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Walter Clay Lowdermilk. Courtesy of the National Archives (114G-90723).

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Lowdermilk, Walter Clay (01 July 1888–06 May 1974), soil scientist, geologist, soil conservation leader, and author, was born Walter Clay Lowdermilk in Liberty, North Carolina, the son of Henry Clay Lowdermilk, a businessman, lumberman, and rancher, and Helen Vashti Lawrence Lowdermilk. The family moved westward to Missouri, to Oklahoma, and finally to Arizona. Walter Lowdermilk graduated from the Park College Academy in Parkville, Missouri, in 1906 and then attended Park College (1908–1910). In 1910 he enrolled at the University of Arizona; after two years there he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he earned a B.S. degree in forestry (1914); a B.A. degree in geology (1915); and an M.A. degree, granted in abstentia (1922). While at Oxford he had an opportunity to study forestry in Germany. He also served on ...

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Frederick H. Newell Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-66576).

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Newell, Frederick Haynes (05 March 1862–05 July 1932), engineer, was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the son of Augustus William Newell and Annie Maria Haynes. His mother died while he was a child, and he was raised by unmarried aunts in Newton, Massachusetts, where he completed high school. In 1885 he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in mining engineering. He married Effie Josephine Mackintosh in 1890; the couple had three children....

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Seybert, Henry (23 December 1801–03 March 1883), scientist and philanthropist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Adam Seybert, a scientist, apothecary, and politician, and Maria Sarah Pepper. Seybert studied chemistry, geology, and mineralogy at the École des Mines in Paris from 1819 to 1821; his scientific education was paid for by his father who had, at an earlier period, been one of Philadelphia’s most prominent scientists, a member of the Chemical Society of Philadelphia and the American Philosophical Society, and a candidate for the chair of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. After returning to Philadelphia, Seybert began a series of chemical analyses of minerals and thus transmitted to the United States this method of classification (as opposed to the classification of minerals by external characteristics or by crystal structure)....

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Charles Richard Van Hise Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115321).

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Van Hise, Charles Richard (29 May 1857–19 November 1918), geologist, conservationist, and university president, was born near Fulton, in southern Wisconsin, the son of William Henry Van Hise, a farmer and storekeeper, and Mary Goodrich. The family moved to nearby Evansville in 1870. In 1874 Van Hise entered the University of Wisconsin, beginning a lifelong association with this institution. He received four degrees, bachelor of metallurgical engineering (1879), B.S. (1880), M.S. (1882), and in 1892 the first Ph.D. awarded at the University of Wisconsin. In 1879 he joined the faculty as an instructor. Two years later he married Alice Ring, also of Evansville; they had three children....