Sunday, June 26, 2016

Arthur D Hasler Oral History Transcripts

Oral History Interviews of
 Professor Arthur D Hasler
 Department of Zoology
University of Wisconsin Madison

Transcript Summaries,
Transcripts and MP3 audio files for listening.

1st Interview 1977 
(MP3 files 1 & 2)

Mormon family background; Graduate work; Zoology Department; Ecology and conservation; Limnology Building; Work on water pollution; Problems of Lake Mendota; Competition for funds; Institute for Environmental Studies; Trout Lake Laboratory; DNR-UW relations; Mormon Church in Madison; Study of salmon.

2nd Interview 1979
MP3 file 3

Arboretum staff and administrators; Research in Arboretum; Creating ponds; Faculty work in Arboretum; Brule River study; DNR cooperation; International Biological Program on Lake Wingra; Gillen and Rahr estates; Trout Lake; Grady tract; Arboretum Committee; Horticulture; Forestation projects; Beltline Highway; Houses in Arboretum; Land use conflicts; Biological departments in Birge Hall. 

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Interview #48

HASLER, Arthur D. (1908- )
Graduate Student; Professor of Zoology
At UW: 1932-1935; 1937-1978

First Interview
Interviewed: 1977
Interviewer: Laura Smail
Indexed (time code) by: Elaine Ayers
Length: 04:12:41
Transcript: 91 pages

Mormon family background; Graduate work; Zoology Department; Ecology and conservation; Limnology Building; Work on water pollution; Problems of Lake Mendota; Competition for funds; Institute for Environmental Studies; Trout Lake Laboratory; DNR-UW relations; Mormon Church in Madison; Study of salmon.

Second Interview
Interviewed: 1979
Series: Arboretum History
Interviewer: William R. Jordan, III
Indexed (time code) by: Elaine Ayers
Length: 1 hour

Arboretum staff and administrators; Research in Arboretum; Creating ponds; Faculty work in Arboretum; Brule River study; DNR cooperation; International Biological Program on Lake Wingra; Gillen and Rahr estates; Trout Lake; Grady tract; Arboretum Committee; Horticulture; Forestation projects; Beltline Highway; Houses in Arboretum; Land use conflicts; Biological departments in Birge Hall. 

First Interview
Tape 1/Side 1(tape 1, part 1 of digital file)

00:01:38 Born in Lehigh, Utah.  Family were Mormons. 

00:03:44 Spent two years in Germany, after freshman year at Brigham Young, proselytizing and working with youth groups--boy scouts.  1929-31. 

00:10:54 Return to Utah.  Not enough money to go to medical school so decided on zoology.  Applied for assistantship at UW.  Had done lake surveys in Utah mountains as undergraduate. Accepted here by Juday.  Wife--Hannah Prussie.
00:14:55 Relations with people in Zoology department.  Occasional object of jest.  Sympathy with German culture also created conflict, even though AH deplored Nazism. 

00:18:26 Relations with people in German department. 

00:19:15 Felt adequately prepared by Brigham Young University.  Had been taught evolution. 

00:21:20 Never smoked, later sometimes drank beer or wine. 

00:22:00 Comments on Edward A. Birge. 

00:24:36 Experience as TA. 

00:27:35   Refers to writings on Birge and Juday in Sellery's book and in book, North American Limnology, by Mortimer and by AH, and David Fry.  Bitterness between Birge and Juday at end of their careers. 

00:31:42   Role of Mrs. Juday. 

00:35:06   Other colleagues.  R.K. Meyer, Noland. 

00:37:40   Schism in department. 

00:44:46  AH found more support outside of department. 

00:47:35  Development of ecology courses. 

00:48:52  Competition was not so much among courses as, in zoology department, between different groups for funds. 

00:49:49  Research funds for field study via other programs began to flow in, so AH not dependent on what he could get through zoology department. 

00:55:30   Relations with Medical School. 

01:01:25   Lakes and Streams Committee. 

01:04:28   Design of limnology building.   

01:06:38 End of side. 

Tape 1/Side 2 

01:06:40 Discusses use of copper sulfate to control algae bloom caused by sewage. 

01:09:38 Gave speeches at Rotary Club and others. 

01:11:14 City has never consulted AH about solution to lake problems. 

01:12:38 Rachel Carson's book presented forcefully to public issues well known among scientists. 

01:13:30 Recollection of roundtable on WHA to which people in entomology department took strong exception. 

01:15:07 University group got city council to ban use of herbicides.  But two years ago rescinded by DNR. 

01:18:15   AH got Lake Mendota Committee to issue report recommending  stop to releasing of sewage into lake. 

01:20:27  Discusses attitude of colleagues in zoology and botany as to environmental issues.  AH's own work has only recently been  recognized, may have held him back in terms of promotion and  salary.  Fassett, Curtis, Leopold gave him strong support.  But Elvehjem, Meek, Guyer not at all interested.  Even E.B. Fred-- supported research on Lake Mendota but didn't do much for environmental welfare.  Chancellor Young supported him and limnology program; Dean Doremus helpful in getting financing.  Never got letter of commendation from any University official for work in public sector. 

01:24:41  IES has not made much difference.  AH feels Bryson was a poor choice as head.  Told Young so, appointed anyway.  Bryson has never helped limnologists.  Terry Rohlich would have done better job than Bryson. 

01:30:40  Water Resources Management program in IES. 

01:31:14   AH helped get International Biological Program on Lake Wingra project.  (Continuation of interview 3/16/77).

01:32:06   State of lake March 16th. 

01:32:50   More discussion of zoology department in thirties.  Birge. 

01:36:25  At Trout Lake lab.  Facilities in thirties.  Birge's arrival. 

01:40:07   Rumor that geological-natural history survey had been eliminated from budget by young La Follette because of his dislike of Birge; Birge already feeble. 

01:43:46   Discussing fact that Birge never had any graduate students.  Juday only had grad students after he was taken on by Zoology department. 

01:44:32   More on Trout Lake. 

01:46:47   Gilbert's antagonism to Birge. 

01:48:38   V.W. Meloche in chemistry worked at Trout Lake also; Lester Whitney, physics also. 

01:50:05   Relationship between Birge and Juday. 

01:52:15  Geological part of survey was retained.  DNR was biological arm. 

01:53:18   Discussing DNR and UW relations. 

