American Literature of the Sea and Great Lakes

RUDLOE, JACK [J.] (1943- ). Born in New York, Jack Rudloe moved to Florida as a boy and began his self-education as a marine biologist. In 1964 he founded the Gulf Coast Specimen Company of Panacea, Florida, which collects marine specimens for laboratories around the world. A few years later he began writing personal narratives that blend science and philosophy as they explore contemporary problems of marine ecology.

Inspired by an early correspondence with John Steinbeck,* Rudloe’s works combine concrete descriptions of the coastal environment’s ecological diversity with philosophical speculations on life and death, coastal development, and the struggle between the human desire for knowledge and nature’s need to exist untouched. His first books, The Sea Brings Forth (1968) and The Erotic Ocean (1971), focus on specimen collecting. The Living Dock at Panacea (1977), a more autobiographical work, describes a year in the life of the dock in front of his home on Dickerson Bay. The Time of the Turtle (1978) traces the life cycle of the sea turtle, and The Wilderness Coast (1988) describes numerous forays after rare sea creatures. Rudloe has contributed articles to such naturalist periodicals as Audubon, National Geographic, and Natural History, many of them coauthored with his wife, Ann Rudloe.

Dennis Berthold