History of the Division of
Biological Sciences


130 Years
and Counting . . .


by Carl W. Prophet
Emeritus Professor of Biology
Emporia State University


It has been my good fortune to experience an association with Emporia State as a student and faculty member that spanned a period of forty-five years. This has always been a good college/university and will continue to be so by imaginative and dedicated efforts of future faculty and administrations. I was aware of the excellent reputation of Kansas State Teachers College as a teacher training institution before I first set foot on the campus as a student, but I soon noted two things that distinguished E State from other colleges I had previously attended. First, the faculty were friendly and seemed to take that extra step to help students when questions and problems arose, but most of all I was struck by the number of outstanding scholars and legends in the faculty whose reputations far exceeded local and state boundaries. How was it possible for KSTC to attract and retain such giants as John Breukelman, Oscar Peterson, Karl Bruder, Minnie Miller, Winston Cram, Fran Welch and many others, unless it was truly an outstanding college? These "old" giants have long since been replaced by others, and soon their places in history will be taken by others who become a part of the Emporia State family in the future. It should become evident as you read this history that many of my colleagues in the Division of Biological Sciences during the past forty years surely deserve a similar recognition because of their positive influence on students. For example, who better served as models and mentors to biology majors during their careers than Ted Andrews, Gil Leisman, Robert Clarke, Helen McElree, Robert Boles and Dwight Spencer?

I have attempted to compile here the important events and highlights that took place in the Division of Biological Sciences since 1960. Much of the information presented was gleaned from minutes of biology staff meetings, faculty memos, institute director's final reports, and scrapbooks of news releases that are currently housed in the Biology Office. Many of these records will soon be transferred to the ESU Archives. I apologize for all omissions; none was deliberate but rather resulted from my faulty memory or because I found no record of that person or event. Numerical data such as budgets, grants, numbers of degrees and numbers of majors and students were based on annual reports and statistical summaries prepared by the Registrar and Office of Research and Grants, annual reports to the Dean, divisional newsletters, 1993 Alumni Directory, and college catalogs. Information on Distinguished Alumni and Service Citation awards was provided by the Alumni Office. I wish to thank Gaylen Neufeld, Robert Clarke, Tom Eddy, and Dwight Spencer for reading darfts of the manuscript and for their many suggestions. All interpretations and opinions expressed in this document are mine, for which I bear full responsibility.

Carl W. Prophet
Emeritus Professor of Biology
May 15, 1998

That Was Then, This Is Now

On February 14, 1998, Dr. Kay K. Schallenkamp was inaugurated as the fourteenth president of Emporia State University. This celebration was significant for two reasons. Dr. Schallenkamp is the first woman in Kansas to serve as president of one of the state universities, and the inauguration occurred, almost to the day, on the 135th anniversary of the founding of the institution that later became Emporia State University.

The 1998-1999 academic year will constitute the 133rd year of instruction on the ESU campus. It is unknown if a course of a biological nature were actually taught during the first year of instruction (1865), but the 1868 catalog of the Kansas State Normal School listed anatomy and physiology, botany, and zoology among the courses offered. If one assumes that one or more of these courses were taught during the 1865 school year, then the 1998 fall semester at least will be the 130th anniversary for biology at Emporia State University.

The First 100 Years

"Bill No. 150
An act to establish locate and endow a State Normal School. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:

Section 1. That there be and is hereby established and permanently located at the town of Emporia in Lyon County a State Normal school the exclusive purpose of which shall be the instruction of persons, both male and female, in the art of teaching, and inall the various branches that pertain to a good common school education, and in the mechanic arts, and in the art of husbandry and agricultural chemistry, and in the fundamental laws of the United States, and in what regards the rights and duties of citizens; ..."

On January 30, 1863, State Representative C. V. Eskridge of Emporia introduced Bill 150 in the Kansas House of Representatives. As stated above in Section 1 of this bill, its purpose was to establish a State Normal School at Emporia. Bill 150 was approved by the House on February 27, 1863. Governor Thomas Carney signed the bill the day following its passage by the Senate on March 2, 1863. Instruction at the Kansas State Normal School began in the fall of 1865, and the first class graduated in 1867. From this rather humble beginning, Emporia State University evolved. In 1923 the name was changed to Kansas State Teachers College, and during the next 50 years it earned national recognition as one of the premier teacher training institutions in the United States. Although it continued to be a national leader in teacher education, the institution began a reorganization in 1974 to reflect the multi-purpose nature of the college and diversity of academic programs that developed during the two decades following the World War II- Korean War Era. In 1974 the name was changed to Emporia Kansas State College, and the transition was completed in 1977 when the name was changed to Emporia State University.

In 1963, as part of the centennial celebration for the Kansas State Teachers College, Dr. John Breukelman compiled A History of The Department of Biology at Kansas State Teachers College in which he described the founding of Kansas State Normal School and the eventual organization of a biology department and provided a summary of the major events that took place in biology at Kansas State Teachers College during the first 100 years of its existence. A copy of Breukelman's history is available for reading in the ESU Special Collections and Archives located in room 119 of the William Allen White Library.

The purpose of this current report is to update the history of biology at ESU by recording some of the events that occurred during the last nearly four decades that had a significant impact on the students, faculty, and academic programs of the Division of Biological Sciences. The information presented identifies the major challenges and/or trends that confronted the division during each of the last four decades and describes some of the major achievements of its faculty and students as well as changes in programs and faculty.

The Sixties, A Golden Era

That Emporia State University would be the first of the Kansas universities to be headed by a woman does not surprise anyone well acquainted with its history and traditions for being a pace setter among colleges and universities. It earned that distinction through the years because of the many accomplishments of its faculty and students in a number of academic fields. Although this report will focus on the achievements of and challenges faced by the Division of Biological Sciences since 1960, three events occurred during the 1950s that need to be recognized which had a significant and long term impact on biology at ESU.

Dr. John E. King became the eleventh President of the Kansas State Teachers College in 1953. President King was a strong supporter of biology throughout his tenure. He believed in the importance of the liberal arts and sciences in the training of teachers, and thus agreed with the philosophy of Dr. John Breukelman, "To prepare good teachers you've got to first prepare them intellectually." The support of John King was essential to the growth and development of programs in biology and other academic departments in the arts and sciences that occurred during the 1960s. The second event happened during the 1957 summer session when Biology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics cooperatively conducted a Summer Institute for Science Teachers which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation. This was the first NSF Institute awarded to a Kansas college or university. The third event occurred one year later when John Breukelman, after serving as department head for 29 years, requested that he be reassigned to devote full time to teaching and science education. He was replaced as department head by Dr. Ted F. Andrews. Under the dynamic leadership of Ted Andrews, the Department of Biology at Kansas State Teachers College began an period of unprecedented growth and productivity that extended into the next decade.

KSTC Biology and National Science Foundation Institutes

Few government programs aimed at improving public education in the United States can claim more success or greater positive outcomes than the National Science Foundation institute programs for science teachers of the late 1950s and 1960s. These institutes were designed to improve the teaching of science and mathematics in the public schools and to attract interest in careers in science, mathematics and engineering. The first of eleven consecutive NSF Summer Institutes for Science Teachers was conducted at KSTC in 1957, "to help the secondary science teacher improve his preparation, to hear specialists evaluate new developments in science teaching techniques, and to acquire ideas on how to interest able high school students in careers in science". Approximately 150 high school science teachers, of which 78 were biologists, participated in the first three summer institutes. The biology participants in the 1959 summer institute were primarily responsible for organizing the Kansas Association of Biology Teachers, which held its first meeting on the KSTC campus in October of that year. Since its founding, KABT has continued to function, and it serves as a strong voice for its membership of more than 100 Kansas biology teachers in matters affecting biological education at the national and state levels.

By the end of the third summer institute, the quality of the KSTC program had gained national recognition and attracted applications from throughout the United States. Because an increasing number of institute participants desired an opportunity to earn a masters degree, the 1960 KSTC program began evolving into a sequential institute in which a participant making satisfactory progress returned during the following two summers to complete a planned course of study culminating in a masters degree. Under this format approximately 40 or more biology majors were added to the graduate program each summer for the next eight years. The last session of the NSF Summer Sequential Science Institute at KSTC was conducted in 1968.

