Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, North Dakota State University

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History of the Department

The name of North Dakota State University in 1950 was North Dakota Agricultural
College. Under provision of the Hatch Act of 1887, an Agricultural Experiment
Station was organized in connection with the North Dakota Agricultural College
in 1890. In 1914, with the passage by Congress of the Smith-Lever Act, the
function of the Extension Service was added to the college. On November 8, 1960
the voters of North Dakota amended the state constitution changing the name of
this institution from North Dakota Agricultural College to North Dakota State
University of Agriculture and Applied Science.

In 1950 and earlier, soil scientists were members of the Agronomy Department in
the College of Agricultural and Agricultural Experiment Station. For easier
identification soil scientists were classified under Agronomy (Soils) and crop
scientists under Agronomy (Crops). In 1959 soil scientists were separated from
crop scientists and were members of the Soils Department. The department name
of Soils Department was used from 1959 to 1981. In December 1981 the name of
the department was changed to Department of Soil Science which is the present

Mr. T. E. Stoa was chairman of Agronomy (Soils) and Agronomy (Crops for the
period 1934-1959. The Agronomy (Soils) section head or leader was Dr. E. B.
Norum from 1947 to 1959. Prior to 1947 the soils section leaders were Dr. G.
Johnsgard, Dr. Volkerding, Dr. William Johnson, Dr. E. H. Tyner, Dr. C. E.
Kellogg and possibly a few others, including Dr. H. L. Waster. At the
retirement of Mr. Stoa in 1959, soil scientists were given departmental status
with the name of Soils Department. Dr. E. B. Norum was the department chairman
from 1959 to 1975. Dr. J. C. Zubriski was interim chairman from July to October
1975. The next chairman of the Soils Department was Dr. Charles M. Smith. He
was chairman from October 1975 to December, 1980. Again, Dr. J. C. Zubriski was
interim chairman from December 1980 to September 1981. In September, 1981 Dr.
John Foss accepted the position as chairman of the department. Dr. Foss
recommended to the administration that the department name be changed from
Soils Department to Department of Soil Science. This request was approved in
1981. In 1985, Dr. Lynn Brun served as Interim chair of the department and in
1986 was appointed as chairman of the department. Following Dr. Brun's
retirement, Dr. Jimmie Richardson became Interim Chair in July of 2001.


[Summary provided by North Dakota State University.]

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