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Window into the Past

Thirty years ago, Lou Gross composed a history of the Graduate Program in Ecology.  He has now compiled a website of the data he collected.

Some say UT’s Graduate Program in Ecology was the first PhD-granting program in ecology in the US. The program admitted its first students in 1969 with the first MS graduate in 1971 and PhD graduate in 1972.  It formally became part of EEB in 1995.

Lou recruited those involved in establishing the program to be interviewed by WUOT staff, and several interviews were aired on WUOT’s Segue program.  The recordings are downloadable from this page, including

  • Jim Tanner (of “Ghost Bird” fame), the first interim director of the program;
  • Frank McCormick, the first director of the program;
  • Stan Auerbach, an Environmental Sciences Division Director at ORNL;
  • Mike Pelton;
  • Henry Fribourg.

You may find their various comments about the state of ecology at the time interesting. Lou hopes to add more oral history to the webpage, from other people who were involved in getting EEB started.