The Summer Institute for Science Teachers was not the only NSF sponsored program to operate on campus in which biology was involved. Between 1961-1968 the department received NSF grants each year for a Summer Research Participation Program for High School Teachers. In this program 5-8 biology teachers were selected each summer to conduct research in various disciplines. Each participant worked under the direct supervision of an individual professor. By the middle of the decade summer institutes in science for elementary teachers were also being conducted by the Department of Biology, and in-service institutes for elementary and high school science teachers were offered on weekends during the academic year.

Biology accomplished yet another first in 1962 when NSF awarded a grant of $207,800 for an Academic Year Institute. This was the first AYI grant made to a Teachers College and one of only four institutes approved, out of 50 grants awarded, that focused solely on biology. The AYI format, established by NSF in 1956-1957, was "directed towards broadening teachers' scientific knowledge and increasing their capacity to motivate students to consider careers in science, mathematics and engineering. They emphasize instruction in the subject matter of science and mathematics rather than methods of teaching them". At KSTC thirty participants were selected each year to engage in a full course of graduate study and research for the academic year with an opportunity to receive partial support during the following summer, if necessary, to complete requirements for the masters degree. The success of this program was immediately evident as 22 of the first 30 participants completed masters degrees by August, 1964, and five of these people then entered doctoral programs at other universities. Of the approximately 180 men and women who participated in the AYI program at KSTC, twenty later received the Ph.D. and began teaching in either two or four year colleges.

The success of the Sequential Summer Institutes and the Academic Year Institutes at KSTC exceeded expectations. Not only were science teachers returned to the classrooms who were more fully educated in the principles and process of science but these intense programs demonstrated that highly motivated students could complete a masters degree with a research experience within a three summer or twelve month period when allowed to devote full attention to their graduate studies. It is difficult to obtain an accurate count of the total number of high school biology teachers who participated in the Summer Institutes and the Academic Year Institutes at KSTC because some of the individuals participated in both types of programs, and once the sequential summer program began, participants returned over three or more summers or until the masters degree was completed, whichever came first. It is estimated that a minimum of 400 biology teachers were served by these programs at KSTC, and between the 1960 fall semester and the end of the 1970 summer session there were 282 masters and 11 Ed.S. degrees awarded in biology. The majority of these degrees were awarded to institute participants. This was a remarkable record, considering that only 30 master degrees in biology were awarded previously between 1930-1958, and it still stands as the biology record for the most graduate degrees awarded during a single decade.

The Department of Biology was awarded approximately $3,000,000 by NSF between 1959-1969 to conduct the science institutes described in the preceding paragraphs. As many as six different institutes and programs were operated during a single year. An additional $100,000 in grants for undergraduate scientific equipment was awarded to the Department of Biology by NSF during this time. There has not since been another period in its history that biology at ESU has had a greater pool of financial resources and more state-of-art laboratory equipment available to conduct its programs.

In addition to the positive contributions of the NSF institutes to the improvement of science teaching in the public schools, there were also direct benefits to the faculty and other students in biology at KSTC. Faculty were challenged to improve their teaching techniques and update course content to meet the demands of the institute participants who did not choose to sacrifice their time only to experience courses that contributed little to their knowledge of science. Many other students, both graduate and undergraduate, were also caught up in the excitement generated by the enthusiasm of the institute participants and by the opportunity to meet and interact with some of the top biologists in the nation who were brought to the campus to share their expertise with faculty and students.

It is beyond the scope of this report to list each of the visiting biological scientists who contributed so much to the intellectual atmosphere of the NSF Institutes. Although each one is deserving of recognition, only a few are mentioned here to demonstrate that many of the important biologists of the time were committed to improving the teaching of science in the nation's public and private schools. Who could ever forget conversations with and listening to lectures by Dr. George W. Beadle, Nobel Laureate, of California Institute of Technology; Dr. Frank Brown Jr. of Northwestern University and pioneer in biological rhythms; Dr. Peter Raven, botanist from Stanford University; Dr. George M. Sutton of University of Oklahoma and an internationally famous ornithologist and painter; Dr. Claude E. Zobell, Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Dr. Robert Pennak, limnologist, University of Colorado; Dr. Paul Hurd, science education, Stanford University, Dr. Richard Boolotian, marine invertebrate zoologist from UCLA; Dr. Charles Carpenter, University of Oklahoma ecologist and pioneer in stop-motion analysis of lizard display behavior, Dr. Billie Turner, botanist, University of Texas; and Dr. Marshall Wheeler, geneticist, University of Texas.

Growth in Students and Faculty in The Department of Biology

The decade of the sixties was also characterized as a period of growth in terms of the number of biology majors and in the number of faculty members in the Department of Biology. There was an average of 326 undergraduate biology majors per year and a total of 329 bachelor degrees awarded to biology majors during this decade. Also during this period, the number of graduate majors in biology averaged 66 students per academic year and 107 students per summer. Between 1960-1965 the number of biology faculty increased from 13 to 23 members, of whom 18 held a Ph.D. This number represented the all time high for the number of biology faculty. Of the new members joining the faculty during this period, Drs. Boles, Clarke, Keeling, McElree, Prophet, Ransom, Rowe, and Spencer each continued to serve KSTC until their retirements, some 25 or more years in the future. The sixties also marked the decade in which two long-time faculty members retired. Clarence F. Gladfelter (Gladdy) retired in 1967 after 32 years of service, and John W. Breukelman, widely known and respected biologist and science education specialist, retired in 1968 after 39 years of service.

Faculty became increasingly successful in receiving external research grants during this decade. In 1960, only three faculty members had active research grants which provided about $17,000 per year for research, but research grant money steadily increased over the next several years, primarily through the efforts of Helen McElree, David Parmelee, and Gilbert Leisman. It reach a peak during the 1965-66 academic year when eight faculty members were awarded research grants which totaled approximately $77,000; by the end of the 1960s biology faculty had received more than $417,000 in research grants. Federal and state agencies funding these grants were: National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, Kansas Heart Association, and Kansas Fish and Game Commission.

Faculty and Student Awards and Recognition

Faculty were also busy during this period gaining national and international recognition for the Department of Biology. John Breukelman was a lecturer on BSCS curriculum materials in the Netherlands during 1964-1965, and during August, 1966, he taught the same program at Escuela Normal Superior in San Salvador. These experiences led to a Fulbright Fellowship in Colombia during which time he assisted the Colombian government in modernizing biology as it was taught to secondary students. In 1967, Breukelman received a Master Teacher Award from the KSTC Division of Education. Carl Prophet was invited to present a paper at the International Association of Scientific Hydrology Symposium on Lakes and Reservoirs at Lake Garda, Italy, in 1966; and during that same year Ted Surdy was an invited participant in an international symposium in France on lysitic activity in microorganisms. David Parmelee and Richard Schmidt conducted research and collected bird specimens from the Arctic for the KSTC museum. Several faculty members took leaves-of-absence during this period to complete doctoral degrees: Harold Durst at Oregon State University in 1967, Tom Eddy at Kansas State University in 1965-1967, John Ransom at Oklahoma State University in 1965-1967, and Dwight Spencer 1966-1967. Helen McElree was elected as the first President of the new Faculty Senate in 1968. She is the only ESU faculty member ever to be elected as Faculty President twice. In 1965, John Breukelman became only the tenth person ever to be elected as an honorary member of the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT)," for outstanding contributions in biology and biological science education", and the Kansas Wildlife Federation Conservation Education Award was bestowed on David Parmelee in 1966 and on KSTC taxidermist Richard Schmidt in 1968.