01:56:37   Discussing quote from Bogue history of UW re influence of Birge on AH. 

01:59:44   AH's work on lakes in early fifties under grant form Rahr foundation--Martin state. 

02:04:22   Rahr's help to AH's research.  Martin Gillen built roads as a hobby. 

02:05:45   Access to lakes. 

02:09:05   Mentions Brule River study. 

02:12:52  AH initiated winter studies of lakes.  Use of AEC funds. 

02:14:45 End of side. End of tape.

End of Mp3 File.

Tape 2/Side 1

00:00:02 AH's use of Birge's style at faculty meeting re building of parking lot in Lake Mendota. 

00:04:03  AH describes his participation in a course on biology in German.

00:09:35   Talks about his wife, Hannah, who trained people in various Mormon churches in Southern Wisconsin to sing choral music and put on performances. 

00:11:27   Mormon church in Madison. 

00:19:32  Why AH has been so deeply involved in international organizations. 

00:20:42   International Conference of Limnologists, 1962, held in Madison, because AH was chairman.  Funds from NSF.  Produced book, Limnology of North America (UW Press). 

00:23:40   Ecological Society of America made AH director of its Institute of Ecology. 

00:27:57   Comments on his election to National Academy of Sciences. 

00:33:00  On salmon. 

00:44:43   Describes project for helping European scientists after World War II.  Sending food, books. 

00:49:49   On DNR and recent decision to permit use of chemicals on lake weeds. 

00:54:40   Much wildlife management is based on policies urged by pressure groups, e.g. Conservation Congress. 

00:56:43  Walter Scott--strong force for progressive ideas in management and conservation. 

00:58:31   On AH's music pursuits.  Was on board of Madison Civic Music Association.  Also on Arboretum committee. 

01:08:17   End of interview.

End of Mp3 File.

Second Interview

Tape 3/Side 1

00:01:30 Knew Aldo Leopold, Norm Fassett, John Curtis, Grant Cottam, Col. Jackson, Gallistel, who was director of physical plant.

00:02:56   Research in Arboretum.  John Neess, Elizabeth Jones.

00:06:42   Use of dynamite to create ponds.  

00:08:01   More on Gallistel.

00:09:25   More on research.

00:15:28 Leopold--type of person, writing habits.  Acted as mediator between Arboretum and DNR.  Hard feelings between them at times.  

00:18:36 Brule River study begun by DNR, turned over to AH in 1940.  

00:20:09 Problem of carp in Lake Wingra.  DNR cooperation.  

00:23:26   Norman Fassett.

00:25:16   AH's research on homing in fish.  Fassett's help. 

00:26:35   More on Fassett.  His death.  

00:28:37   Ecologists vs. molecular biologists.  

00:29:43   Beltline issue.

00:31:18   End of side.

Tape 3/Side 2   

00:31:22 John Curtis.  Martin Gillen estate.  Gita Rahr estate.  Trout Lake.

00:35:13  Henry Green and Grady tract.  His death.

00:36:48   Arboretum Committee.  Strain between Curtis and Longenecker over issue of using Arboretum for horticulture.  

00:39:36   Other issues--Forestation project, highway issue.  

00:40:41  Committee's concern over successor to Gallistel.  

00:41:34   Gallistel respected scientists.  McCaffrey also sided with scientists.

00:42:21   Had trouble with Bud Jackson.  Money raising his forte.  Late '40's.

00:42:46   Houses in Arboretum.

00:43:14   More on Bud Jackson.  Conflict over use of land.  But he had good contacts in town.  Rotary Club, Madison Club.

00:45:25   AH's background.  Birge.  Fortunate for limnology that they had friends in administration.  More on Birge.

00:47:50   Chancey Juday.

00:48:15   Biological sciences departments in Birge Hall.

00:49:39   End of interview.


UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON ARCHIVES ORAL HISTORY PROJECT ARTHUR DAVIS HASLER An interview conducted by Laura Lord Smail Madison 1977 Hasler #48 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 3 Tape 1, Side 1 4 Background; graduate work in zoology at the University of Wisconsin; Birge and Juday Tape 1, Side 2 14 Others in department; division between laboratory and field biologists; space problems in the department; getting the Limnology Building Tape 2, Side 1 26 Issues in controlling pollution of Madison lakes; Hasler's efforts; University attitude to public service work; Institute for Environmental Studies; the Trout Lake laboratory Tape 2, Side 2 38 Birge; friction with botanists over use of Natural History Survey funds; people who worked at Trout Lake; Juday's role in relation to Birge; Birge in his final years; the Rahr Foundation and research on lakes in the Gillin estate in Northern Wisconsin; other funding sources for lake research; the Brule River survey; starting on winter lake research; AEC funding Tape 3, Side 1 51 The proposed parking lot on Lake Mendota; lecture course on biology for German students; the Mormon Church in Madison; the International Congress of Limnology meeting in Madison, 1962; other international meetings; election to NAS; research on salmon migration Tape 3, Side 2 63 Salmon migration research continued; the Salmon for Peace project; sending parcels to European scientists after World War II; the DNR; the Madison Civic Music Association; the Arboretum Index 74 Hasler #48 3 INTRODUCTION Arthur Davis Hasler was born in Provo, Utah, in 1908. He received a B.A. degree, majoring in zoology, from Brigham Young University in 1932, and a Ph.D. degree in zoology and physiology from the University of Wisconsin in 1937. He has an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the Memorial University of Newfoundland (1967). He joined the UW Department of Zoology as a faculty member in 1937, served with the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey in Germany in 1945, and returned to the University where he served as professor of zoology and director of the Laboratory of Limnology until he retired in 1978. In that time fifty-two doctoral students received degrees with him. He has authored or co-authored seven books and over 192 scientific articles. Dr. Hasler was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany in 1954-55, and a visiting professor at the University of Helsinki in 1963. He was elected to the Societas Scientiarum Fennica in 1965, the National Academy of Sciences in 1969, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1972, and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science in 1976. He has received ten distinguished scientist awards and served as president of six national and international societies (ecology, limnology, biology). He served as an exchange scholar for the National Academy of Sciences in China (1983) and the USSR (1986). This oral history interview was done in 1977. It was transcribed in Dr. Hasler's office, and Dr. Hasler has edited the transcript. Additions which do not fit readily into the text are in brackets. Laura Lord Smail Director, Oral History Project Madison, Wisconsin May, 1987 Hasler #48 4 TAPE 1, Side 1 (00:01:38) AH: My father and mother were both born in this country, children of Mormon pioneers. My father was of Swiss parentage. His parents were immigrants from Switzerland in 1870, where they were early converts to the Mormon Church. My mother's people are English and were also immigrants and also accepted the Mormon beliefs and came, and immigrated about 1847, and went as pioneers across the plains to Utah. My mother and father met at Brigham Young University where my father was a pre-medical student. My father then went to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, and became a physician and came back to be a practicing physician in Utah in a town--Lehigh was where I was born, a small town of 10,000 people in Utah valley. And when I was a child of six or seven we moved to Provo, Utah, which is where the Brigham Young University is. Here there were better schools and it was a more centralized part of the state. My father envisaged being able to raise his children and send them to college, and my mother, of course, had the same objectives. Mormon culture has a very strong force in obtaining education; everyone is expected to exploit his or her capabilities intellectually; that's considered a part of the objectives of training children. I spent two years in the ministerial service of the Mormon Church in Germany. LS: After you graduated? AH: No, after my freshman year, I spent almost two years there. I learned German, and that, of course, later gave me an advantage in the scientific field, both from being able to read the literature and to converse with international scientists in both English and German. While my father spoke Swiss German and High German, too, my mother couldn't, so we never spoke German at home. I learned German only after I got to be twenty years of age. But I've kept it up Hasler #48 5 and became fluent in it, having been to Germany on several occasions--one, then, the first time, and the second time as a soldier. I went with Sieghardt Riegel and John Workman on the Strategic Bombing Survey in World War II. That gave me a chance to refresh my German, being in Germany about five months there toward the end of the war and through the three months of the occupation, and also enabled me to get first-hand contact with scientists that I had read about all my life and whom I would see in 1953 on a Fulbright Fellowship to Munich. LS: But the first visit there was required, was that right? AH: Not necessarily, no. It's voluntary, it's just expected. The parents must be able to support you, must have the financial capability of supporting the son or daughter who wishes to do this ministerial service. I worked mostly with Boy Scouts because I had been an Eagle Scout and was interested in outdoor activities. Youth activities are a very prominent part of Mormon culture. So I had had this background and I carried it with me to this work in Germany. Later on, I got into organizational work within the same movement, missionary activity. And, I suppose, this contact with the German language, and later with German science, and with organization work then led to international activities that I undertook, as well as organizational activities with the various scientific societies that I worked with, such as the Limnological Society of America, of which I was one of the founding members and the Zoological Society, and the Ecological Society and then later the International Association of Ecology, which I was instrumental in founding, and was first president of the International Association for Ecology. But this early interaction with international affairs, I think, may have played a role in my later activities. I think that's, again, part of the Mormon background, because I remember as a child growing up that these ministerial services were such a common part of the culture that we had when I was a boy--every two or three weeks lectures or reports in church from young men and young women who were returning Hasler #48 6 from field service all over the world, from various parts of the Pacific to Mexico, and American Indian reservations. They'd talk about the culture and the language, and had learned the language, and I think that probably--possibly, got me interested in the international, that is, imprinted my international interest. LS: Did you choose Germany or were you assigned to it? AH: I preferred it. And I had had a year of German in college, so that gave me some advantage. Ordinarily one doesn't have the choice; one can just make suggestions and then it's decided by someone else. LS: But you weren't going door to door? AH: I did some recruiting, too, and arranging "cottage meetings". I'd say in that year and a half I probably did four or five months of that type of work, but would intersperse it with these youth activities, because that was part of the way of getting the church's message across--was through getting young people and the parents of young people interested in it. LS: How did you like the door-to-door? AH: Well, it's mostly a distasteful activity, but it was practice in speaking German. In those days in Europe, as an American, or especially as a person who wasn't a representative of the two prominent religions, Lutheranism or Catholicism, you were treated as an objectionable person for the most part. LS: This was the late '20s, I suppose? AH: This was '28 and '29. No, it was a very harsh experience, very harsh experience. We took a lot of verbal abuse in that. Occasionally you'd have very interesting and