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In Memoriam

John C.F. Tedrow

John Charles Fremont Tedrow (97) died on October 2, 2014, at Brighton Gardens of Edison, New Jersey. He was professor emeritus at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

He earned three successive degrees in soil science at Penn State University (B.S., 1939), Michigan State University (M.S., 1940), and Rutgers University (Ph.D., 1950). In 1947, he was appointed instructor in the Department of Soils at Rutgers, where he was ultimately promoted to the rank of professor II (now, distinguished professor) in 1972. He advanced to the rank of professor emeritus upon his retirement in 1984, and he maintained an active research career in association with the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Sciences nearly until his death.

Beginning with an Air Force contract to study the soils of northern Alaska in 1953, he worked systematically eastward across the Arctic to Inglfield Land in northern Greenland, the northernmost soils on the face of Earth. He then jumped south to continue his studies in the Antarctic. He was a pioneer in the exploration and description of tundra and polar soils of the Arctic and Antarctic, leading the Russian Dokuchaev Soil Science Society to divide the history of soil science into pre- and post-Tedrow eras. His work literally put Rutgers on the map through the namings of Queen’s College Lake in Greenland, a Tedrow Glacier, and a Rutgers Glacier in Antarctica. His expansive studies culminated in the publication of Soils of the Polar Landscapes (Rutgers University Press, 1977).

Following his death, he was returned to his birthplace, Rockwood, Pennsylvania, for a memorial service and interment with his family. A scholarship fund in the name of John C. F. Tedrow is planned.

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