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  Walter Beineke

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“Environmentalism” didn't begin in the 70’s or 80’s as most believe.  It actually started long before.  As a child Walt Beineke was caught up in the idea that growing and planting trees could help “save the earth”.  In addition to his mother's influence, Boy Scouts cemented his love of the outdoors, trees and growing things and helped set his goal to become a forester.  The friends made during those times, and his marriage to his high school sweetheart provided him with lifelong support.  After earning a BS in forestry from Purdue, he went on to earn a Masters from Duke and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State.

Somewhere along the way, it became obvious to him that people who owned land and had money should become interested and involved in planting trees.  By growing trees faster and with greater value, he felt that progress could be made in trying to replace some annual crops with tree crops.

With advanced degrees in forest genetics in hand, he became a professor in forestry at Purdue, and while teaching several courses, accomplished the research that developed genetically improved black walnut.  He patented the first trees for timber and patented the first trees using DNA fingerprinting as part of the patenting process.  His work has provided many jobs and given a boost to the economy by founding an entirely new industry.

Walt is Professor Emeritus of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue and was a teacher and researcher for 34 years.  He was voted outstanding teacher in his department seven times and outstanding advisor twice.  He is the author of over 100 articles and several book chapters.  He is listed as the inventor on 23 patents and presently consults for industry and private land owners on growing and managing tree plantations.

 
©2011 Walter Beineke
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