Several former students were also honored with awards during this decade. Stan Roth (BSE 1957, MS 1959) was named the 1966 NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher for Kansas, and Paul Willis ((EdS 1962) received this honor in 1969. Thus, two of the first eight high school biology teachers who received this award during the sixties earned at least one college degree from KSTC. Another three of these eight people, Gerald Tague, John Ransom, and Sherman Nystrom, were participants in the early Summer Institute programs but did not hold degrees from KSTC. John Ransom received this award in 1963 and became a member of the biology faculty in 1964. In 1962, biology graduate student Jack Woodhead was awarded a NSF Fellowship to work on a masters degree. During this time the department gained widespread national and regional recognition for encouraging many of its students to attend and to present research papers at the annual meetings of The American Institute of Biological Sciences, The Southwestern Association of Naturalists, Midwest Microbiology Society, and the Kansas Academy of Science. Ted Andrews was the driving force behind this activity and always encouraged other faculty to take students with them when attending a meeting. Although it was not unusual for doctoral students to participate in national professional meeting, undergraduates and masters students were rarely present. Faculty from other institutions often expressed amazement that our students were excited to attend these meetings and that some were even on the program. Within a few years, more and more faculty from other colleges and universities across the land began bringing students to these meetings.

Changes in Leadership

Dr. Ralph Frazier was named acting Head of the Department of Biology in 1964 while Ted Andrews was on leave to be Associate Director of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies (BSCS) at the University of Colorado. In the end, Ted Andrews did not return to KSTC. In 1966, he became the Associate Director of CUEBS (Commission on Undergraduate Education in the Biological Sciences) in Washington, D.C., and in 1967 he was named the Director of Science Educational Research Council of Greater Cleveland. John King resigned as president of KSTC in 1966 to become the president at the University of Wyoming, and one year later, Dr. John E. Visser was selected as the twelfth president of the Kansas State Teachers College.

Ralph Frazier resigned as Head of the Department of Biology at the end of the 1967 spring semester to accept a similar position in Minnesota, and John Breukelman agreed to serve as interim chair for the following year while a national search for a new chair was conducted. Dr. Edwin Kurtz, formerly a biology professor at the University of Arizona, was selected as the new chair, effective July 1, 1968.

A New Building for Biology

Not only was the period 1967-1968 characterized by changes in the leadership of the college and department, but it was also a time when biology moved from the old Norton Science Hall on 12th Avenue to a newly constructed wing of the science building on Merchant Street. Unfortunately, the new wing was not designed to house all of biology and it did not provide state-of-art teaching laboratories with room for future growth; initially only the general biology classes plus the microbiology, botany and genetics courses were to be housed there. The remainder of the department was to stay in Norton Science Hall until a third floor was added to the new wing at some future date. However, midway during the construction of the new wing, the Board of Regents ordered the razing of Norton Science Hall. Needless to say, the cramming of the entire department into a facility that was designed to house half as much presented major problems to many of the on-going programs in biology. A third floor was never built, and more than thirty years passed before the university administration began to address some of these problems.

Thus, as the decade of the sixties drew to a close, the face of biology was showing change in facilities, leadership, composition of the faculty, programs and financial support. Although Biology continued to obtain support from NSF to conduct in-service institutes for teachers, the Sequential Summer Institute and Academic Year Institute programs had run their courses by the end of the 1967-1968 academic year, and faculty positions that were made possible by the NSF money were becoming vulnerable. Open faculty positions created by retirements and resignations were not being filled. Faced with inadequate laboratory space and equipment to handle the increased student enrollment in the general education biology course, Dr. Robert Clarke reorganized General Biology as an audio-tutorial offering. So far as can be ascertained, this was the first attempt by any of the state's colleges and universities to use this technique for teaching a science course. No one envisioned the consequences of events that were about to happen. The golden times were coming to an end.

The Seventies, The Boom Ends

For every high tide, there follows a low tide; for every boom, there's a bust. If the decade of the sixties qualifies as a period of boom and will, for years to come, represent the high tide mark for biology at KSTC, then the seventies qualify as a period of bust because trends that developed during this decade continued to exert a negative impact on biology at KSTC for the next 20 years.

As this decade began, the attention of the higher administrative officials of the college was focused on growth in the student population and on the need to recognize the changing role of KSTC in the state regent's educational system. Total student enrollment at KSTC, which had been increasing steadily since 1953, began hovering around the 7000-7100 mark between 1967-1971. Total enrollment for KSTC was 7112 for the 1971 fall semester and that was the last time it topped 7000 students. Earlier, President Visser had mentioned the possibility of capping enrollment if the student population continued to follow the growth trend established during the previous decade. Capping would not become a necessity.

Steps were initiated around the start of the decade by President Visser to seek university status for KSTC. The proposed plan of reorganization was finally approved by the Board of Regents, and in 1974 the name was changed from KSTC to Emporia Kansas State College, and then to Emporia State University in 1977. The university was organized into five colleges and schools, with biology assigned to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). Dr. John Peterson was the first Dean of the college. He came to KSTC from the University of Missouri in 1971 as Professor of Biology and Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and continued serving as Dean for the next 12 years.

Unexpected Crash in Enrollment

As the 1972 fall semester began, it was evident that talk of capping enrollment had been premature. Enrollment was down approximately 600 students from the previous fall semester and it would continue to decline during the next six years. The 1978 fall semester enrollment of 5850 (4902 FTE or full-time equivalents) was the lowest figure for any year since 1964 and reflected a decrease of about 18 % from the maximum enrollment of 7150 recorded during fall 1969. This rather sudden crash in enrollment was the unanticipated consequence resulting from a combination of concurrently occurring events. The entrance of Wichita University into the state university system significantly reduced the number of students from Wichita and Sedgwick County who elected to attend Emporia State. There had been an uncoordinated proliferation of community colleges across the state due to recent legislation that provided support to maintain the existing, struggling junior colleges in some areas and to establish new community colleges in other areas. For KSTC, the proliferation of community colleges resulted in a greater proportion of the declining number of Kansas high school graduates electing to stay closer to home for their first year or two of college. The negative impacts of these events on enrollments was perhaps more severe on KSTC than on the other state colleges because it is the least regional of any of its sister institutions in Wichita, Pittsburg, and Fort Hays, and it is located near KSU and KU. To further complicate matters, the number of students enrolling at KSTC not only decreased but the proportion of part-time to full-time students during this period greatly increased. Prior to 1971, part-time students accounted for 13 % or less of the total headcount. By 1975 this proportion had increased to 21 % and by 1975 to 31 %. Because the budget of each state university is based on its FTE, the resulting drop in FTE had a devastating effect on the budget and consequently on academic programs at KSTC. The college was faced with the rather sudden loss of approximately 70 faculty and numerous staff positions. Although most of these lost positions were covered over time by openings resulting from retirements and resignations, faculty morale throughout the campus was at an all time low, and a tremenduous amount of faculty time and effort was expended seeking ways to maintain academic programs in light of reduced budgets and fewer faculty. The Department of Biology did not escape the fallout from this disaster.

State of Biology during the Seventies

In 1968, the biology faculty requested that President Visser seek the approval of the Kansas Board of Regents to name the Biology Building in honor of John Breukelman for his many years of service to Kansas State Teachers College. On Nov. 7, 1970, the name of the building was officially changed to Breukelman Hall.

In spite of the decrease in total college headcount, the number of graduate and undergraduate majors in biology remained relatively stable throughout this decade, and in terms of the number of majors and masters degrees awarded, biology was the leading department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. There were about 300 undergraduate majors in the Department of Biology in 1970, and the faculty consisted of 19 full-time professors and one part-time member, all of whom held the Ph.D. The number of graduate students averaged 56 during the academic year and 76 during the summer. During the years 1970-1979, a total of 139 masters degrees and 520 baccalaureate degrees were awarded in biology. During most years of this decade more degrees were awarded in biology than in any other department or division in LAS.

