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The Sciences at the University at Albany, 1845-2006

Professor Margaret Stewart, Department of Biology

Margaret Stewart

Margaret Stewart was one of the new breed of faculty who joined the Department of Biology in the mid-1950s. She regularly published scholarly works. Her Amphibians of Malawi was a groundbreaking work. She is seen here in the Albany Pine Bush leading a fieldtrip. Stewart was, for many years, the head of the ecology program in the Department of Biology.

Biology was first taught at the State Normal School in 1845 under rubric of “Natural Science.” Merritt G. McKoon was the first instructor. Physiology was added to the curriculum in 1846 and botany in 1868. The first faculty member to hold the title Professor of Biology was Charles S. Gager, appointed in 1898. Biology became a department in 1909 and in 1914 the first Master’s thesis cataloged as a biology thesis, titled “Theories of Immunity,” was accepted from Alice M. Adams. She was awarded a Master of Arts in Education degree. The Master of Arts was introduced in 1919. In 1960 the SUNY Master Plan placed priority on the Master’s and Doctoral programs at Albany. In 1962 the Master’s program in biology was opened up to anyone who had the credentials to take it. Previously it had been restricted to teachers. In 1965 a Ph.D. was offered in biology for the first time. Click here for an administrative history of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Exhibit curated by Geoffrey Williams, University Archivist
Research and design assistance by George Asante, History 499 Archival Intern

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Last updated May 30, 2006