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Laurence Edgar Skog was born in Duluth, Minnesota, the oldest of four children. Skog was a graduate of the University of Minnesota at Duluth from where he received a Bachelor of Arts in botany with a minor in chemistry in (1965). Skog earned his Master of Science in botany at the University of Connecticut at Storrs (1968).
From 1973 to 2003 Skog was a curator and research scientist in the Botany Department of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Since his retirement in 2003 he has continued to work at the museum as an emeritus curator.
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