Thursday, November 20, 2008

History of UW Horticulture

A Century of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: 1889-1989
By Malcolm N. Dana
Steenbock Library, RBW7 AC 11.5 Ce 333 (4th floor)
  • 1849 -- UW-Madison founded
  • 1883-1885 -- Prof. William Trelease taught horticulture and botany
  • 1885 -- Farm Short Course began; Horticulture participated from beginning
  • 1889 -- Department of Horticulture founded, Prof. Emmett S. Goff hired
  • 1889-1911 -- Located in King Hall; then moved to Horticulture Building
  • 1889-1989 -- 90 faculty over the first century
  • 1903-1917 -- Cranberry Experiment Station, 5 miles west of Port Edwards on Hwy 54
  • 1904 -- Extension education as an assigned responsibility started with appt. of Walter S. Brown
  • 1909 -- Cooperative Extension Service founded; preceded by less formal cooperation and education (ex: with WI Horticultural Society and WI State Cranberry Growers Assn.)
  • 1915 -- Landscape architecture faculty "group" got underway
  • 1916 -- Hancock Ag Research Station, Waushara County - marginally productive "Golden Sands" area with low water-holding capacity, subject to wind erosion and drought; early 1950s started irrigation from subsurface with aluminum pipe
  • 1922 -- Peninsular Agricultural Research Station near Sturgeon Bay - apples, sour cherries, etc.
  • 1934 -- Arboretum dedicated; Prof. Longenecker was its 1st director
  • 1960 -- Acquired 160-acre farm, now connected to Arlington Ag Research Station; previous plots had been on site of Russell Labs, Babcock Hall, Nielsen Stadium, WARF building, and Parking lot 60
  • 1960-1980 -- Built 10 greenhouses on Walnut St., and 9 at Arlington
  • 1963 -- Plant Pathology moved to Russell Labs
  • 1963-1967 -- UW CALS had contract with USAID for on-site faculty assistance at selected institutions outside U.S. - Horticulture faculty worked in Nigeria and Brazil
  • 1964 -- Landscape Architecture founded as separate department, under Prof. Longenecker
  • 1970s -- Added Horticulture Annex at 2105 Herrick Lane
  • 1974 -- Transferred Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station to the Experimental Farms Office
  • mid1970s -- Up until now, offered PhDs only on a joint major basis with other depts.
  • mid1970s -- Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics major founded
  • 1989 -- New "outdoor classroom garden" [Allen Centennial] under construction by "Old President's House"
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P. 7 "At the time of his retirement [Ray H.] Roberts was working with substances extracted from green plants by immersing them in refined oil. Storing the oil and dissolved material in a freezer resulted in small quantities of crystalline material forming in the bottom of the container. Roberts obtained growth regulator effects from his "anthogens," and at one time proposed he had isolated the flowering hormone, florigen. The crystalline substance was supposed to suppress skin cancer formation in mice. Unfortunately, the crude method of extraction apparently resulted in different materials being extracted at different times and perhaps several compounds being mixed. In any event, chemists were never able to identify any specific substance, and thus the work was all lost when Roberts, in failing health, left the department."

P. 19 "Unfortunately, no accurate record of successful advanced degree candidates has been maintained over the years. Before 1950 there were few graduate students, but after 1950 the number of enrolled graduate students has ranged from 30-60 in all semesters with about half being masters degree candidates and half PhD candidates. Over 100 PhDs were granted between 1950 and 1988 and a greater number of masters degrees."

[Cranberry image from UW-Madison Department of Horticulture website]

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