intellectual conversations, but much of it was rugged. LS: How many hours a day? Hasler #48 7 AH: Oh, we would commonly work for, oh, a good six or eight hours on this. LS: Pretty hard on your ego. AH: But we always had a companion, always had someone, and we were in contact with the organizational leaders who had frequent contact with our own people so that we had colleagues with whom we could share our misery in most cases. (00:10:54) LS: So then you went back to the university? AH: Then I went back and finished at Brigham Young, in zoology. I had planned to become a physician. My father wanted to have both me and my brother come back and practice with him. My brother was in medical school, and my father got cancer, and had to be hospitalized and the Depression came on. And these two insults to our economic situation made it unlikely that I could go to medical school, because my brother was in medical school. He was older, and it was only right that he should be allowed to finish. So I elected to become a scientist, and I applied for an assistantship at Wisconsin and was accepted here. LS: You took it for granted--you wanted to go into the academic life? AH: Yes, that was the next alternative, was to be a teacher, to be an academician. And I had worked with one of my professors there, in the Utah Mountains in the lakes there, which was one of the first surveys of the lakes of the Uintah Mountains, high mountains, alpine lake area, and I got interested in limnology in that summer activity. And this, again, shaped my future. And I applied here at Wisconsin because I knew it was a leader of aquatic biology--limnology, and was accepted here, fortunately, by Juday, who was then the professor in the zoology department, who taught the limnological work. LS: How did you get enough money to come here? Hasler #48 8 AH: Well, with savings and this assistantship that I was offered, this research assistantship, enabled me to pay my way. When I got here it was something like $600 a month; those were days when things were cheap. And, also I got married. I married Hanna Prusse, and she came with me. She was an industrious woman, a vocalist and musician, and an agile and graceful ballroom dancer. She worked part-time in Madison. LS: Now you'd met her in Germany, is that right? AH: No, no. LS: She was German, wasn't she? AH: She was born in Germany but came as a child of six to Utah. And, of course, she spoke both languages without accent. When I spoke German, I spoke with an American accent. LS: So you could get hold of money? AH: I, of course, worked in the summers, and did part-time work at the University, but my father probably helped me pay travel out here by train. It was a matter of being independent of them when you once got here, with this research assistantship, and my wife working part-time. I played horn in the UW Symphony and Madison Civic Symphony for three decades. LS: Where did you live? AH: We lived on Oakland Avenue at first, and then on Mills Street. Those were the two places that I recall, where the heating plant is now, and Oakland Avenue is down beyond the Stadium. (00:14:55) LS: Did the zoology department take you in? AH: Yes, I never felt any difficulty with the people in zoology. I think having been raised in an area like Utah that had some peculiar cultural aspects, and backgrounds, and prejudices, I did occasionally feel some degree of you might say opposition or skepticism on the part of my Hasler #48 9 colleagues about my background. And I always had to explain about being a Mormon and where you came from. When you're from a minority group, you always get into defensive situations in trying to defend your background and the people from whom you originated. [We had no difficulties socially.We were both good ballroom dancers and often went dancing with our colleagues.] LS: Could you give an example? AH: Well, polygamy was always an issue, even then, you see. And I think, possibly, interactions with people was most on a joking, sort of an acid type of jocular interaction that took a good deal of my patience and tolerance not to get angry with some of the questions, and some of the practical jokes that would be--I haven't thought of some of those for a long while, but I've often been sympathetic with people who were Jewish or were foreigners because any time you come into a place in which your cultural background is different, you immediately feel set apart. I think people make you feel somewhat apart from the group by the questions and discussions. LS: And you were probably, particularly, the butt, I imagine since you weren't of a minority group, which tends to arouse sympathy, so that you would get a rather bald kind of humor, is that right? AH: Possibly so. I always felt, somewhat, having gone through two world wars and with this German persecution, I found myself often in conflict with people about defending German culture, because my wife was German and I had learned German and learned to admire German and German science. So when during World War I and later, particularly, in World War II, there were these conflicts of defending something basic about German culture against the Nazi horrors, and trying to differentiate between what you might say cultural, educated fine Germans as contrasted to Nazi types. Hasler #48 10 (00:18:26) LS: This is an odd time to ask this, but did you know the people in the German department which was at its height in the '30s. Did you meet Twaddell and Hohlfeld? AH: Yes, Twaddell. Hohlfeld not so well. My wife was a musician and she studied with Mrs. Heffner, and this brought us into contact with the German department. And also I met Dr. Sieghardt Riegel and it was Riegel who introduced me to the people who were recruiting at that time for the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey in 1945. (00:19:15) LS: But to get back to your being here as a graduate student, and as a Mormon, how had your training at the university in Utah-- AH: Brigham Young University. LS: That's right, excuse me, had that prepared you well enough for your graduate work here? AH: I felt that I was well prepared. It was a small university, and certainly I was not as well prepared as the young people who were trained at Wisconsin or at Yale or Harvard, but I was able to make compensations for that by taking courses as a graduate student to fill in what deficiencies I had. LS: And were there any intellectual differences that you noticed? As a consequence of being brought up a Mormon? AH: No, I don't think so. I thought my teachers were very intellectual, and they were also quite objective. There was never this problem in Mormon culture of antipathy toward the teaching of evolution. My teachers at Brigham Young taught the principles of evolution, so I had had to make that compromise already before I left Utah, differing somewhat from the orthodoxy, although the Mormons aren't very orthodox about that point. One apostle was a scientist, Hasler #48 11 Widstoe. LS: I hadn't realized that. You mean some of them do object to the teaching-- AH: Yes, some of them take the Bible rather literally, but they never suppressed the teaching of evolution at Brigham Young University. LS: So in short, you really, except for this jibing at the most obvious factors, you didn't feel any different? AH: No. I remember that smoking was quite a common thing among our groups, and I always had to apologize for not smoking or drinking. That is part of the Mormon culture. Later on I loosened up on drinking, and would drink an occasional beer, and wine, but I never did smoke. LS: Good for you. AH: Hatheway, whom I married in 1972, quit smoking just after I married her. LS: Good for her. Did you study with Birge? AH: No, Birge was already long-retired when I arrived here. The two summers that I spent up at Trout Lake, as a research assistant at the field station with Juday, Birge would come occasionally and stay a few days, and I would see him there and have an occasional short conversation with him. But there was very little contact between him and the graduate students. He would work mostly through Juday, or other senior scientists who'd come in and out there. And then he was in the room just across from us on the fourth floor of Birge Hall. My first office was as an assistant with a desk in Juday's room, and Birge was just across the hall. And again, there would be a good deal of conversation back and forth in those days between Birge and Juday, but not with me. I had no conversations with him that I can recall in those two or three years that I was a graduate student. Then when I came back as an instructor, two years later, I would have occasional short conversations with him. But by then his mind was beginning to deteriorate and Hasler #48 12 he was going through his notes