Baccalaureate degrees offered by the department were the Bachelor of Science in Education and the Bachelor of Arts. Biology courses required for these degrees were organized in a common core of 12 semester hours plus additional required and elective courses for specific preprofessional programs or special interests of the students. The four core courses were Principles of Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biology of Organisms, and Biology of Populations, which had been planned and adopted before the department moved into Breukelman Hall. Before long, the Biology of Organisms course was replaced by three separate courses, Biology Plants, Biology of Animals, and Microbiology; and Biology of Populations was replaced by Ecology. There were about forty other undergraduate and graduate courses in department curriculum that were taught on a more-or-less regular basis at this time. Prior to 1975, the majority of biology majors not seeking teacher certification elected the B.A. program, but after a new Bachelor of Science Degree was approved in 1974 only four more B.A. degrees were awarded in biology during the rest of this decade. Biology was reorganized as the Division of Biological Sciences at this time and biology majors in the B.S. plan were given an option to select a concentration in either general biology, botany, environmental biology, microbial and cellular biology, or zoology. The major consisted of 42 semester hours which included a common core of 18-20 hours with the remainder in an area of concentration. Core courses for the B.S. were Principles of Biology, Ecology, Genetics, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and one of the following three: Biology of Plants, Biology of Animals, or Microbiology

Because available technical and financial resources could not adequately repair and replace the special tape recorders and movie projectors used in the audio-tutorial based general biology course, Dr. Kurtz reorganized the general education biology course into an individualized, competency based format. Before resigning in 1972, Ed Kurtz gained a national reputation as an expert consultant in the design of individualized competency based curricula. Dr. Robert Clarke succeeded Ed Kurtz as Head of Biology in July, 1972, and served in that role for the next six years.

Awards and Recognition of Faculty, Alumni, and Students

Taxidermist Richard Schmidt retired in 1974, and the ESU Museum of Natural History was renamed the Richard Schmidt Museum of Natural History in recognition of his service to the division. Carl Prophet served as President of the Faculty of the Kansas State Teachers College for 1970-1971, and was the recipient of the 1971 Xi Phi Outstanding Faculty Award.

Dr. Kay Smalley received the Xi Phi Outstanding Faculty Award in 1974. Four of the ten biology teachers who were selected as NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher for Kansas during the seventies were ESU alumni. Frank Nelson (BSE 1957, MS 1962) was selected as the 1972 winner; H. Dean Jernigan (BSE 1963, MS 1964) was selected in 1974; Kermit J. Daum (MS 1964) was the OBT for 1975; and Ken Bingman (MS 1962) was chosen for this honor in 1978. Dr. Ann King Reynolds (BSE 1958) was selected as one of the 1972 Distinguished Alumni and was the first biologist to be so honored. Biology Club and Beta Beta Beta members conducted several fund raising projects to purchase Reading Woods for use as a natural study area by biology students and classes. Perhaps the most successful of these projects was the Wild Game Dinner that at the apex of its popularity attracted hundreds of local patrons and visitors. Health and other state regulations ultimately forced an end to these dinners. Throughout the 1970s, biology faculty members served as officers of the Kansas Academy of Science, The Southwest Association of Naturalists, Missouri Valley Branch of the American Society of Microbiologists, Botanical Society of America, and National Association of Biology Teachers.

Special Courses and Institutes

Biology was one of the first academic units on campus, outside of Data Processing in the School of Business, to offer courses for its majors in computer and microcomputer applications. Carl Prophet, with the assistance of Dr. Lloyd Edwards of the ESU Computer Center, taught classes in FORTRAN and BASIC languages and developed a class which used computer models to simulate biological processes. Numerous special field classes were taught during this decade. Robert Boles, Dwight Spencer, and Robert Parenti taught field biology during the summers of 1970-1972 to students in some of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) classes in the Wind River Wilderness, Wyoming. NOLS, a privately operated organization, conducted 35 day walking expeditions through the mountains of this area, some of which also offered participants an opportunity to earn college credit while camping and hiking. These classes included Emporia State students as well as other college and pre-college level students who enrolled for credit in biology. Spencer and Parenti also taught a two week mountain ecology course in New Mexico during the 1975 summer during which time the students camped and hiked as they studied the ecology of the area.

Other special field courses were also taught during the period between the end of the spring semester and the start of the summer session. These special classes included a prairie ecology course in Oklahoma in 1971 which was taught by Spencer, Prophet, and Ransom; a desert ecology course in New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico in 1973, taught by Prophet, Spencer and Eddy; and a tropical marine biology course in San Salvador, Bahamas, in 1978, taught by Clarke and Prophet.

Although total support received during the seventies from NSF to conduct institutes was only one tenth of the total received during the 1960s, several new programs were offered. These programs included a Summer Institute in Environmental Biology and Human Ecology for Secondary Teachers (1970-1974) and an In-Service Institute in Science and Math (1970-1973) directed by Harold Durst, Implementation Projects for High School and Elementary Science (1974) directed by John Ransom and Bernadette Menhusen, Cooperative College School Science Program (1970-1973) directed by Bernadette Menhusen, and a Summer Institute for Pre-College Students in Computers and Ecology (1972) directed by Carl Prophet.

External Research Grants

Unlike the previous decade, the seventies was a period of hard times for faculty seeking research funds from off-campus sources. In all, the faculty was awarded $187,355 for research during the seventies, which was less than 50% of the total awarded to biology faculty during the sixties. About $23,000 of the total research money received came from ESU Faculty Research and Creativity Committee grants. Although 13 different faculty were awarded research grants, only five were successful in obtaining external funding. Ed Rowe was awarded research grants from NIH to conduct anatomical and physiological studies of nerve ganglia, and Prophet and Ransom received contracts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct biological inventories for the Whitewater River Basin, the El Dorado Reservoir site and the proposed Cedar Creek Reservoir site. They were assisted in these projects by Tom Eddy, Dwight Spencer, James Wilson, Robert Boles, Robert Parenti, and Robert Clarke. In addition to these contracts, Prophet received funding from the Kansas Fish and Game Commission (KFGC) to study zooplankton, photosynthesis patterns, and nutrient loading in Kansas lakes and ponds; KFGC also awarded research funds to Dwight Spencer for radiotelemetry studies of the population dynamics of coyotes and cottontail rabbits. In addition, Helen McElree received funding from the Kansas Lung Association and the Research Corporation to continue her research on macrophages.

As the seventies drew to an end, the composition of the faculty and organization of the undergraduate program in biology were changed from what they had been in 1970. Dr. John Ransom assumed the leadership of the division in 1978. Resignations and retirements and the subsequent loss of some of the open positions plus the reassignment in 1974 of Dr. Harold Durst from biology to Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies reduced the biology faculty to sixteen full-time members. At the end of the 1980 spring semester, Dr. Robert Boles retired after 20 years of service.

The Eighties, Bottom of the Barrel

As the new decade began, the Division of Biological Sciences continued its struggle to prevent erosion of the quality of its academic programs caused by loss of faculty positions and a continual reduction in budgetary support from the university. By faculty sacrifice and stubbornness in the face of these obstacles, biology escaped the negative effects of the enrollment crashes during the seventies with most of its programs in place. Under the capable leadership of Robert Clarke and John Ransom, the division maintained its reputation as one of the top two or three academic units in the university and continued to attract its share of excellent majors. Then, just as it appeared that it was turning the corner towards recovery, the division was unexpectedly threatened with the loss of its masters degree and graduate program.

Program Reviews by State Board of Regents

In 1984, ESU was alerted that certain parties within the Kansas Board of Regents and its staff were proposing that all master degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences be discontinued. The college immediately began preparations to defend its graduate programs. Although masters degrees in a few departments were discontinued as an outcome of this review, the Master of Science major in biology was among those graduate programs in LAS that the Regents directed were to be retained. The Regents were especially impressed to learn that ESU had awarded more M.S. degrees in biology during the previous five years than any other state university, other than the University of Kansas, and that most of these graduates remained in this state after completing the degree.

