William G. Pearcy joined the faculty of Oregon State University in 1960 as a biological oceanographer in the newly established Oceanography Department. Pearcy's research on Pacific salmon, deep-sea fish biology, squid, and trace metals in the marine food chain resulted in more than 150 scientific papers and the 1992 book, Ocean Ecology of North Pacific Salmonids. Of special note is Pearcy's research on the causes of declining salmon stock. Pearcy retired from Oregon State University in 1990, but maintained an active research program through the 1990s. He received the Oscar Elton Sette Award in 1995 and the Pacific Marine Sciences Organization Wooster Award in 2003. Pearcy earned his BS and MS degrees at Iowa State University and his Ph.D. at Yale University. Bill Pearcy participated in some of the first submersible dives off the Pacific Northwest coast.
The William G. Pearcy Papers consists of a selection of correspondence assembled by Pearcy documenting his research, honors and awards, and interactions with colleagues and collaborators around the world. The correspondence includes manuscript and proposal reviews, letters of recommendation for former students and colleagues, and materials pertaining to the Oregon Coastal Salmon Restoration Initiative (also known as the Oregon Plan).
The collection also includes a photograph of Pearcy with a submersible used for oceanographic research and a certificate documenting his May 28, 1967 dive to 2046 feet in the Deepstar 4000 deep submersion vehicle.
William G. Pearcy Papers (MSS Pearcy), Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.