History of the John Deere Chapter of Sigma Xi, 1966-1988

The John Deere Chapter of Sigma Xi originated in October, 1966, with the application for a charter by 12 Sigma Xi members employed by Deere and Company. At the time a distinction was made between academic and industrial chapters, the latter being officially part of RESA (Scientific Research Society of America) rather than Sigma Xi. From the beginning all regional scientists were welcomed into the John Deere Chapter, however, and the roster of members and officers included people from local colleges and hospitals as well as industry.  In part because of this close relationship, our RESA branch was one of the few to be granted full chapter status in 1973 when Sigma Xi and RESA merged.

By 1968 the chapter had grown to 47 members, and the annual schedule of fall, winter, spring meetings and initiation banquet had become established. An informal process for ensuring program continuity and experienced officers also began. The secretary/treasurer moved progressively through the offices of second and first vice president to eventually reach the chapter presidency.

Although meetings included tours and research paper presentations by chapter members, most centered on a single speaker. Nearly fifty lecturers of international, national, and regional stature addressed the chapter from 1966-1988 on a wide variety of scientific topics. Chapter members also made presentations and contributed their professional expertise. Nearly every year at least one speaker was from our membership.

Year   Date Speaker Title
1967 Nov. 16 Lloyd D. Witter
U. of Illinois
"Why People Wear Clothes and Bacteria Do Not"
1968 Apr. 26 Tour, Engineering Research Division, Deere & Co.
1968 Jun. 13 Harry Nelson
"A Trip Through Outer Space"
1968 Nov. 21 V.T. Wiedmeier
Marquette U.
"Research on Respiration and Circulation"
1969 Mar. 20 Tour, Bendix Aviation Corporation
1969 May 27 Don Wooten
"The Need to Know Less"
1969 Nov. 28 Steve Green
IA-IL Gas & Electric
"Nuclear Power Development"
1970 Mar. 2 Royce Beckett
RI Arsenal
"Modern Analytical Methods for Design"
1970 May 1 Robert McMaster
Ohio State U.
"Sonic Power"
1970 Nov. 10 Tour, Davenport Museum
1971 Mar. 31 Charles L. Hosler
Penn State
"The Sky is Falling"
1971 May 21 Tom Bulat
Bendix Aviation
"The Secret World of the Fungi"
1971 Nov. 11 Frederick C. Lindvall
Deere & Co.
(former Sigma Xi president)
"A Report on Sigma Xi and RESA" 