Soon after the review of the LAS graduate programs the Board of Regents announced that each degree program on each campus of the state university system would be subjected to periodic reviews; and in 1986 degree programs in the Division of Biological Sciences were subjected to an intense review. Information compiled for this review revealed that the operating budget for the Division of Biological Sciences had been reduced by approximately 25% since 1982, that the teaching staff consisted of 15 full-time faculty and six graduate teaching assistants, that during the preceding five year period there was an average of 234 undergraduate and 32 graduate majors per year in biology and a total of 142 baccalaureate and 48 master degrees in biology were awarded. To prepare for the Regent's review, the university hired Dr. Arnold Grobman, Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Dr. Donald Dean, Professor Emeritus of Baldwin-Wallace College as external evaluators of the biology programs. In their separate reports to the ESU Academic Vice President, each reviewer acknowledged the national reputation of the biology teacher education program and judged the other biology programs comparable to similar programs at other quality institutions. Each consultant expressed concern about lack of state-of-art equipment in the teaching laboratories and recommended that the university increase its budgetary support of the division. Upon conclusion of its review process the Kansas State Board of Regents labeled the biology programs at ESU as exemplary and recommended that the university provide greater support to the division. The Dean committed $90,000 to biology to be distributed over a five year period for purchase of laboratory equipment. Biology was allowed to borrow money from a special state fund and pay it back over the five year period. This approach avoided the loss of purchasing power during the five year period and enabled the division to obtain most of the needed equipment during the first year rather than buying a little bit at a time. Because suppliers often discounted the cost of items when orders were submitted as packages of several items, it was estimated that the division gained the equivalent of another $10,000 of equipment. At last it appeared the Division of Biological Sciences was turning the corner on the road to recovery.

Something Special

Faculty, students, and the Emporia community were treated by two special events that were co-sponsored by the Division of Biological Sciences. On April 17, 1984, nationally known environmental activist, Dr. Barry Commoner, presented a public lecture as part of Earth Day activities. Barry Commoner, well known lecturer and Professor of Biology at Queens College in Flushing, New York, is the author of numerous books and articles concerning environmental problems. In his address he described the major global and national problems confronting us and drew attention to recent technological advancements that offered possible solutions to these problems.

The 1985 annual meeting of the Kansas Academy of Science was held on the ESU campus April 1-5. Dr. Robert Ballard of the Deep Submergence Laboratory at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute was the plenary speaker and he also presented a public lecture on April 4 at which he discussed the expedition to find the wreck of the Titanic. During the public lecture Dr. Ballard treated the audience with a sneak preview of some of the first photographs taken of the sunken ship.

Faculty, Alumni and Student Awards and Recognition

The Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor Award was established in 1979 to recognize and reward academic excellence. It is the highest honor given to ESU faculty by the university. During this decade two biology professors received this award, Dr. Helen McElree in 1982 and Dr. Carl Prophet in 1988. Several other faculty members also received special awards during this decade. Dr. John Parrish was the recipient of the 1985 Xi Phi Outstanding Faculty Award and Dr. Robert Clarke was honored with the 1982 Governor's Award as Conservationist of the Year for his contributions to nongame biology and for his efforts to gain legislative approval for the Chickadee Tax Checkoff. He also was named the 1989 Robert Packard Outstanding Educator by the Southwestern Association of Naturalists. Dr. Gilbert Leisman received a national award for his contributions in paleobotanical research by the Botanical Society of America at the 1986 AIBS meeting in Amherst, Massachusetts; and retired biology taxidermist, Richard Schmidt, received the 1982 Coloman Jonas Memorial Award in Taxidermy. Richard was the third person to receive this award and only the second recipient from the United States. Two emeritus faculty members were recipients of University Service Citation awards: C.F. Gladfelter in 1981 and John Breukelman in 1982.

During the 1980s, biology faculty continued to be active participants in numerous state, regional and national professional organizations. Biology faculty supplied one president for the Missouri Valley Branch of the American Society of Microbiologists and two presidents for the Kansas Academy of Science. Other members served on the Board of Directors for NABT and Kansas Junior Academy of Science, Secretary of the Kansas Academy of Science, as Editors for KABT and the Kansas Wildflower Society, and as Awards Chair for the North American Benthological Society.

Not to be outdone by the faculty, several biology students and alumni also received special recognition. Arlo Hermreck (BA 1961), Ted Andrews (BA 1940), John Sarracino (BSE 1930), Claire Schelske (BA 1955, MS 1956) and Panayiotis Zavos (BA 1970, MS 1972, EdS 1976) were named as ESU Distinguished Alumni during this decade. Robert Chatham (BSE 1957, MS 1962) was the recipient of the 1987 University Service Citation award. Student Carson Cox was awarded the 1986 Kansas Wildlife Federation Scholarship and Brian Viets received the 1984-1985 ESU Outstanding Senior Award. John Downing was the 1984 KABT Outstanding Student Teacher in Kansas. Five of the eight Kansas biology teachers who received the NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher Award during the 1980s were alumni of ESU. George Creighton (MS 1966) was selected as the 1985 NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher for Kansas, and Barry Schartz (MS 1975) was one of two Kansas teachers selected in 1985 to compete nationally to become the first teacher and citizen to fly on the space shuttle; he was the NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher for Kansas in 1984. Other ESU alumni selected as NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher for Kansas were George Ratzlaff (BSE 1958, MS 1959), 1980; Myron Schwinn BSE 1960, MS 1964), 1987; and Clark Schartz (MS 1967), 1988. Stan Roth (BSE 1957, MS 1959) of Lawrence High School was an invited participant in a six weeks cruise in the Antarctic Ocean during 1984 to study krill with the San Diego Natural History Museum and Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Too numerous to name here, biology students were elected to Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, elected as ESU Ambassadors, graduated with university honors, and had papers published in Best of Emporia State.

External Grants

John Ransom was awarded a grant of $31,000 from NSF to conduct a developmental program in Environmental Science for elementary school teachers during the 1980-1981 school year. Robert Clarke, Tom Eddy, Gaylen Neufeld from Biology and Tom Bridge from Earth Science assisted Ransom. This was the last institute for secondary or elementary teachers operated by biology.

External funds to support research and graduate students continued to be difficult to attract. Biology faculty were awarded a total of $208,851 for research during the 1980s but approximately half of that total was derived from ESU Faculty Research and Creativity Committee grants. Most of the money from off-campus sources was provided by the Soil Conservation Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in grants to Carl Prophet, John Ransom, and Robert Clarke for studies on threatened and endangered species in selected watersheds in east central Kansas and for an assessment of pesticide and heavy metal concentrations in fishes of Fall River and Elk City lakes. Finally. Kay Smalley and Gaylen Neufeld were awarded capitol equipment grants from NSF and Wolf Creek Nuclear Facility, respectively.

Faculty and Programs

Dr. Gaylen Neufeld was appointed Chair, Division of Biological Sciences in August 1984 after John Ransom stepped down and returned to full-time teaching. Several long-term faculty members retired during this decade: Robert Clarke at the end of the 1990 spring semester, Gil Leisman in 1989, and Dwight Spencer in 1989. Combined, these three professors had served biology for a total of 95 years. Biology also lost two other faculty members to medical disability during this time: Drs. Michael LeFever and James Wilson. By the mid 1980s the number of full time faculty in biology had fallen to 15 members and the outlook for the future of biology appeared dim unless the division would be allowed at least to fill future open positions. In 1986, the division was given permission to hire two new faculty members. Dr. Dwight Moore joined the faculty as geneticist and Dr. J. Richard Schrock was hired to direct the teacher education program in biology. Then in 1989, Drs. David Edds, Laurie Robbins, and Elmer Finck were hired to fill the openings created by the retirements of Clarke, Leisman, Peterson and Spencer. Thus, as the eighties came to an end, there had been an infusion of youth into the faculty yet the number of full time faculty members was only 14 individuals.

There were 289 biology majors in 1980-81, plus 20 other students whose second major was biology. Within two years, the number of majors being advised in the division dipped to 241 as the newly established Student Advising Center (SAC) began operating; thereafter, all freshman and undeclared students were advised in SAC, and the number of undergraduate majors in biology averaged 225 per year the rest of the decade. There was an average of 30 graduate students per year, of which approximately half was part-time. During the period 1980-1989, 353 baccalaureate degrees and 89 masters degrees were awarded in biology.

