A Historical Perspective on Chicago Area Botany
Lersten, Nels R. .
The University of Chicago: Botanical leaders of its first few decades.
The first University of Chicago, under Baptist auspices but non-sectarian, was founded in 1858 in debt, and it eventually drowned in debt in 1886. Little or no Botany was taught. Baptist funds, especially John D. Rockefeller's gifts of millions, largely floated the second University of Chicago in 1892, financially and physically, on wetland acres just west of Jackson Park, where the World's Columbian Exposition was held the same year. The original Biology Department quickly (1894) split into five, of which one was Botany. Botany's highly rated national and international reputation during its first few decades rested largely on the "three Cs" (Charles Joseph Chamberlain, John Merle Coulter, Henry Chandler Cowles). Their separate and collaborative efforts in systematics, anatomy, morphology, ecology, and influencial textbook and journal (Botanical Gazette) publication were preeminent in their time. In a non-academic area, Cowles' studies at the nearby Indiana Dunes were critical to the long but finally successful struggle for its preservation as a State Park, and later as a National Lakeshore. I will briefly highlight the accomplishments of these worthy botanists.
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1 - Iowa State University, Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, 253 Bessey Hall, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
University of Chicago Botany Department
C. J. Chamberlain
J. M. Coulter
H. C. Cowles.
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Williford C/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
Time: 9:15 AM