1972 Mar. 14 Charles E. Oxnard
U. Chicago
"Shape and Structure in Human Evolution"
1972 May 19 Edward Meek
U. Iowa
"Cancer Research"
1972 Nov. 16 Tour, John Deere Foundry
1973 Feb. 26 AAAS Film, "Science and the Reality of Politics"
1973 May 18 Frank A. Brown
Northwestern U.
"The Biological Clock Phenomenon"
1973  Nov. 15 John Fox
RI Arsenal
"Computer-Aided Manufacturing Technology"
1974 Mar. 28 Edward J. Haug, Jr.
RI Arsenal
"Optimization in Modern Design Technology"
1974 May 18 James Van Allen
U. Iowa
"Exploration of the Planets"
1974 Nov. 13 Richard Anderson
"The Origin of Stream Courses in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois"
1975 Mar. 18 Mary Vinje
St. Ambrose
"Aerobiological Research"
1975 May 16 Packer Brown
"A Photo Concerto"
1975 Nov. 18 Thomas Rennie
"Analysis of Aquatic Environments"
1976 May 7 Thomas Dombeck
"Life, Physics, People, and Politics: Soviet Union, 1975"
1976 Nov. 3 Tour, John Deere Technical Center
1977 May 6 Grenville C. King
Putnam Museum
"Who Was the Patriot?  Black Hawk or Keokuk?"
1978 Jan. 17 Computer graphics presentation by Deere & Co. engineers
1978 Mar. 15 Research paper presentations by chapter members
1978 May 12 Frederick Breitenbach
US Fish & Wildlife Service
"Activities of the GREAT II Program Along the Mississippi River"
1978 Oct. 20 John H. Yopp
Southern Illinois U. 
1979 Jan. 24 Wine and cheese tasting, report on National Sigma Xi Meeting
1979 Mar. 11 Research paper presentations by chapter members
1979 Nov. 1 Thomas Rossing
Northern Illinois U.
"Bells and Bell Ringing"
1980 Jan. 16 Harold Bergee
Moline Public Hospital
"The CAT Scanner"
1980 Mar. 19 Harold Sundelius
"Modern Mineral Exploration - The Crandon Deposit"
1980 May 16 Emmett Leith
U. Michigan
"White Light Holography"
1980 Nov. 11 Roger A. Strehlow
U. Illinois
"Accidental Explosions"
1981 Jan. 15 Tour, WVIK Radio Facilities at Augustana
1981 Mar. 11 Paul Elliott
Moline Lutheran Hospital
"Linear Electron Accelerator"
1981 May 15 Richard Robb
Mayo Clinic
"The Dynamic Spatial Reconstructor: From Basic Theory to Applications"
1982 Jan. 14 David Renneke
Augustana and a panel of computer representatives
"Personal Computer Workshop"
1982 May 14 Hans V. Zellweger
U. Iowa
"Genetic Counseling"
1982 Oct. 28 Larry Fosbinder
Deere & Co.
"Materials Processing in Space"
1983 Jan. 13 Jerry Duncan
Deere & Co.
"Human Factors Laboratory"
1983 Apr. 5 John Allen
Technicare Corp.
"Nuclear Magnetic Resonance"
1983 May 5 Hewson Swift
U. Chicago
"Dissecting the Chromosome"
1983 Sep.14  Geoffrey C. Fox
California Inst. Tech.
"Computers in Research and Education"
1983 Nov. 17 James R. West
U. Iowa
"Fetal Alcohol Syndrome"
1984 Mar. 22 Richard A. Carrigan, Jr.
"What the Future May Hold for the Study of Fundamental Particles"
1984 May 4 Joe D. Burchfield
Northern Illinois U.
"The Age of the Earth Controversy: Post-Darwinian Debates"
1984 Oct. 3 Arthur Fleck
U. Iowa
"Trends in the Development of Programming Languages"
1984 Dec. 6 Paul Joslin
Brookfield Zoo
"The Worldwide Problem of Endangered Species"
1985 Mar. 6 Helene Dickel
U. Illinois
"Matter Between the Stars"
1985 May 3 Thomas Rossing
Northern Illinois U.
"Physics of Guitars"
1985 Oct. 10 Paul H. Shepard
Pitzer & Claremont Cell.
"Man and Bear, The Interplay of Biology and Culture"
1986 Jan. 16 Harry Nelson
"Return of Halley's Comet"
1986 Mar. 20 William Hammer
"Recent Finds in Antarctica"
1986 May 2 William Gardner
Clinton, IA
"Manned Space Flight"
1986 Oct. 17 Walter A. Rosenblith
MIT (Centennial Lecture)
"Science: An International Endeavor"
1986 Jan. 22 Mark Eberle
St. Ambrose
"Bring Out Your Dead: A Pictorial History of the Plague"
1987 Mar. 24 Nicholas M. Frey
Pioneer Hi-Bred
"Biotechnology in Agriculture"
1987 May 1 Roger A. Strehlow
U. Illinois
"Combustion Instability in Enclosures: A History"
1987 Sep. 24 Conrad Wieffenbach
Cornell College
"Radon in Houses in Iowa"
1988 Jan. 27 Bohdan Dziadyk
"Origin of the Illinois Grasslands"
1988 Mar. 10 David B. Wilson
Iowa State U.
"Galileo Revisited: A Historical Redefinition of Science and Religion"
1988 May 6 Thomas Bulat
Deere Technical Center
"The Napali Coast of Hawaii"