Oral Histories

Interview of Mildred E. Mathias

UCLA professor of botany and director of the UCLA botanical garden.
Subtitle:
Among the Plants of the Earth
Topic:
Science, Medicine, and Technology
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Faculty
Interviewer:
Terrall, Mary
Interviewee:
Mathias, Mildred E.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Abstract:
Family history in Kansas, Wyoming, and Missouri, near St. Louis; family field trips encourage interest in science; preparation at Washington University, St. Louis, for teaching science and mathematics; courses in botany; Henry Shaw School of Botany, attached to Washington University; Missouri Botanical Garden; volunteer work with juvenile court and settlement houses; graduate studies with Jesse Greenman and Edgar Anderson; nature counselor at summer camps; visiting eastern herbaria; botanical nomenclature controversies; trip to California to continue study of Umbelliferae, 1929; visiting UCLA; Carl Epling, Flora Murray Scott, Orda Plunkett, Arthur Haupt, and Olenus Sponsler in biology department; California Botanical Garden in Mandeville Canyon moved to UCLA campus; E. D. Merrill, dean of statewide College of Agriculture; Alice Eastwood at California Academy of Sciences; women in academic botany; taxonomy of Umbelliferae; changing standards in plant taxonomy; efforts to complete floras for major geographic areas of world; genetics and taxonomic practice; environmental effects on plants; pollination biology in tropics; work on North American Flora; research at New York Botanical Garden; move to Emeryville, California, 1937; research associate, University of California, Berkeley; discrimination against women; teaching and herbarium assistant appointment, UCLA, 1947; botanical garden, vivarium, and wildlife on UCLA campus, 1940s; George Groenewegan; Vavra estate teaching and research area; Japanese garden; undergraduate botany curriculum changes; Franklin D. Murphy's interest in garden and landscape plans; collecting medicinal plants in South America; collecting in East Africa; Dermot Taylor; Scott and Epling; elimination of College of Agriculture at UCLA; ornamental horticultural facilities; American Association of University Professors; Southern California chapter of the Nature Conservancy; Natural Land and Water Reserves System; California Coalition for Natural Areas; Harry and Grace James; Trailfinders School for Boys; Los Angeles Beautiful organization; Samuel Ayres; Ralph Cornell; arboretum in Elysian Park; Organization for Tropical Studies; Las Cruces station, Costa Rica; Stanley Smith; UCLA Extension horticultural trips to Costa Rica; Southeast Asia and Amazon trips; Extension trip to Amazon; Agricultural Extension Service television series on ornamental horticulture; William Hertrich and Huntington Gardens.