Eugene Odum was not given to fits of anger, but this time he was furious. It was the fall of 1946. Odum, then a young associate professor in the University of Georgia’s biology department, had taught a course on ecology for several semesters and was passionate about the subject. In a meeting with his colleagues, Odum suggested that his ecology class be required of all new biology majors. His fellow scientists looked at him and laughed. Odum stormed out of the room but was not deterred. That night, he began writing a guiding set of principles that would ultimately serve as the foundation for the discipline’s first textbook.