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This is where my temporary projects live.[edit]



Number-Name Year Location Named to Honor Outstanding Delegate Notes
1st 1911 Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Name was changed to Theta Tau
  • Decided to include all branches of engineering
2nd 1913 Houghton, Michigan
  • Designated The Gear of Theta Tau as the national fraternity's magazine
3rd 1915 Cleveland, Ohio
4th 1919 Cleveland, Ohio
5th 1921 Lawrence, Kansas
6th 1923 Iowa City, Iowa
7th 1925 Columbus, Ohio
8th 1927 Chicago, Illinois
9th 1929 Minneapolis, Minnesota
10th 1931 Fayetteville, Arkansas
11th 1933 Chicago, Illinois
12th 1935 Kansas City, Missouri Jamison Vawter
13th 1937 Chicago, Illinois H.H. Hopkins
14th 1939 Chicago, Illinois
15th 1941 St. Louis, Missouri Max D. Crittenden
16th 1946 Louisville, Kentucky John M. Daniels William L. Sparks
17th 1948 Chicago, Illinois Russell G. Glass Donald D. Blanchard
18th 1950 Kansas City, Missouri Ralph Nusser Thomas E. Mutchler
19th 1952 West Lafayette, Indiana Norman B. Ames Peter A. Minderman
20th 1954 Minneapolis, Minnesota Founders Robert E. Pope
21th 1956 Columbus, Ohio Donald D. Curtis John M. Dealy
22th 1958 Madison, Wisconsin George Louderback George G. Dodd - Raymond J. Sullivan
23th 1960 Detroit, Michigan Erich J. Schrader Jack A. Grimmett
24th 1962 Louisville, Kentucky Paul L. Mercer Michael D. Martin
25th 1964 Columbus, Ohio A. Dexter Hinckley John E. Daniel
26th 1966 Minneapolis, Minnesota William M. Lewis Anthony E. Filip
27th 1968 Tuscaloosa, Alabama Isaac B. Hanks Allan T. Mense
28th 1970 Houston, Texas Elwin L. Vinal H. Thomas Collins
29th 1972 Nashville, Tennessee Charles W. Britzius Thomas R. Herman
30th 1974 Indianapolis, Indiana Charles E. Wales Frank T. Philpott - George Puls III
31th 1976 Rapid City, South Dakota Robert E. Pope A. Thomas Brown
32th 1978 Columbus, Ohio J.W. Howe John R. McClellan
33th 1980 Tuscaloosa, Alabama George G. Dodd Randall L. Patton
34th 1981 Madison, Wisconsin William K. Rey Dean W. Bettinger
35th 1982 Houston, Texas Stephen J. Barth John C. Roberts
1983 Conference 1983 Fayetteville, Arkansas Russell G. Pittman - Stephen D. Willner
36th 1984 Lawrence, Kansas J. Sidney Marine Randy L. Saunders
1985 Conference 1985 Raleigh, North Carolina David Leong
37th 1986 St. Louis, Missouri C. Raymond Hanes Michael T. Abraham - Pierre J. LaMere
1987 Conference 1987 Detroit, Michigan Michael J. Palmer
38th 1988 St. Louis, Missouri Nick Trbovich Carl W. Woodward
1989 Conference 1989 Columbus, Ohio Michael R. Benoit
1990 Convention 1990 Iowa City, Iowa A. Thomas Brown Robert T. Utzinger
1991 Conference 1991 Detroit, Michigan Carl E. Sickles
1992 Convention 1992 St. Louis, Missouri Richard J. Russell Tracy A. White
1993 Conference 1993 West Lafayette, Indiana John F. Gustafson
1994 Convention 1994 Minneapolis, Minnesota Randall J. Scheetz Nicholas C. Croce
1995 Conference 1995 St. Louis, Missouri Derek L. Diget
1996 Convention 1996 Detroit, Michigan Robert E. Pope Kendra L. Wyatt
1997 Conference 1997 Dallas, Texas James D. Beckwith - Donald R. Hoffman
1998 Convention 1998 Iowa City, Iowa Dean W. Bettinger Aaron S.H. Kochar
1999 Academy 1999 Athens, Ohio
2000 Convention 2000 Scottsdale, Arizona Lee C. Haas Paul Priebe
2001 Academy 2001 Columbus, Ohio
2002 Convention 2002 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Casey Dunagan
2003 Academy 2003 Nashville, Tennessee
2004 Convention 2004 Minneapolis, Minnesota Sean Campbell
  • Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Theta Tau
2005 Academy 2005 St. Louis, Missouri
2006 Convention 2006 Orlando, Florida
2007 Academy 2007 Chicago, Illinois
2008 Convention 2008 Washington, DC