time and time again, adding up the columns mechanically. He'd come back the next morning with them all re-shuffled a different way and start to add them all over again. He wasn't really the inspiring, awesome director of the limnology program, the distinguished scientist, that I had heard about and read about. And of course I knew his publications and his elegant essays. LS: Were you disappointed that you didn't have encounters with him? That you couldn't talk with him? AH: It seemed rather obvious that there was no point in it, so I don't think that I had built up any anticipation. (00:24:36) LS: And you were Juday's teaching assistant? AH: No, I was his research assistant. But I taught under Guyer and Noland and Wagner in the zoology department, as a T.A. in invertebrate zoology, field zoology and comparative anatomy, and in general zoology. LS: Do you have any active interest in the TAA and the TA strike of 1970? Do you have any comments, observations to make about your period? How things were different when you were a TA? How you were trained or not trained to teach? AH: No, I think that the zoology TAs--there were very few who went on strike in the '70s. And when they did, there wasn't a lot of antagonism to the system and to the professors. I had very good relations with my TAs, even though some of them were on strike. In those days, it never occurred to us. It was during the Depression, and we were lucky to have a job. We were just fearful from year to year that we wouldn't get reappointed so that we'd be able to finish our work. There was no other means of financial support. Hasler #48 13 LS: Did the men you worked with train you? Did you have regular sessions with them? AH: I had very good training, especially with Noland. Noland was a wonderful teacher. He took a great deal of care in conveying his teaching techniques. He conferred often about student problems, about examinations, about reviews for the next day's work. No, I felt that I had good training. There were some other professors, of course, who didn't spend much time with their TAs, but Noland was extremely conscientious and dedicated. LS: Do you want to say anything about Juday and his relationships with Birge? AH: Well, I think it's pretty well all been recorded in the historical accounts that have been made. I was instrumental in getting the essay written by Mortimer for the Sellery book. I knew Mortimer and was able to put Dr. Ingraham in touch with him, and Ingraham then mediated the contact , so that chapter in Sellery's book on Birge as a scientist was something that I arranged. I think I was approached to do it, and I suggested that someone more interested in physical limnology should do it, such as Mortimer. I was then in England when he did that chapter. And then I was also instrumental in talking with him--when we put on the first International Congress of Limnology in Madison in 1962. In preparation for that, we who organized it thought it would be well to write a book on North American Limnology. And the first two chapters in that book, North American Limnology, were chapters reviewing the Birge-Juday period. I got Dave Fry to write the final chapter, and then I wrote the second chapter, which covered the period from 1940 to '62, which is the period that I supervised. Also I got the funds from the National Science Foundation to underwrite this book, which was then made available to the membership of the congress at a very reduced price. These first two chapters gave due credit to Juday and Juday's contribution to the Birge and Juday research period. The Mortimer chapter in Sellery, I think, emphasized the importance of Birge and de-emphasized Juday, so I thought these two gave Hasler #48 14 justice to both men. There was a breakup of their relationship in those last years, because Juday was an assistant in Birge's program with the Natural History Survey and didn't have professional rank. So when the Depression came and the Natural History Survey was dissolved, there were no funds for Juday to continue, and so the Department of Zoology, through the Graduate School, hired him as a professor. LS: How old was he? Was this toward the end of his career? AH: Yes, it was toward the end of his career. I think he had only a few years, maybe six or seven, left before he was to retire. And this created a difficult financial situation, and his wife, of course, was very angry about it, and there was a good deal of consternation. They had merged their libraries because they were a team, and when this episode came--this was about the time I came here now--Mrs. Juday would come up and take out all the books and pamphlets and reprints out of the library and put them in a special box and carry them home, contributing them to the Philadelphia Academy of Science. And this produced a good deal of conflict between the two. This aspect of Birge--his relationship to people--hasn't been brought into focus in the historical treatment of Birge; he obviously had problems dealing with people and being fair and humane in his reactions to people who worked around him. He was a demanding, very demanding officious person. LS: How did Juday feel about having his wife do that? AH: Oh, I think he was such a quiet, subdued man. She was such a domineering, forceful person. I don't think he had any option. He was such an agreeable person; he wasn't a very disputatious person. When I shared the office with him for two years he seldom talked. We never had a long conversation. AH: At one time, the second year I went to Trout Lake, he said, "Hasler, I'm going to ask you to Hasler #48 15 go up as research assistant this year." He said, "By the way, I wasn't very happy with your work last year. These were some of the things I didn't like. I hope that this year you will correct yourself." This was an example of a timid man of few words. You see, he'd waited this whole year to criticize me about my performance the year before. LS: You were glad he said it finally. I asked that question about Juday's wife because I'm interviewing a faculty wife now. I think that wives may have played a greater role in some of the doings of the University than we can ever be aware of. AH: Oh I'm sure. LS: And this business is an excellent example of that. He might never have had the courage. AH: Possibly not. She was an extremely forceful woman. (00:35:06) LS: What about some of the others? Meyer, was he here then? AH: R. K. Meyer was here, I knew him as a colleague. I think he was away when I was a graduate student, so he was brought back to take Hisaw's place. Hisaw went to Harvard. And so when I came back as an instructor I was a colleague with him on the staff. He was an assistant professor, I believe, and I was an instructor. And some of my early research was in conjunction with him, collaborating with him on hormones of fishes--trout and muskellunge. And I always respected him very much as a colleague over the years. LS: And Noland? AH: And Noland. I of course worked under Noland. I took over the elementary courses that he gave when I came back as an instructor, and I taught field zoology, which he had also previously taught. So I had frequent interactions with him, in getting help with the materials and subject matter. And he was very kind about making corrections. He would sit occasionally in the back of Hasler #48 16 the room and copy down our grammatical mistakes and make little helpful suggestions about how one could improve one's teaching and one's interactions--a very helpful critic. LS: I read the funeral service for him, and I wonder did he standout? Well, of course, that's not the proper way to put it, but he does seem to have been an unusual man. AH: Well, he was an extremely kind person, and a good teacher, an excellent teacher, spent a lot of time with students. But he was not very much interested in research, and not an inspiration in the research area, except that he had a vast knowledge, classical knowledge, of zoology. LS: At this time when you were coming on the faculty, was the department divided between the field zoologists and--or what were the divisions? AH: No. I didn't think there was much of that kind of division when I first came here. I think later on when we got into the molecular biology field, the advent of Ris and Plaut, and probably the geneticist, Crow, that then we had more, you might say, schisms about the emphasis in the department, but not at the early period. LS: The question of how the division between the field zoologists and the-- AH: The molecular biologists, physiologists, and geneticists, and biochemists. LS: How has it affected the development of the discipline in the department? AH: There's no question but what biochemistry and genetics and micro biology, bacteriology, were already dominant forces when I