Charles (Chuck) Carpenter was Curator of Herpetology at OU/Stovall Museum from 1953 to 1987 (34 years). During that time, he collected over 4500 specimens for the museum (from as far away as the Galapagos Islands), supervised 50 graduate students, published over 200 articles, and received 40 grants and awards.
He was internationally known for his research on lizard social interactions, such as head bobs and push-ups, leading the field in reptile behavioral quantification at a time when very few researchers saw the value of studying behavior beyond mammals.
Despite all his travels and well-earned reputation, Chuck always had a soft spot for local Oklahoma research, such as here at Oliver’s Woods. Some of his earliest OU publications were on research data he collected right here, covering topics as varied as box turtle hibernacula, developing new field research methods, and a checklist of local herp species.
written by Jessa Watters, Collection Manager for Herpetology at the Sam Noble Museum, formerly the Stovall Museum