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Location Georgia, USA
Nearest city Folkston, Georgia
Area 395,080 acres
Established 1975
Visitors 300,000 (in 2005)
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is a 395,080 acre National Wildlife Refuge located in Charlton and Ware Counties in Georgia, and Baker County in Florida. The refuge was established in 1937 to protect a majority of the 438,000 acre Okefenokee Swamp.[1] [2] The name "Okefenokee" is a Native American term meaning "land that trembles when you walk on it." [3]

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

The refuge currently maintains 395,080 acres, but it has an approved acquisition boundary of 519,480 acres, 123,480 acres beyond the current refuge acres.[1] Approximately 371,000 acres of the Okefenokee Swamp wetlands are incorporated into the refuge. 353,981 acres within the swamp were designated as the Okefenokee Wilderness, a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System by the Okefenokee Wilderness Act of 1974, making it the third largest National Wilderness Area east of the Mississippi River.[1]

Nearly 300,000 people visit the refuge each year, making it the 16th most visited refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System. [1] In 1999, the economic impact of tourists in Charlton, Ware, and Clinch Counties in Georgia exceeded $67 million. [1] The refuge has a staff of 16 with a fiscal year 2005 budget of $1,451,000. [3] The refuge also administers the Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge.


Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

The swamp has a rich human history including Native American occupation, early settlers, a massive drainage attempt, and intensive timber harvesting.

Native Americans inhabited Okefenokee Swamp as early as 2500 BC.[4] Peoples of the Deptford Culture, the Swift Creek Culture and the Weeden Island Culture occupied sites within the Okefenokee.[4] The last tribe to seek sanctuary in the swamp were the Seminoles.[4] Troops led by General Charles R. Floyd during the Second Seminole War, 1838-1842, ended the age of the native americans in the Okefenokee.[4]

The Suwanee Canal Company purchased 238,120 acres of the Okefenokee Swamp from the State of Georgia in 1891 to drain the swamp for rice, sugar cane, and cotton plantations.[4] When this failed, the company began industrial wetland logging as a source of income.[4] Captain Henry Jackson and his crews spent three years digging the Suwannee Canal 11.5 miles into the swamp.[4]

Economic recessions led to the company’s bankruptcy and eventual sale to Charles Hebard in 1901.[4] Logging operations, focusing on the cypress, began in 1909 after a railroad was constructed on the northwest area of the swamp.[4] More than 431 million board feet of timber were removed from the Okefenokee by 1927, when logging operations ceased.[4]

The Okefenokee Preservation Society, formed in 1918, promoted nationwide interest in the swamp.[1] With the support of State and local interests and numerous conservation and scientific organizations, the Federal Government acquired most of the swamp for refuge purposes in 1936.[1]

In 1937, with Executive Order 7593 (later amended by Executive Order 7994), President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the refuge, designating it as "a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife." [1] The establishment of Okefenokee Refuge in 1937 marked the culmination of a movement that had been initiated at least 25 years earlier by a group of scientists from Cornell University who recognized the educational, scientific, and recreational values of this unique area.[1]

In 1974, to further ensure the protection of this unique ecosystem, the interior 353,981 acres of the refuge were designated a National Wilderness Area.[4]

In 1986, the Okefenokee Refuge was designated by the Wetlands Convention as a Wetland of International Importance. [1]


Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

The Okefenokee Swamp is a vast bog inside a huge, saucer-shaped depression that was once part of the ocean floor. [4] The swamp now lies 103 to 128 feet above mean sea level.[4] Peat deposits, up to 15 feet thick, cover much of the swamp floor.[4] These deposits are so unstable in spots that trees and surrounding bushes tremble by stomping the surface. [4] Native Americans named the area "Okefenokee" meaning "Land of the Trembling Earth". [4] Swamp habitats include open wet "prairies," cypress forests, scrub-shrub vegetation, upland islands, and open lakes. [5]

The Okefenokee Swamp is one of the world's largest intact freshwater ecosystems. [6] It has been designated a Wetland of International Importance by the United Nations under the Ramsar Convention of 1971.[6] The swamp is compared through research to wetlands worldwide.[6] It is world-renowned for its amphibian populations that are bio-indicators of global health. Water from the Suwannee River Sill area is used as a standard reference by scientists throughout the world. [6]

