Upper Iowa University Professor of Science and Robert L. Fox Endowed Chair of Science Dr. Scott Figdore will present “Rediscovering the Dr. C.C. Parker Herbarium Collection” at UIU’s Fayette Campus Monday, March 26. The free, public program will begin at 5 p.m. in the Liberal Arts auditorium. Cookies and refreshments will be served.
Dr. C.C. (Charles Coleman) Parker served in the 12th Iowa Infantry Regiment (University Recruits) during the Civil War as a regimental surgeon. In addition, he was UIU’s first professor of natural sciences and Fayette’s first town doctor. Figdore’s presentation will focus on his quest to answer a simple question posed by Parker’s descendants − family members wanted to know what had become of Dr. Parker’s extensive herbarium of plant samples that he had collected during the latter half of the 19th century.
“It actually became a fun project that required some detective work,” Figdore said. “We are pretty sure we located a large majority of the 500 or so samples collected over 140 years ago by C.C. Parker.”
Figdore’s March 26 presentation will tell the story of his investigative research and touch on the scientific and historical impact of Dr. Parker and the collection.
With over 25 years of service at UIU, Figdore served as the inaugural dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, before retiring from that position to return to fulltime teaching duties. Figdore has served as faculty vice-chairman and chair, Science & Mathematics Division chair, Curriculum Committee chair and chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force on Academic Excellence.
The Robert L. Fox Endowed Chair of Science was initiated by a generous gift from members of the Parker, Fox, and Goebel families. The first and only other recipient of the Robert L. Fox Endowed Chair was the late Professor Emeritus Lew Churbuck. At the time of his honor, Churbuck was the curator of the Upper Iowa University Herbarium. Figdore assumed the duties of the curator position after Professor Churbuck’s retirement in May 2007.