Donald M. Scott Papers

Identifier: 2017-58

Scope and Contents

The collection contains original research, interviews, and correspondence gathered and created primarily by Donald M. Scott about George R. Stewart. Some additional material provided by Stephen S. Williams is also included, as well as sheet music for Earth Abides in an illustrated folder. This music was composed by Grammy-nominated composer Philip Aaberg, who was inspired by George R. Stewart's novel.

Additionally, a small number of materials that document Scott's time working as the NASA aerospace educational representative for Montana, Nevada, Southern California, and Arizona are found in Series 2 of the collection.


  • 1907-2018


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Copies of material held by the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, noted with a copyright stamp, may be viewed by not reproduced by the Special Collections Department. Please contact the Bancroft Library for reproductions.

Biographical Note

A fourth-generation California native with family connections to film, oil, the Founding Fathers, and public lands, Donald M. Scott graduated from San Francisco State University where he earned his Master of Arts degree in Education, Secondary Credential, and Bachelor of Arts in Social Science (History and Political Science) and Public Speaking.

Scott worked as a National Park Service Ranger/Naturalist and teacher in secondary and college-level schools. He was the NASA aerospace educational representative for Montana, Nevada, Southern California, and Arizona, where he worked with astronauts and scientists to develop and deliver educational programs to students and teachers. He later traveled the western United States as a volunteer for various land management agencies, including the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the Public Lands Institute of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is an emeritus member of the board of Directors of the CONTACT Futures organization. Honors include membership in the National Junior College Honor Society, commendations from NASA Education and the National Park Service, listing in Who's Who in America and other Who's Who publications, and selection as Guest Writer at the Wallace Stegner Boyhood Home in Eastend, Saskatchewan, Canada.

At the age of 12, Scott first encountered George R. Stewart (GRS) when a librarian recommended Earth Abides. By the end of that summer, Scott had read all of the GRS books in the Sunnyvale (California) Library. Other books by Stewart, including his 1941 ecological novel Storm, which gave us the practice of naming storms, and his ecological novel Fire inspired Scott to become a Park Ranger and do ranger-like things, such as solo-climb 14,141 feet high Mount Shasta and participate in a 30-day head-down NASA bedrest study for the International Space Station.

During Scott's ranger days, he met Stewart who was a regular visitor to Thornton State Beach, the park in which Scott worked. He came to know the Stewart family well, who opened their family history and photo collection to him. Several family members agreed to be interviewed for Scott's biography of GRS.

Dr. John (Jack) Stewart, son of George and Ted (Theodosia) Stewart, became a good friend. Jack was the USGS "man" for Nevada, who prepared the Nevada geological map and wrote the Nevada Division of Mines book to accompany the map. He helped his father with the research for Fire, so his father honored him by naming one of the creeks in the mythical Ponderosa National Forest in Fire "Jack's Creek." Jack was also the model for Ish's descendent Jack, who receives the Hammer of Ish at the conclusion of Earth Abides. (George and Ted's daughter, Jill Stewart Evenson, received the first copy of Earth Abides inscribed to her; the book is dedicated to Jill.)

Scott's biography of George R. Stewart, The Life and Truth of George R. Stewart: A Literary Biography of the Author of Earth Abides, was published by McFarland in 2012. The well reviewed book was chosen by the Stewart family as the authorized biography of the George R. Stewart by the Stewart family. The well-reviewed book is in the collections of university libraries on five continents.

Scott resides in Carson City, Nevada, where he is working on a second book about Enlightenments, Golden Ages, and Renaissances he has known. He also does volunteer work for the reading-impaired and the Carson City Library. Since Carson City is in Stewart territory, Scott has been able to spread the Stewart message in the area.


2.25 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials



Donald M. Scott is a professor who became fascinated with writer George R. Stewart at the age of 12, eventually meeting him while working as a park ranger at Thornton State Beach, California, a place often frequented by Stewart. Through this connection, he became close to Stewart and, using their family history documents, write a biography of Stewart. The collection contains original research, interviews, and correspondence gathered and created by Donald M. Scott as well as others who are passionate about George R. Stewart. Additional material about Scott's time as a NASA educational representative is also included. Date range 1907-2018, collection created by Aaberg, Philip (Composer, Person).


Arranged in the following series: 1) George R. Stewart Material; 2) NASA State Educational Representative

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Donald M. Scott in August 2017, May 2018, October 2018. Additional material from Stephen S. Williams received in May 2018.


Guide to the Donald M. Scott Papers
Jessica Maddox
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)