John Merle Coulter
John Merle Coulter, Ph. D. (November 20, 1851 – December 23, 1928) was an American botanist and educator. In his career in education administration, Coulter is notable for serving as the president of Indiana University and Lake Forest College and the head of the Department of Botany at the University of Chicago.
Early Life & Education
John Merle Coulter was born in Ningpo, China to missionary parents Caroline E. and Moses Stanley Coulter. His brother was the botanist Stanley Coulter. He graduated from Hanover College in Indiana receiving the degree A.B. in 1870, A.M. in 1873, and Ph.D. in 1883.:471 Indiana University conferred a pro merito Ph.D. to Coulter in 1884 while he was serving as Professor of Botany at Wabash College.:472 He married Georgie M. Gaylord of Delphi, Indiana on January 1, 1874.:474
John Merle Coulter held the following positions:
- 1871-1879 Professor of Natural Sciences at Hanover College
- 1872-1875 Botanist to the United States Geological Survey in the Rocky Mountains
- 1879-1891 Professor of Botany at Wabash College
- 1891-1893 President and Professor of Botany of Indiana University
- 1893-1896 President of Lake Forest College
- 1896-1925 Professor and head of the department of Botany at the University of Chicago.
- 1925-1928 Dean and adviser of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Yonkers, New York, a position he held until his death.
Memberships in scientific societies
In 1901, Coulter was the general secretary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 1918 served as the Association's president. From 1897-1898, he was the president of the Botanical Society of America.:472
Survival of the sinking of The Republic
John Merle Coulter's published works include:
- Synopsis of the Flora of Colorado (1874), with Thomas Porter and Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden
- Manual of Rocky Mountain Botany (1885; revised, 1909)
- Manual of Texan Botany (1892–93)
- Plant Relations (1899; third revision, 1910)
- Plant Structures (1899; second edition, 1904)
- Morphology of Spermatophytes (1901)
- Morphology of Angiosperms (1903), with C. J. Chamberlain
- Plant Studies (1902; revised 1905)
- A Text-Book of Botany for Colleges and Universities(two volumes, 1910–11)
- Elementary Studies in Botany (1913)
- Plant Breeding (1914)
- Religion and Science (1923)
In 1875, Coulter founded the Botanical Gazette and thereafter continued to be its editor.:474
Legacy & Contributions
As president of Indiana University
Coulter's student, Henry Chandler Cowles played a significant role in documenting the ecological importance of the Indiana Dunes. Many conservationists attempted to preserve parts of the Indiana Dunes.
- "COULTER, John Merle". The International Who's Who in the World: p. 319. 1912.
- Myers, Burton Dorr (1951). Officers of Indiana University 1820-1950. Indiana University.
- Smith, S. & Mark, S. (2009). The Historical Roots of the Nature Conservancy in the Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland Region: From Science to Preservation. The South Shore Journal, 3. http://www.southshorejournal.org/index.php/issues/volume-3-2009/83-journals/vol-3-2009/75-the-historical-roots-of-the-nature-conservancy-in-the-northwest-indianachicagoland-region-from-science-to-preservation
- Smith, S. & Mark, S. (2006). Alice Gray, Dorothy Buell, and Naomi Svihla: Preservationists of Ogden Dunes. The South Shore Journal, 1. http://www.southshorejournal.org/index.php/issues/volume-1-2006/78-journals/vol-1-2006/117-alice-gray-dorothy-buell-and-naomi-svihla-preservationists-of-ogden-dunes
- Smith, S. & Mark, S. (2007). The cultural impact of a museum in a small community: The Hour Glass of Ogden Dunes. The South Shore Journal, 2. http://www.southshorejournal.org/index.php/issues/volume-2-2007/82-journals/vol-2-2007/104-the-cultural-impact-of-a-museum-in-a-small-community-the-hour-glass-in-ogden-dunes
- "Author Query for 'J.M.Coult.'". International Plant Names Index.
- Living Rocks of New Mexico
- Works by John Merle Coulter at Project Gutenberg
- Indiana University President's Office records, 1891-1893
- National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir
David Starr Jordan
|President of Indiana University