The Biology Sequential Summer Masters Program was initiated in 1986. This summer program was designed by the Biology Graduate Committee under the leadership of committee chair, Dr. Kay Smalley, to enable in-service biology teachers to earn a Master of Science Degree by completing a sequence of special courses and research over the course of four to five summers and totaling 35 hrs. in biology. Students accepted into this program enrolled in two classes each summer. After completing the sequence of classes, each student designed and conducted a research project under the supervision of one of the faculty. The final step in the program was a public presentation of the project results and submission of the research paper. When this program began, ESU was the only Kansas university at which a teacher could earn a masters degree during the summer only, but now it is possible to earn a masters in biology during the summer at Fort Hays State University.

Robert Clarke became the third editor of the Kansas School Naturalist in 1980. Because of declining financial support from the university, in 1983 Clarke asked the faculty to consider if it were advisable to discontinue the publication of the KSN on its 30 th anniversary. The decision was to continue publication and seek other sources of financial aid. In 1983 the KSN was mailed to 1050 addresses, and its total postage and production cost for the four issues was $4600.

The Nineties, A New Era Dawning?

Although the whole university as well as biology will always be subjected to external controls and demands for greater accountability, the present decade has exhibited signs that the division may be standing on the threshold of new opportunity. Biology enjoys the strong and active support of the present Dean of CLAS, Dr. Lendley Black, whose imaginative and creative leadership found ways to increase the biology budget after a decade of decreases and who assisted the division in gaining university support to modernize the microbiology laboratories and upgrade laboratory equipment. This sort of support was sorely lacking during much of the previous two decades as the university budget was subjected to severe cuts due to the declining and vacillating student population. Academic programs in CLAS were especially hard hit during the eighties as the university gave priority to expanding and developing the Teachers College, School of Business, and the School of Library and Information Management as it sought to reemphasize its role in teacher education in the regent's system and to redefine its mission as a state university. With too little money available to support all programs at adequate levels, it was inevitable that some programs would be discontinued or allowed to erode, if these new long-term goals were to be reached. Whether the long-range plans of the eighties and early nineties were "right" and will prove to have been best for the future of the university will probably not become clear for another decade or more.

New Degree Proposal Fails

The division attempted to establish another first for Kansas by establishing an interdisciplinary degree in Environmental Science. In 1990, Dr. Rodney Sobieski assisted by Anne Scheve (Mayo), Lyon County Environmentalist, and faculty representatives from biology, business, chemistry, geology and geography submitted a proposal for a new degree to COCAO (Council of Academic Officers) which was aimed at preparing individuals for careers as environmental scientists in industry and governmental agencies. The degree was planned to utilize courses that were already being taught on campus, with the exception of a proposed course in environmental law. The degree, if approved, also would not require the addition of new faculty or equipment. The planning committee clearly demonstrated the proposed degree would not duplicate a degree program already in place on another campus and that there was a need for the proposed program in Kansas. Objections to the proposed degree were raised by Wichita State University and the University of Kansas. After two attempts to respond to the objections that had been raised and the realization that the proposal was not being vigorously pushed by the ESU Vice President for Academic Affairs in COCAO, the division withdrew the proposal. Ironically, within two years degree programs in environmental science for KU and WSU were submitted to COCAO and approved.

Medical Technology Degree Discontinued

The Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology was selected as one of the ESU programs to be eliminated in response to a system-wide review of degrees and programs by the Board of Regents in 1993. Students already in the program were allowed to receive the degree upon completing all requirements, but no new students were accepted after 1993. Although the degree did not service large numbers of biology majors, its elimination served no practical purpose to either the division or the university because it did not result in the elimination of a single biology course or faculty position because each course required for this degree was also required for one or more of the other degrees in biology.

Alumni, Faculty and Student Recognition and Awards

Members of the biology family at ESU, as in previous decades, garnered numerous accolades for their professionalism, leadership and scholarship. Although some individuals deserving mention may have been overlooked, the following examples represent the diversity of their accomplishments and demonstrate, that regardless of the criticisms that may be directed at the division, there are many reasons the university should be proud of the biology faculty, students and alumni.

In 1994, Dr. Gaylen Neufeld became the third member of the biology faculty to be elected President of the ESU Faculty, and in 1995 he was the recipient of the Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor Award, the third biologist to receive this award since its inception. Four other faculty members were recipients of the Xi Phi Outstanding Faculty Award during this decade. Dr. Dwight Moore received this honor in 1991, Dr. Richard Keeling in 1995, Dr. Elmer Finck in 1996, and Dr. David Saunders in 1998. In 1995, Dr. David Edds was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study the ecology of Himalayan fishes. These awards and honors demonstrate that the current biology faculty is providing the same levels of leadership and professionalism exhibited by those who came before them. Emeritus professor of biology Robert Clarke was honored as Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Kansas Wildlife Federation in recognition of his former service as editor of the Kansas School Naturalist and for his weekly illustrations "Something Wild" which appeared in many Kansas newspapers during the 1980s. Emeritus professors Robert Boles and Carl Prophet were honored as recipients of the University Service Citation award during this decade. Boles received this award in 1990 and Prophet in 1996.

Dwight Moore, Laurie Robbins and Kay Smalley played significant roles in the highly successful annual Conference on Careers in Science and Mathematics for Women. Dwight Moore was one of the originators of the first conference at ESU held in 1990. The conference targets middle school and junior high school age females to encourage them to consider careers in science, mathematics or engineering.

Biology students and alumni also earned the respect of peers and supporters for the numerous awards and honors bestowed on them. Dr. Al Lossinsky (M.S. 1974) received an Alumni Achievement Award from Kansas Wesleyan University. Dr. Brian Viets (BA 1986) was awarded the 1995 Prouty Faculty Teaching Award at Nebraska Wesleyan; Theresa Spradling (BS 1988) earned the 1995 Shadle Award for excellence in research by a graduate student from the American Society of Mammalogists. Dr. Stan Gehrt (MS 1988) received the 1994 Wildlife Society Award for best student paper, and Kenny Whitehead (BS 1977) was named the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger of the Year in the Tulsa District. Also in 1995, graduate student David Ganey was awarded the Boylan Scholar Award. Four biologists were selected as ESU Distinguished Alumni during the nineties. Jack Carter (BSE 1953, MS 1954) was selected in 1990, and Glen Andrews (BSE 1971, MS 1973) and Robert Clarke (BSE 1955, MS 1957) were recipients in 1991. Dr. Marc Johnson (BA 1970) Dean of the College of Agriculture at KSU was so honored in 1995.

In 1995, the Shepherd ESU Scholar Awards were established which provide up to ten $1000 scholarships for the senior year of ESU students with outstanding academic records. Recipients are selected by the Cross Distinguished Professors. Biology major Linda Rice was selected as one of the 1998 Shepherd Scholars; thus, of the first 40 Shepherd scholarships to be awarded, eight have gone to biology majors. Biology major Alisa Rapp was named the 1998 ESU Outstanding Senior. The awards received by Linda and Alisa demonstrate that the current pool of biology majors, as was true of previous years, includes some of the university's most outstanding students.

Ann (Durham) Jacobs (B.S. 1991) was the first biology major and only the second ESU student ever to be awarded a Goldwater Scholarship. In 1995, biology major, Shalmica Williams, became the first ESU student to be awarded a United Negro College Fund/Merck Fellowship. These national, competitive awards go to outstanding undergraduates in the sciences and engineering who plan to enter graduate programs and go on to careers in science.

