Oral Histories

Interview of Mildred E. Mathias

UCLA professor of botany and director of the UCLA botanical garden.
Among the Plants of the Earth
Interviews not in a series, part one
Science, Medicine, and Technology
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Faculty
Biographical Note:
UCLA professor of botany and director of the UCLA botanical garden.
Terrall, Mary
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.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
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.