came here. And this was true throughout the country. The people who were being elected to the National Academy of Sciences were people in this area, not ecologists and not field people, and there was a certain lack of respect for field studies people. I don't think it had quite the dignity in the eyes and minds of the leaders of science on the campus and other campuses that I would have liked to have seen. I can sympathize for instance, with not going on with the type of thing that Birge and Juday did, which was, namely, Hasler #48 17 monitoring the environment. I saw rather early in my career that this was not the way for me to go. They had made their mark and I couldn't possibly do it any better. So having been trained as a--in the minor field my training was in physiology--I decided to go about the limnological work by experimental means, doing experimental biology outdoors, field experiments. And I remember going to Dr. Meek who was then dean of the Graduate School, early in my career, and asking for research funds to buy a station wagon to help me get students and equipment out into the field for these studies. And I made the argument to Dean Meek, it's just as important for a field biologist to have a car as it is for a biochemist to have a Warburg apparatus. And he retorted, "Well, Hasler," he said, "I've never seen a Warburg apparatus parked on a golf course," and that ended the conversation. It wasn't until two or three years later that I was able to get some private funds to buy a vehicle to get out in the field. But this relationship of having fun outdoors and associating a vehicle with pleasure was the dominant concept of going fishing: you went fishing for pleasure. You couldn't possibly be studying fish. You must be getting too much fun out of being outdoors. Well, I think that type of thing influenced people. But on the other hand, I think there was a certain lack of respect for what one could do, in a precise way, outdoors in contrast to what laboratory work is capable of doing. And the people who were influential there, like Fred and Elvejhem and Meek, were all laboratory people. They just couldn't envisage doing precise, scientific work outdoors. LS: And because two of them were presidents, they were in a very powerful position to determine which direction-- AH: Right. LS: You said that this was in the late '40s that this was developing, is that right? And into the '50s. Were the appointments along these lines too, more appointments in microbiology? Hasler #48 18 AH: Oh I think the first appointment that we were able to get in the microbiology field was when John Neess was appointed to the zoology department as assistant professor. But he soon lost interest in research, and left us without someone with whom I could work intimately within the Department of Zoology. And it wasn't then until we were able to get Magnuson on the faculty that I had an active collaborator. Of course by that time I had this building and a place for people. So most of my research work was done through post-docs rather than through collaborating with people in zoology. I had collaboration with people in botany probably more than in my own department--Fassett, and Curtis, and Cottam. LS: You knew Curtis, did you? What was your opinion of him? AH: Well, he was a first-class scholar and a fine ecologist and an excellent biologist, a very exacting person, very honest scientist, and I enjoyed being with him. I think he stimulated me a great deal, and I collaborated with him and Fassett. They were, I thought, my mainstays for support in this field in those early days. LS: Well there must have been some other field zoologists. AH: Well, there was Leopold, of course. I knew him very well, and he was an intellectual colleague. I used to go to his seminars and I had sympathetic discussions with him. And in my dealings with the Conservation Department, which was one of the possible sources of funds in those days, he was very helpful. And there was also the chairman of botany--what was his name--Gilbert, was very helpful in those days, too, and the Arboretum Committee. And through Gilbert and through the influence of Leopold I was able to get a grant to study the Brule River. One of the first ecosystem studies in Wisconsin in which multidisciplinary approach was undertaken was the study of the Brule River, in which we had people like Fassett and John Thomson, and a geologist--what was the geologist's name? Bean. He was one of the collaborators on the study, Hasler #48 19 one of the first sort of ecological studies, multidisciplinary in nature, that was undertaken in Wisconsin, after the Birge period. I would describe the Birge-Juday period as one having some multidisciplinary efforts, but this was of a different type and, also, led to the accumulation of scientific data, which then gave strength to the proposal of establishing the state forest, the Brule River State Forest, and the state park. (00:47:35) LS: I know that now the department is offering courses in ecology. Were there disagreements as to whether that direction should be followed? And when did this all start? Do you remember? AH: No, I don't remember any real conflicts about the teaching of ecology. Botany, you see, had an ecology course before we had one. The only ecology course we had was the one I taught, which was limnology. We didn't teach ecology until after botany had started an ecology course. And then there was a period there when their ecology course was taught jointly by zoology and botany. And then they got more advanced courses in ecology, and we also developed more advanced courses. LS: Were these competing courses? AH: Well, they were competing, I suppose, for the students across the campus who were studying ecology. You see, the wildlife department began to call themselves ecology. They were named wildlife ecology, so that gave a group in the Ag School using this term. And I suppose we were competing for students on a campus-wide basis, but I never felt like competition for students was an issue. I think the issues were getting people into the department who were ecologists, and who were competing for the research funds and for the space. LS: And how does that then work out? AH: Well, those were all done. There were always conflicts, always disputes, but I think in that Hasler #48 20 area that federal funds came in and rescued the space problems. We were able to build this building here, that gave us space for work. The zoologists then later got money to build the laboratory, the zoology laboratory that was called Zoology Research. Dr. Harold Wolfe led that effort, and that received support from two or three of the granting agencies, National Science Foundation and national Institutes of Health, as well as from the state. Later on, Noland Hall was built. LS: Was that also a federal grant? AH: No, that was mostly state; that was a teaching building. LS: Did you have anything to do with it? AH: No, only as a staff member. We use rooms there for teaching; we lecture there and have our laboratories there. LS: Do you have an office over there? AH: No. LS: When there are department meetings, where are they held? AH: They are held in Noland Hall. LS: Do you get to all of them? AH: We all get to them. We go to Noland. We are there. I was there teaching this morning, for instance, and stayed during the noon hour. LS: You must have to drive over, that’s a long way from here. AH: Well, we walk. If we have to carry equipment, we go by car. LS: It’s a long way. AH: It’s about fifteen minutes. LS: Does it make quite a difference in the department, or is that a leading question? Hasler #48 21 AH: Well, yes, it meant that we did only have these interactions on Tuesday noon and not always then because they weren’t regular. LS: Is that at luncheon? AH: A luncheon meeting. And we aren’t in contact with the rest of the department. And I think this is a problem that always arises but I never felt that was much of a handicap because when I was in Birge Hall I didn’t feel like I had—even though I was right across the hall from the molecular biology people, it was only during staff meetings that we came together and talked about the business of the department. Their activities were quite different from mine, and I didn’t feel like being there was any great asset. So I think, certainly from the point of view of smooth workings of the department, it’s good to be in one place where you can see one another—to have, you might say, caucuses and the like. But as far as research is concerned, I felt more in common with people in botany and other departments—soils, water chemistry, and engineering. LS: Do you recall any discussion of the possibility that you might all form a separate department? AH: No, I was in the early discussions about the