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Abstract Detail


Historical Section

Jernegan, Marissa [1], Coutant, Nancy [1], Coons, Janice [2].

Botany at Eastern Illinois University.

Eastern Illinois University was established in 1899, and from its beginning recognized the importance of the botanical sciences. Two terms of botany were required for the four year program. Otis W. Caldwell, a botanist, was one of the original faculty members. He taught all of the biology courses and initiated the acquisition of a greenhouse. Caldwell was the first of a series of talented and dedicated botany professors including Edgar N. Transeau, Ernest L. Stover, Hiram F. Thut and John E. Ebinger. These and many other professors incorporated a field component into almost all classes. This dedication to the study of plants in their natural habitat led to one of the finest programs in the nation for training field botanists. By 1923, a formal Botany Department was established and in the late 1960ís EIU began awarding a M.S. in Botany. At this time, over 40 different undergraduate and graduate courses were offered with 95% having a lab component. The excellence of the program was recognized in Illinois where organizations such as the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Natural History Survey relied on graduates from the EIU Botany Department for their field botanists. In 1992, the American Phytopathological Society recognized the department for its contribution to plant pathology. Between 1913 and 1993, six hundred and nine students graduated with degrees in Botany, and 121 continued to receive their doctorates in botanical fields. Although numbers of botany majors rose during early to mid 1990ís, an administrative decision was made in 1998 to combine the Botany Department with the Zoology Department into a Biological Sciences Department. Since the merger, the B.S. in Botany was eliminated. Unfortunately, the elimination of this Botany Department is an example of past national trends to eliminate Botany Departments even with exceptional reputations.


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1 - Eastern Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences, 600 Lincoln Ave, Charleston, Illinois, 61920-3099, USA
2 - Eastern Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences, 600 Linclon Ave, Charleston, Illinois, 61920-3099, USA

Keywords:
History of botany
Eastern Illinois University.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PHS003
Abstract ID:862


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