Marlboro College

Academics John MacArthur— Physics and Astronomy

A scientist of considerable stature, John taught physics at Marlboro for 40 years before retiring from fulltime teaching in 1988. He now returns each fall to teach courses in such topics as weather and climate and global warming. Through the years John's broad interests have found expression in a wide variety of projects and inventions, and in courses which include all areas of physics, as well as astronomy (the Marlboro observatory bears his name) and mathematical ecology. On two occasions the Sloan Foundation awarded grants to Marlboro because a college so small could boast a physicist so distinguished.

Research Interests

Trained as a solid-state physicist, John is also well-known for his work in astrophysics, energy studies and population biology. In 1956 - 57 he spent a sabbatical at MIT developing a working model of a solar cell. On another sabbatical ten years later, he researched problems of infrared photometry at the Catalina Observatory at the University of Arizona. He has also served as a consultant to several Vermont institutions and industries.

With his late brother Robert MacArthur, the noted ecologist and a 1951 Marlboro graduate, John traveled to Panama to study tropical birds, collaborating in a groundbreaking study of island biogeography. A knowledgeable ornithologist, John continues to lead many early morning birdwatching expeditions.

B.A., University of Toronto, 1945; University of Chicago, 1946 - 1948; Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1953; Marlboro College, 1948 -

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