Institute for Environmental Studies, getting the various people from the various parts of the University into the group. I think that’s something that has been rather traditional in Wisconsin, has been, at least on the graduate level, the lack of barriers between departments. So with the Graduate School providing money for research that could be done on a multi-disciplinary basis, and the Office of Naval Research coming in right after the war and providing funds for that type of research, then the National Science Foundation after that, we had good research support to finance the activities of field people all over the University. We weren’t dependent upon funds from the department itself; we were hardly in competition for the funds. There were years in which I was so independent of the department, Hasler #48 22 from the point of view of funds, that I wouldn’t request any equipment from the department budget. In recent years it’s been—some funds are getting a bit shorter—we do request, and are granted on a competitive basis, funds from the departmental budget. LS: Do you have more standing now in the department than you did have? AH: Oh, I think so. LS: They’ve come to see the value then? AH: Oh, I think so. LS: Years ago, the zoology department had to train pre-medical students, didn’t it? And that must have had a major effect of what’s required from a graduate course. AH: Yes. LS: And you would have had nothing to do with that part of it? AH: No, only as a teaching assistant when I taught beginning zoology. But I have had good relations with the Medical School on a research basis. I took my minor—I worked there with Bradley in physiological chemistry, and with Meek in physiology. So I’ve had collaborative research with the non-clinical part of the Medical School. LS: And you spent fifteen years trying to get this building built. Would you talk about how you felt about that? When did you start campaigning for it? AH: Well, I’ve got a little history of the building up there. I didn’t realize that—must have picked that up from some of your reading. I can’t recall. Our first expansion, when I first started out, Guyer had built this little building down here in about 1936, the red building at the end of Park Street. It’s called the Lake Laboratory. Birge and Guyer had never been very friendly. Guyer had never allowed Birge and Juday to use that little building. So when I came back to Wisconsin as an instructor, I was assigned that as research space, and no one had ever done any Hasler #48 23 research in it. It had been a little laboratory empty for two years, so I moved into it with my first graduate students. Later on, when the engineering people vacated the old chemical building, there was a Quonset hut on one end of that, that we got funds from the Graduate School to rebuild, and that was the first expansion. And then during this period I became an active consultant for the Office of Naval Research, Division of Biology, and the National Science Foundation, and I was able to sit in and actually participate in the granting of funds to universities for building up scientific programs. And while I was on the ONR and NSF committees, I realized that I should use this avenue to get some help here, because it was quite clear that with state funds going into medicine and agriculture and biochemistry and so forth, that I had to get outside funds to get anything better. LS: Had you ever proposed to your colleagues--? AH: Yes, we had made proposals. In fact, even when we got the funds for this building, we made proposals for additional grants. This building was, for instance, delayed for a whole year because we lacked the—when it went out for bids it came back that the bids were higher than the funds we had available. And the University wouldn’t make up this difference, and so we delayed the whole activity for a year, while the architects replanned the building to bring it down to the size of the funds we had available. LS: When was that? AH: That was about 1960. You see I had served as chairman of zoology in 1952, 1954 and 1955—I was in Germany on a Fulbright in 1953—yet the Graduate School, or the administration, wasn’t willing to pick up the difference and get this building going at that time, so we had to retrench. This was quite a disappointment to us. LS: Did it cost you in terms of facilities and equipment? Hasler #48 24 AH: It not only delayed us a year, but it reduced the size of the facility by one half. In fact, I suppose, had we had strong leadership up in the higher echelons of the University at that time, we could have, when money was being distributed, when the University was in competition for money, could we have gone into NSF and NIH, at that time, we probably could have gotten a much bigger building, if several groups had got together, such as hydrology, soil science, water chemistry, and those various groups. If we’d had leadership at the head, we might have gone out for a much bigger building. Now, of course, we need something to bring a lot of people together, and we don’t have this kind of money available on the national scene. (01:01:25) LS: Who is we, when you speak of applying for the grant? AH: You mean the time when we got this building? LS: When you were applying for it, and thinking about it; you used the term “we.” AH: Well, we had at that time an unofficial organization of the campus in the Graduate School called the Lakes and Streams committee, and they were people like Sarles and Rohlich and Gerloff and Skoog and Curtis. LS: Skoog? AH: Well, Gerloff, Skoog part-time—Skoog not so commonly. Skoog was working with algae at the time, with Gerloff. They were a team. And there wasn’t the broad interest in these other people. They were interested in their own areas, had adequate space for their own work. And so I took it upon myself to— LS: So they weren’t really helpful? AH: Not very much. They were helpful when the site visit came, in supporting me and saying that this is a justified program, and we’d be glad to have this facility. It’ll help the whole Hasler #48 25 program on the campus. LS: But it was essentially your own? AH: I would say so, yes. In fact, after we got these funds, Clodius, the vice president, called in one day and said, “Well, Hasler, you seem to be quite successful at getting funds in this area. How about getting funds to build a laboratory up at Trout Lake, where Birge and Juday worked?” I said, “Well, it’s essential that we get a building that way, but I’m not willing to do it without some state funds this time. I just won’t do it.” He said, “Well, if we supply half the funds, will you do it?” “Yes,” I said, “I’ll do it.” So I began then putting together a building proposal—a proposal for a new building at Trout Lake, in which—and Harrington and Clodius were able to find state funds to match the federal funds for that building, which is much smaller than this. (01:04:28) LS: Did the architects of this building do a good job? AH: Excellent. There was a change in architects. When I first began thinking about this building, there was a rule in the state that the state architect had to appoint anyone he wanted to be the architect for the group. And there’s been sort of a tradition for appointing certain types of architects. And a new architect came in, who was more liberal about architectural choice, and he accepted my proposal to get Bill Kaeser, who was somewhat of a Frank Lloyd Wright. He wasn’t a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, but he believed in Frank Lloyd Wright’s style. And so he was the one we were able to get appointed at that time. So we weren’t at the mercy of just any old architects, we could go to one who had some imagination. LS: You were lucky. AH: In fact, I had had a German colleague, Holger Jannasch, there at the time, whose wife was Hasler #48 26 an architect, a German-trained architect. And she envisaged the idea of having a cantilevered-type structure for this building. So I took this drawing that she had made to Bill Kaeser, and he accepted this general design and built it around that concept. The first design, that lost out in the bid, was a much more elaborate cantilever than the one we have now. It was a more graceful building and would fit into the shoreline a lot better. It was more expansive—an expansive natural view of the lake shore. But we lost it when the bids came in in excess of the money we had. Tape 2, Side 1 (01:06:38) LS: One thing we could talk about is your encounters with environmental issues, with opponents of some of your ideas. I would like for you, if you could, to start historically from the beginning, when you were pushing some of these things that we're accepting now so easily. AH: Well, the very first encounter I had with this was even before Silent Spring, when they were