The Department of Botany was established at Iowa State in 1870 with Charles E. Bessey serving as Dept. Head. Professor Bessey guided the Botany Department during its formative years and he created the first undergraduate botanical laboratory in the United States as well as the university's herbarium. Graduate work for the M.S. degree was offered in 1871, and in 1914 major work leading to the PhD degree was added. In 2003, the Botany Department was combined with Microbiology and Zoology/Genetics to form the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology.
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