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Departmental Undergraduate Scholarship

The Department of Plant Biology, Ecology and Evolution awards a scholarship in the fall semester to a junior majoring in plant biology and having an excellent academic record.


Applications should be submitted by February 28 to the departmental office in 301 Physical Sciences. Please include a resume and an unofficial transcript with application form.

Betty and Richard Speairs, Jr., Fellowship in Botany

The Betty and Richard Speairs, Jr., Fellowship in Botany is awarded through the Department of Plant Biology, Ecology and Evolution at Oklahoma State University. The fellowship offers undergraduate students training in herbarium curation and they may be provided the opportunity to conduct research in plant taxonomy. The recipient must be a full-time student who exhibits significant enthusiasm for his or her major and an interest in herbarium curation and plant identification. He or she must have the potential and interest to pursue graduate studies and the desire to pursue a teaching career in secondary schools or higher education. Juniors and seniors who have taken field botany and/or plant taxonomy will be given first consideration. The fellowship provides a stipend per year. The recipient will work approximately 10 hours per week in the OSU Herbarium and learn skills in the collection, preparation, and curation of plant specimens. Contact Mark Fishbein to apply.


About Richard K. Speairs, Jr., 1920-2004

Richard Kirk Speairs, Jr. was born in 1920 in Muskogee, Oklahoma and graduated from Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas. He attended Oklahoma State University, receiving a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Botany during 1941. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


Dr. Speairs taught biology at Centenary College of Louisiana from 1949 until 1967 and was chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University in Shreveport from the time it opened in 1967 until he retired in 1987. He founded the Ouachita Mountains Biological Station near Mena, Arkansas in 1962 and served as Director from 1962 until 2002.


Ron Tyrl, OSU PBEE professor emeritus, became friends with the Speairs when they attended his first elderhostel in 1990, "Wildflowers of the Midwest". Dick and Betty continued to attend Ron's elderhostels and in 1995 established this fellowship.

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