The slow-moving waters of the Okefenokee are tea-colored due to the tannic acid released from decaying vegetation. [4]The principal outlet of the swamp, the Suwannee River, originates in the heart of the Okefenokee and drains southwest into the Gulf of Mexico.[4] The swamp’s southeastern drainage to the Atlantic Ocean is the St. Mary’s River, which forms the boundary between Georgia and Florida.[4]

The swamp contains numerous islands and lakes, along with vast areas of non-forested habitat.[4] Prairies cover about 60,000 acres of the swamp.[4] Once forested, these expanses of marsh were created during periods of severe drought when fires burned out vegetation and the top layers of peat.[4] The prairies harbor a variety of wading birds: herons, egrets, ibises, cranes, and bitterns.[4]

Controlled burn at Okefenokee NWR

Refuge staff manages 33,000 acres of uplands which are being restored to once-abundant Longleaf Pine and wiregrass habitat.[6]

Refuge staff and volunteers work to preserve the natural qualities of the swamp, provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, and provide recreational opportunities for visitors.[6] They also conduct prescribed burns in upland areas; thin forests, create wildlife openings, plant longleaf pines; and monitor, manage, and improve wildlife populations and habitat.[6]

The Okefenokee is a rainfall-dependent system, and when periods of drought occur, the area becomes susceptible to wildfire.[7] A 20/30 year cycle of drought and fire has allowed the Okefenokee to exist as the unique wetland it is.[7] These periods cause changes in the abundance of certain plants (more grasses growing in exposed areas,) the nesting success of certain wading birds (failure in extreme drought), and the location of some species of wildlife (fish migrate into deeper lakes and channels and are followed by predators.)[7]

Wildlife and protected species[edit]

With its varied habitats, the Okefenokee has become an area known for its abundance of plants and animals. There are 621 species of plants growing in the swamp.[7] Animals include 39 fish, 37 amphibian, 64 reptile, 234 bird, and 50 mammal species.[7] The Okefenokee Swamp is world renowned for its amphibian populations that are bio-indicators of global health. [1]

Wildlife species include wading birds, ducks, alligators and other reptiles, a variety of amphibians, bobcats, raptors, white-tailed deer, black bears, and songbirds. [5]

The swamp habitat also provides for threatened and endangered species, such as Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Wood Storks, Indigo Snakes, gopher tortoises and a wide variety of other wildlife species. [1] [6]


There are opportunities for hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, boating, photography and wildlife observation.

Visitor center[edit]

The Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was built in 1967, with an auditorium addition in the early 1980s.[2] The 5,000 square foot building is cedar-sided with open, vaulted ceilings and flagstone floors.[2] It houses exhibits, Okefenokee Wildlife League bookstore sales area, office space for staff and volunteers, storage, and a 100 seat surround sound auditorium.[2]

Chesser Island[edit]

In the late 1800s, W.T. Chesser and his family settled a small island on the eastern edge of the Okefenokee Swamp. He settled on a 592 acre island, now known as Chesser Island. [2] The Chesser homestead still stands on the island. The last of the Chessers left the island in 1958, but many members of the Chesser family remain in the local area. [2]


Lakes and slow-flowing water trails, called "runs,"cover much of the Okefenokee. More than 60 lakes dot the refuge, with depths ranging from a few feet to 15 feet. The largest, Billy's Lake, is 3 1/2 miles long and 100 to 250 yards wide. Fishing is permitted year round in accordance with Georgia State fishing laws. Using live bait fish or trot lines is prohibited.[2]

Canoeing and boating[edit]

Canoeing in the Okefenokee NWR

There are 120 miles of trails in the swamp, of which 70 are open to day-use motorboat 10 horsepower and under. Seven overnight shelters are available in the swamp's interior.


  • Swamp Island Drive - a 9-mile driving, biking and walking loop. Scattered throughout the drive are walking trails, wildlife openings and hardwood plots. Additionally, the drive leads you to the Chesser Homestead, Boardwalk and Observation tower.


There are three major entrances to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, each with its own facilities and special character. From the open, wet "prairies" of the east side to the forested cypress swamps on the west, Okefenokee is a mosaic of habitats, plants, and wildlife. Entrance fees are required at each entrance.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 30°51′03″N 82°18′58″W / 30.850953°N 82.316093°W / 30.850953; -82.316093

External links[edit]


[[Category:National Wildlife Refuges in Georgia]] [[Category:Geography of Georgia (U.S. state)]]