Kansas School Naturalist

Richard Schrock assumed the job of editor for the Kansas School Naturalist in 1990, replacing Robert Clarke who retired. This publication was created by John Breukelman in 1954, and 1998 marks the 44th year of publication. Breukelman served as its first editor, followed by Robert Boles and then Robert Clarke. In its original form, each volume consisted of four issues each printed in a sixteen page format. In 1983 the future of the KSN was hanging by a thread and it appeared in danger of being discontinued, but somehow Clarke continued to win sufficient financial support to keep it going on a year to year basis. Although sufficient budgetary support has continued to be a problem, the Naturalist has managed to survive. Richard Schrock has done a magnificent job in increasing the quality and visibility of the Naturalist. The maillist has grown from 1050 in 1983 to about 8200 in 1998. There is little hope that the university can increase support in the near future, and progress has been slow in efforts to build an endowment for the Naturalist, but with great imagination and energy Schrock has obtained off-campus grants from EPA, KDWP, and various trusts and organizations to pay for the publication of single issues. Of necessity, the number of issues for some volumes had to be reduced. The Naturalist is the last surviving free, single-topic "how-to" and natural history booklet published in the United States. It received the 1997 Kansas Wildlife Federation Communicator of the Year Award and the "Backyard Birds" issue was awarded first place in the 4-color process magazine category for the IN-PRINT 97 competition. Several authorities have authored issues pertaining to their areas of expertise and now other experts are requesting an opportunity to write for the Naturalist because they recognize that it plays an important role in transmitting correct science to the general public.

Natural Areas

By the beginning of the nineties, the Division of Biological Science controlled four natural areas that were used for class field trips and for student and faculty research. The 200 acre F.B. and Rena G. Ross Natural History Reservation, about 14 miles northwest of the university, provides a variety of habitats including native prairie, woodland, ponds and stream. The 44 acre Coughlen Natural Area in the Flint Hills, nine miles southwest of the campus, provides tallgrass prairie, woodland, spring, stream, and pond habitats for study. Two woodland sites, Reading Woods and Howe Woods, are located about 14 miles northeast of Emporia. Reading Woods represents a segment of the eastern deciduous forest biome, while Howe Woods is a typical mix of native riparian trees.

Research conducted at Ross Natural History Reservation by faculty and students has resulted in at least six publications in scientific journals and more than twenty masters theses by graduate students. In addition, hundreds of students have employed the reservation as the site of class projects and independent research projects. The division also allows public schools, civic groups, other universities and colleges, and individuals to use the reservation for class field studies, nature tours, and research.

A Change in Biology Leadership

Carl Prophet, who succeeded Gaylen Neufeld as Chair in 1990, retired from the faculty in June, 1996. Gaylen Neufeld was called upon to serve as interim chair during the following year while a search was conducted for a new chair. Dr. Marshall Sundberg was selected as the new chair, effective July, 1997. Formerly, Dr. Sundberg was a member of the biology faculty at Louisiana State University. In October, 1997, he received the NABT Four Year College Teaching Award.

Changing of the Guard

Faculty retiring between 1990-1998 were: Richard Keeling at the end of the 1996 spring semester, Helen McElree and John Peterson in 1991, and Ed Rowe in 1992; and Kay Smalley began phased retirement in 1996. Rod Sobieski left full-time teaching duties in the division in 1995 to become the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. New appointments to the faculty during this time were: Drs. Billie Johnson, Scott Crupper, David Saunders, Diana Barshaw, and Lynnette Sievert. The 1998 biology faculty consisted of 14 full-time professors plus four part-time people. Of the 19 professors who comprised the 1970 biology faculty, only Tom Eddy and Gaylen Neufeld remain as full-time members of the faculty. By the end of this decade there will have almost been a complete turnover in faculty with the majority of its members having served ten years or less. Thus, a new era for biology is beginning.

Numbers of Majors and Degrees Awarded

Although the record for the 1990s is still incomplete, the Division of Biological Sciences appears to be maintaining the trends established in the preceding decades. A total of 289 baccalaureate degrees and 58 masters degrees were awarded in biology during the first six years of the decade, and if the present pace continues degree production for the nineties will be similar to that of the eighties.

Special Field Courses

Reminiscent of the sixties and early seventies, interested students were provided an opportunity to study and experience tropical and marine environments by enrolling in two special classes offered by biology faculty. During the summers of 1992 and 1993, Laurie Robbins led a week long field trip on the Amazon and Napo rivers in Peru to observe and study tropical biology. Since 1991, David Edds and Dwight Moore have taught a two weeks class in marine biology on San Salvador, Bahamas, over Christmas and the between semesters period on an alternating year basis.

Research Grants

In terms of total dollars awarded to biology faculty for research purposes through spring 1998, the nineties only rank behind the 1960s. So far in this decade biology faculty have received $416,198 in research grants compared to $418,000 during the sixties. About one of every four of these research dollars came from ESU Faculty Research and Creativity Committee awards. The sources of the external grants were KDWP/ US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey/National Biological Survey, NASA EPSCoR, Western Resources, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, HydroGeoLogic, Inc., and Potawatomi Tribe. Also, on the positive side, eleven different faculty were awarded one or more grants during this period; but on the negative side, over 90% of the external research funds were awarded to just three faculty members, David Edds, David Saunders, and Elmer Finck. It is obvious that since its origin, the Faculty Research and Creativity Committee has made a significant contribution to biology faculty research, especially in providing young faculty assistance in getting their research underway.


Over the past nearly four decades the faculty and students in the Division of Biological Sciences have earned the right to feel proud of their contributions to the university. They have provided leadership within the campus community, and their professional and academic accomplishments have drawn regional and national attention to the division and to the university and established standards for other academic units on campus. Although current degree programs can undoubtedly be improved, through hard work and numerous sacrifices the faculty did manage to maintain a degree of stability in the biology programs during times that were very difficult for the whole university. Lesser individuals might have chosen an easier course of action and let what may happen; just teach one's classes and go home. To a person, the faculty has always attempted to make decisions that would provide students the strongest and best quality programs possible in light of available resources and facilities. At times, these decisions have been counter to the wishes of administrative officials and brought criticisms of the biology faculty being obstructionists and unwilling to work harder. Neither criticism is justified. Change for the sake of change accomplishes little of lasting value, and the sacrifice of quality merely to show a gain in the number of bodies in the end cheats the students and cheats Kansas. If the productivity and achievements of the biology faculty and students over the next forty years rival that of the past four decades, then the future of the university is, indeed, bright.

Chronology of Biology Chairs

Henry B. Norton, 1868; Instructor Natural Science and English Literature

Dorman S. Kelly, 1885-1897; Chair, Department of Natural History

Lyman C. Wooster, 1897-1928; Chair, Department of Biology and Geology

John W. Breukelman, 1929-1958; Head, Department of Biology

Theodore F. Andrews, 1959-1964; Head, Department of Biology

Ralph P. Frazier, 1964-1967; Head, Department of Biology

John W. Breukelman, 1967-1968; Interim Head, Department of Biology

Edwin Kurtz, 1968-1972; Head Department of Biology

Robert F. Clarke, 1972-1978; Chair, Division of Biological Sciences

John D. Ransom, 1978-1984; Chair, Division of Biological Sciences

Gaylen Neufeld, 1984-1990; Chair, Division of Biological Sciences

Carl W. Prophet, 1990-1996; Chair, Division of Biological Sciences

Gaylen Neufeld, 1996-1997; Interim Chair, Division of Biological Sciences

Marshall Sundberg, 1997- ; Chair, Division of Biological Sciences


George I. Adams, 1892-1894; Natural History.

Frank U. G. Agrelius, M.S. University of Kansas, 1911-1956; Botany, Nature Study, Plant Physiology, Bacteriology.

Donald Ahshapanek, Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, 1962-1971; Plant Morphology and Physiology, Plant Ecology.

Theodore F. Andrews, Ph.D. Ohio State University, 1948-1968; Zoology, Limnology, Ecology.

Diana E. Barshaw, Ph.D. Boston University, 1997- ; Invertebrate Zoology.

E. T. Bartholemew, 1910-1912; Physiology.

Paul Basch, Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1959-1962; Comparative Anatomy, Embryology, Invertebrate Zoology.

Robert J. Boles, Ph.D. Oklahoma State University, 1960-1980; Aquatic Biology, Natural History, General Biology, Fisheries Biology.

John W. Breukelman, Ph.D. State University of Iowa, 1929-1968; Zoology, Genetics, Field Biology, Modern Developments in Biology, Current Literature in Biology.

