The University of North Carolina Herbarium
(NCU) has catalogued to date about 120 vascular plant specimens collected by
Donald Drapalik. Most specimens were collected in
Georgia where he spent most of his academic career. As databasing of
the entire collection continues no doubt more of Drapalik’s
specimens will be found.
Other herbaria that hold specimens collected
by Drapalik include Georgia Southern University
Herbarium (GAS), Florida Natural
History Museum (FLAS), Appalachian State University (BOON), Carnegie Museum
of Natural History Herbarium (CM), College of William & Mary (WILLI),
Indiana University (IND), Kent State University (KE), Louisiana State
University (LSU), Missouri Botanical Garden (MO), Murray State University
(MUR), Tulane University (NO), University of Georgia (GA), University of
South Carolina (USCH), University of South Florida (USF), University of the
South (UOS), Valdosta State University (VSC), and Western Carolina University
Donald J. Drapalik, ca. 2003
Photograph courtesy of Georgia Southern University
Donald Joseph Drapalik earned a
B.A. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1959 and a M.A. in
botany from that same institution in 1962.
He earned a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
in 1970 under the direction of C. Ritchie Bell. The title of Drapalik’s
doctoral thesis was “A biosystematics study of the genus Matelea in the southeastern
Drapalik with a Matelea vine in
Lost Creek Forest, Thomas County, Georgia
October 10, 2010
Photo courtesy of Friends of Lost Creek Forest
Drapalik began his
long association with Georgia Southern University in 1968 as an assistant
professor. He was promoted to associate
professor in 1973, and attained full professor in 2002. He retired from the Department of Biology
at Georgia Southern University on June 30, 2003.1
“Dr. Drapalik helped protect the
forested tract known as the Herty Pines on [Georgia
Southern University] campus, when that tract was being considered as a
football stadium site. With Emeritus
Professor Dr. Frank French, he worked to protect habitat, design trails and
provide interpretive signs for the Herty Nature
Preserve. Dr. Drapalik
has overseen the curation and development of the Georgia Southern Herbarium [GAS], a
wonderful resource and record of regional plant natural history. This collection has approximately 16,000 mounted
specimens, plus several thousand more that will be incorporated after proper
preparation. He is known for his
research program on Elliottia racemosa,
the Georgia plume. Dr. Drapalik has also cared for the departmental
greenhouse. He helped with the early
formation of the Georgia Southern University Botanical Garden and has served
on the Garden Advisory Committee and Board of Directors. His dedication to professional,
departmental, and university service led to departmental and college service
awards. In addition, Dr. Drapalik won a 2001 Georgia Southern University
Excellence in Service Award and the College of Science & Technology
Service Award. He has been active in
professional organizations, particularly the Association of Southeastern
Biologists and Georgia Academy of Sciences.
He was active in undergraduate and graduate student instruction and
mentoring. He served on the committees
of 27 graduate students. His students
will fondly remember him as someone who loved to teach field botany courses.”
Photo courtesy of
Donald Drapalik died at age 80 in
Statesboro, Bulloch County, Georgia on 22 May 2015. His spouse, Joy Drapalik
(1954-2006), is buried next to him in the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church
Drapalik, Donald J. (2000) 2000 Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew
Award Recipient: C. Ritchie Bell. Castanea
Wolfe, Lorne M. and Donald J. Drapalik (1999) Variation in the degree of
andromonoecy in Prunus caroliniana. Castanea
Bennett, Missy Mallard, Donald J. Drapalik and
Frank E. French (1983)
Herty Nature Trail Guide, Georgia
Southern University. Statesboro,
Ga.: Georgia Southern College Museum.
Drapalik, Donald J. (1983) Charles H. Herty Nature Preserve Trail guide for the Wetfoot (Short) Trail.
Statesboro, Ga.: Georgia
Drapalik, Donald J. (1970) A biosystematics study of the
genus Matelea in the southeastern
United States. Chapel Hill,
N.C.: University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, Department of Botany.
Bruce, James G., Donald J. Drapalik and Wayne R.
Faircloth (1974) Lycopodium cernuum in Georgia’s coastal plain. American Fern Journal 64(4): 120-121.
Mohlenbrock, Robert H. and Donald J. Drapalik (1962) The Cyperaceae of Illinois. American Midland Naturalist 67(2): 398-423.
Drapalik, Donald Joseph (1962) The effects of inundation upon
lowland groundcover plants.
Carbondale, Il.: Southern Illinois University, Dept. of
Drapalik, Donald J. and Robert H. Mohlenbrock (1960) The taxonomic status of Eleocharis
elliptica. American Midland Naturalist
Drapalik, Donald J. and Robert H. Mohlenbrock (1960) A study of Eleocharis, series Ovatea.
American Midland Naturalist 64(2):
Drapalik, Donald J. and Robert H. Mohlenbrock (1960) Eleocharis elliptica and E.
compressa: Further notes and
corrections. American Midland
Naturalist 64(2): 501-502.
Mohlenbrock, Robert H. and Donald J. Drapalik (1960) Eleocharis, subseries Palustres, in Illinois. American Midland Naturalist 64(1): 224-228.
1. Georgia Southern
University Department of Biology [newsletter] 2 (1)
2. Find A Grave, database & images
(https://www.findagrave.com: accessed 16 October 2018), memorial page
for Dr. Donald Joseph Drapalik (10 Dec 1934 – 22
May 2015), Find A Grave Memorial no. 67089924, citing Bethlehem Primitive
Baptist Church Cemetery, Statesboro, Bulloch County, Georgia, USA; Maintained
by Kay W. Waters (contributor 46890871).