Erlanson, Carl O. (Deceased)
Carl was born in Aurora, Illinois, on July 11, 1901. He received BS and MS degrees from the University of Michigan, which also awarded him an honorary Doctor of Sciences degree. From 1927 to 1928, Carl conducted research in Greenland under a fellowship. After joining the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Carl conducted three foreign plant explorations to Mexico, South America, and Scandinavia. In 1945, he served as a civilian botanical advisor with the Chemical Warfare Service on Pearl Island, Panama, and received a letter of commendation for his work. After World War II, Carl was appointed an agriculture administrator in the Bureau of Plant Industry of the Agriculture Department. He initiated regional evaluation of foreign plant introductions and the establishment of the National Seed Storage Laboratory to preserve crop germ plasm. He also initiated and was chief of the new Crops Division of the department. In 1958 and 1964, Carl made surveys of agricultural research in the former Soviet Union. As a result of these trips a plant materials exchange program was revived, and direct reciprocal plant explorations were undertaken. Carl was a consultant on eight national and international commissions to improve world wide agriculture through increased exchange of plant materials. He received the Meyer Medal in 1965 for his work in introducing new plants to the country. After retirement in 1965, Carl was a resident of Hillandale, Maryland, for many years until 1970, when he and his wife, Clara, moved to Laurel, Maryland. Carl and Clara had three daughters; Anne Owen, Susan Beck, and Janie Clark, and three grandchildren. Carl died in September 1975 of cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Carl was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1935 and ended his membership in 1959.