funded through donations to The Foundation for Pierce College as a permanent sanctuary for students to study, work and socialize in a tranquil environment within the active life of a community college.
Randy Blim, who donated more than $30,000 to Pierce College to build a rock-encircled granite fountain, water pump system, benched seating area and stand of olive trees on campus, said that while Smallwood taught at UCLA, CSUN and College of the Canyons, he felt most at home at Pierce.
The Smallwood Fountain was celebrated at a dedication ceremony in the garden on April 4, 2005. Commissioned by Blim in memory of Smallwood, the fountain was created by Santa Barbara sculptor Bob Stein. The granite for this eight foot monolith comes from southern Utah and weighs approximately two tons. Three bronze doves look out over the garden.
A bronze plaque mounted nearby celebrates Smallwood's life and contributions to Pierce College.
While the sculpture remains, after the water fountain element developed problems a few years ago, it was converted to hold a bog garden at its base, complete with Mosquitofish (Gambusia), which are used in the Western United States to control mosquitoes, reeds, and a beautiful lotus flower that blooms one day a year before it begins to fade.
The resolution to name the Smallwood Fountain was approved by the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees on 4/17/2002.
The college dedicated the fountain at a celebration in the botanical garden on 4/24/2005.
The plaque at the Smallwood Fountain reads:
The Smallwood Fountain stands in this magnificent botanical garden in loving memory of Jeffrey Alan Smallwood Ph.D., 1956-2003. Evolutionary biologist, ornithologist, community ecologist.
An AIDS epidemic victim cut short in his prime, devoted to his science and his stewardship to evolution, passionate about teaching and mentoring, respected all things living, and loved his partner, family & friends with a heart, a smile, and a glow no one will ever forget. He is missed and forever remembered here.
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." Charles Darwin (1809-1882)