Merle E. Brooks, Ph.D. University of Colorado, 1947-1959; Botany, Bacteriology, Anatomy and Physiology.

Jack Carter, Ph.D. State University of Iowa, 1962-1966; Coordinator of Institutes, Botany.

Robert F. Clarke, Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, 1956-1990; Zoology, Natural History of Vertebrates, General Biology, Animal Behavior.

Alonzo M. Collette, 1891-1893; Zoology.

Charlotte Elva Crary, B.S. Kansas State Normal School, 1895-1914; Botany, Zoology, Plant Morphology.

Scott Crupper, Ph.D. Kansas State University, 1997- ;Microbiology

S.C. Delap, B.S. Millerville State Normal School, Pennsylvania, 1875-1877, 1878-1879; Physiology and Hygiene, Botany, Zoology, Entomology.

Richard Dickerman, Ph.D. University of Texas, 1962-1965; Genetics.

R.B. Dilworth, A. M., M.S. Princeton University, 1870-1873(?); Natural Science.

Thomas H. Dinsmore, (?) York College, 1885-1897; Physiology.

Harold Durst, Ph.D. Oregon State University, 1963-1986; Secondary Teaching; Dean, School of Graduate & Professional Studies.

David R. Edds, Ph.D. Oklahoma State University, 1989- ; General Biology, Fisheries Biology, Aquatic Biology.

Thomas A. Eddy, Ph.D. Kansas State University, 1960- ; Entomology, Wildlife Management, Conservation, General Biology, Botany, Plant Taxonomy.

Elmer J. Finck, Ph.D. Kansas State University, 1989- ; Wildlife Management, Mammalogy, Natural History of Vertebrates, Conservation Biology.

Ralph P. Frazier, Ph.D. University of Illinois, 1960-1967; General Biology, Biology Teaching.

Chad Gatlin, B.S. Northeast Missouri State University, 1995-1997; General Biology.

Bobby L. Gilbert, M.S. Boston University, 1981-1983; Occupational Therapy.

Clarence F. Gladfelter, M.S. Kansas State University, 1935-1967; Agriculture, Wildlife Management, Conservation, Historical Geology.

Dale Greiner, M.S. Kansas State Teachers College, 1965-1967; General Biology.

Scott D. Hagen, M.S. Kansas State Teachers College, 1965; General Biology.

Robert Hanson, M.S. Kansas State Teachers College, 1947-1948; Zoology.

Emily L. Hartman, Ph.D. University of Kansas, 1958-1960; Botany, Microbiology.

Yen Kuang Ho, Ph.D. University of California, 1981-1985; Genetics.

Gilbert Hughes, Ph.D. Florida State University, 1961-1962; Microbiology, Mycology.

R. Scott Irwin, Ph.D. University of Texas, 1981-1984; Director of Science Education, Dual Appointment Biology and College of Education.

Billie L. Johnson, Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, 1995- ; Microbiology, Immunology.

Richard P. Keeling, Ph.D. Purdue University, 1963-1997; Mycology, Molecular and Cellular Biology.

William H. Keller. (?) 1908-1912; Museum, Physiology.

Dorman S. Kelly, (?), 1885-1897; Organized Department of Natural History, 1885; Botany, Physiology and Hygiene, Zoology.

Edwin B. Kurtz, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 1968-1972; Plant Physiology, Science Education.

Michael LeFever, Ph.D. University of Texas, 1965-1980; Genetics.

Gilbert A. Leisman, Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 1955-1989; Botany, Ecology(?),Paleobotany.

James F. Lovell, Ph.D. Kansas State University, 1986-1988; Dean, Graduate Studies, Research, & Continuing Education, Ecology.

Judy D. Marsh, Ph.D. Mississippi State University, 1992-1994(?); Microbiology, Immunology.

James M. Mayo, Ph.D. University of Washington, 1981- ; Grasses, Range Management, Ecology, Soil Science, Plant Physiology.

Helen McElree, Ph.D. University of Kansas, 1961-1991; Bacteriology, Immunology, Cell Biology.

Bernadette Menhusen, Ph.D. University of Kansas, 1964-1974; Field and Lab Biology, Phycology, Botany.

Loren W. Mentzer, Ph.D. University of Nebraska, 1946-1947; General Biology, Botany.

Dwight Moore, Ph.D. University of New Mexico; 1986- ; Genetics, Natural History of Vertebrates, Research Design and Analysis.

Gaylen Neufeld, Ph.D. University of Texas, 1967- ; Cell Biology, General Biology, Physiology.

H. B. Norton, A.M. Illinois State Normal University, 1868-1870;1873-1875; Anatomy and Physiology, Botany, Zoology.

Joseph D. Novak, Ph.D. University of Minnesota; 1956-1958; Botany, Science Education.

Robert Parenti, Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, 1966-1980; Botany, Plant Physiology, Biology of Organisms.

David Parmelee, Ph.D. University of Oklahoma; 1958-1970; Vertebrate Zoology, Ornithology.

John W. Parrish, Ph.D. Bowling Green State University, 1976-1988; Field and Lab Biology, Physiology, Science Education.

John E. Peterson, Ph.D. Michigan State University, 1971-1983;Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1983-1986; Botany.

Carl W. Prophet, Ph.D. University of Oklahoma; 1956-1959;1962-1996; Zoology, Ecology, Limnology, Invertebrate Zoology.

John D. Ransom, Ph.D. Oklahoma State University, 1964-1995; General Biology, Science Education, Field and Lab Biology.

R. Laurie Robbins, Ph.D. Texas Tech University, 1989 - ; Field and Lab Biology, Botany.

Edward C. Rowe, Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1961-1994; Anatomy and Physiology, Physiology, Histology.

Holmes E. Sadler, (?)1880-1885; Physiology, Botany, Zoology.

David K. Saunders, Ph.D. Kansas State University, 1992- ; Anatomy and Physiology, Histology, Physiology.

J. Richard Schrock, Ph.D. University of Kansas, 1986- ; Zoology, Science Education, General Biology, Entomology.

Charles M. Schlanker, M.S. Kansas State Teachers College, 1966-1968; General Biology.

Earl Segal, Ph.D. University of California at Los Angles, 1955-1960; Physiology, Comparative Anatomy, Anatomy and Physiology.

Lynnette Sievert, Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, 1996- ; Anatomy and Physiology, Endocrinology, Vertebrate Structure and Development.

Katherine N. Smalley, Ph.D. State University of Iowa, 1965-1996 (Phased); Embryology, Endocrinology, Anatomy and Physiology.

Rodney Sobieski, Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1976-1995; Virology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Pathogenic Microbiology, 1995- ; Associate Dean Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Dwight L. Spencer, Ph.D. Oklahoma state University; 1960-1989 ; Natural History of Vertebrates, Mammalogy, Wildlife Management, General Biology.

Homer Stephens, M.A. Teachers College, Columbia University, 1954; Field Biology, Biology Teaching, General Biology.

Alban Stewart, (?), 1910-1911; Natural History, Botany.

Marshall D. Sundberg, Ph.D. University of Minnesota 1997- ; Botany

Ted Surdy, Ph.D. Purdue University, 1962-1967; Microbiology.

Elza E. Taylor, (?)1894-1895; Natural History.

Alan A. Tubbs, D.A. Northern Colorado University, 1977-1981; General Biology.

Arlene Ulrich, Ph.D. Kansas State University, 1968-1976, Microbiology, Pathogenic Microbiology.

Cornelius E. White, M.S. Kansas State Teachers College, 1959-1962; Conservation, Natural History.

James S. Wilson, Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1959-1982; Botany, Plant Taxonomy.

James L. Wolfe, Ph.D. Cornell University, 1988-1994; Dean, School of Graduate & Professional Studies, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Animal Behavior.

Lyman C. Wooster, Ph.D. Milton College, 1897-1935; Botany, Physiology and Hygiene, Field Zoology.

L. Dwight Wooster, Ph.D. Stanford, 1913-1914; Zoology.