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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

ARS 50th Anniversary Celebration

Logo Image for "A R S : The Future Grows Here"Agricultural Research Service
50th Anniversary

National Scientific Leadership Meeting and
Annual Recognition Program

Proud Past and Promising Future
January 21-23, 2004
New Orleans, Louisiana

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  William E. Larson



William LarsonWilliam E. Larson was born on August 7, 1921 in Creston, Nebraska. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Nebraska majoring in soil science. He received a Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 1949 with a major in soil science and a minor in chemistry.

Following a brief period as an Assistant Professor at Iowa State University, he joined the Agricultural Research Service at Montana State University. In 1954, he returned to Iowa State University with the Agricultural Research Service. In 1967, he transferred to the University of Minnesota, still with the Agricultural Research Service, USDA.  In 1982, he became Head of the Soil Science Department (now the Soil, Water, and Climate Department) at the University of Minnesota. He retired from that position in 1989. In 1965 and 1966, he spent a year with CSIRO in Adelaide, Australia on a Fulbright Scholarship. Since retirement, he has remained professionally active with writing, lecturing, and consulting. He retains an office at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Larson's professional efforts have been principally in research, advising of graduate students, and in administration. His research interests have centered on applied soil physics, soil mechanics, tillage, erosion control, soil management, and waste utilization on land. He has published over 250 research articles including about 35 chapters for books. He has been major advisor for about 20 graduate students.

Dr. Larson was President of the Soil Science Society of America in 1980 and President of the American Society of Agronomy in 1985. He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, The Soil and Water Conservation Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Nebraska in 1985 and has received numerous other awards from scientific societies, universities, and others.

Dr. Larson has testified before congressional and legislative Committees and served on numerous national science-related committees. He has traveled and lectured in 30 countries.



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