using copper sulfate to control the algae blooms on Lake Monona and on Waubesa and Kegonsa. LS: Now "they" is the city? AH: The city was doing that. And this was because the sewage hadn't been diverted. The sewage had been identified as a cause of this, and they, the city, and the county, were going to make an effort to divert the sewage. But in the meantime, the war came along and prevented that from taking place, and so copper sulfate was used as an alternative to getting the phosphorus out of the system. LS: Now did they consult people in the University when they decided to do this? AH: Well, they consulted people, but it was decided there was no other alternative. You couldn't Hasler #48 27 live on the lake unless you controlled it. But then there was the problem of using too much, and it was extended to other lakes where it seemed that the best thing to do was to continue to use it, this copper sulfate, as the method of controlling algae because that was the easiest and cheapest way to do it. It was expensive to look at the lake as a system and to try to control the phosphorus problems, and the landscape problems. This is a much more complicated, expensive thing to do. And so my role was then to try to convince people of the futility of using the chemical method on the long pull and to move as rapidly as possible to these other ways of controlling the problem and dispensing with the chemicals. And I tried again, to point out what the chemical was doing--it was killing the fish, killing the fish foods; it was upsetting the whole balance of the system, and it was something that wouldn't be good over the long pull. LS: How did you go about getting your views known? AH: Well, for one thing I would make appearances at the various service clubs, like the Rotary Club or the Kiwanis Club, and make speeches. LS: Did you ask them to let you speak? AH: I don't know. I imagine what I would do is, someone would interview me, and an article would be printed in the press about what Hasler had to say about a certain issue, and then I would be invited to talk. And then I was invited by the mayor to organize a Lake Mendota Problems Committee, and made chairman of that. LS: Who was the mayor? AH: Mayor Reynolds. And I was able then to publish that little bulletin there on how to get at Lake Mendota problems, because by then we were dealing with Mendota itself. We had now gotten the sewage out of Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa, and because of that we wouldn't have to use as much copper sulfate, so the copper sulfate issue became less of a problem. Then the Hasler #48 28 problem came up, of course, the continuing problem of whether to control the weeds--aquatic plants. Large aquatic plants were the main problem in Lake Mendota at that time, and they found that they could put on a herbicide that would kill the large aquatic plants, or the weeds, and I was in opposition to this. (01:11:14) LS: Did they really make such a big decision as that without getting somebody from the University who knew about--to advise them? AH: City governments proceed with these practical solutions without too much advice from the University that I recall. I don't remember ever being brought in on any of these discussions. LS: Extraordinary. They have their own experts, you mean? AH: Yes, they have their own specialists, the city biochemists--they were those days, chemists--and they would--the way to solve a problem was by chemical treatment. And it seemed to me like they were continuously--and people in the Conservation Department were also practical engineers and chemists, who were again wanting to solve things by chemical means. The thinking of people in those times was to solve many problems of this type by chemical means, as with the insecticides, and it led to Rachel Carson's book. But I think many of us were thinking like Rachel Carson was long before that book came out. I think she said it very elegantly, and she said these things so forcefully that--and also in such a way that everybody could read them--gained points of discussion. I think it was a great breakthrough in our whole dealing with these public issues, and dealing with chemicals. LS: Speaking of Rachel Carson, I've heard that there was an issue arising from her book being read aloud on WHA, by Carl Schmidt--that there was some objection to that. AH: Yes, I remember that. Hasler #48 29 LS: What happened? AH: Well, the main opponents to that were people in the Department of Entomology. There was one person in particular, I think Fisher was his name, who made a fuss about it, objected to this position. I don't know whether that came at the time that Dr. Crow and I were invited on the Round Table. I believe that Vogelman got us together on the Round Table, and he and I then defended the Rachel Carson position, to the point where those same scientists in the entomology department demanded an apology. And I think the Graduate School had a committee listen to those tapes and write a report as to what was to be done. Actually, nothing was ever--we weren't forced to retract what we had said, and the whole issue quieted down. But it was a disputatious event. LS: Well, why don't we carry on with Lake Mendota? AH: Well, I wish I remembered one of the episodes about using poisons on the large aquatic plans. Dr. Cottam and I went down to the city council, after we had had several of these hearings with the Lake Mendota Committee and had realized that this solution again wasn't the proper solution for Lake Mendota. We went down and supported a resolution in the city council to ban the use of herbicides in Lake Mendota, and we were able to get it passed. And it wasn't until just two years ago that that was then taken over by the county, and the city tried to get the county to uphold that same--but the Department of Natural Resources overruled the city, because they had the legal right. They had the legal right to manage the waters of the state according to their own dictates, and they ruled that poisons could then be used on Lake Mendota under their supervision. We argued that the weed cutters could do it just as well, do it just as cheaply. And we had the weed cutters working, and we had encouraged even the county to handle the thing by weed cutters and by using young people's groups. I argued that this was a good way to employ Hasler #48 30 the young people of the city in the summer time, was to hire them to go around to the various piers and get the weeds out by hand harvesting. And we developed some suggestions of how the weeds could be used as compost and for cat litter, and what not. We had our opponents during this period, but we were able to win on that case with the city council. And we had a good case; it was accepted and seemed reasonable to the city council. It was over-ruled here two years ago by DNR because it had the legal authority. LS: And what are you doing about that? AH: Well, I haven't done anything about it, except to put my thoughts in reports I've written. But I haven't appeared publicly about it, except in one of the last hearings where I issued my objections in this hearing. We were overruled by the legal authority of the DNR's position. And, oh yes, well also what I did in a constructive way about the Lake Mendota situation was to lead this group, the Lake Mendota Problems Committee, to the production of a report that recommended that we also remove the sewage from going into Lake Mendota from Waunakee and DeForest. And we were able to get Norman Anderson to write a bill and get it passed in the State Legislature to supply the funds that were necessary to divert sewage from Lake Mendota, and this was eventually done. We had also a very interesting episode during that period when Norman Anderson was preparing that bill. He had the help of Jake Beuscher in the Law School, who was also sympathetic with our point of view of how to handle the lake, and he helped draw up the legal aspects of the bill. LS: Is he connected with the Institute for Environmental Studies? AH: No, he died before the Institute for Environmental Studies was formed. LS: Oh, I see, this was some time ago? AH: I'm talking about 1951, '52. Hasler #48 31 (01:20:27) LS: How did your colleagues in the zoology department take this? AH: Well, I don't know. They never criticized me openly about it, but I never felt that the time that I spent for the public good, that is, working on these committees in Madison, or working on the committees nationally with the Ecological Society of America or some of the committees of the National Academy of Sciences--I've spent hundreds and hundreds of hours working with this type of thing and giving talks to clubs locally and elsewhere. No, I never felt this was rewarded by my colleagues. I don't think the molecular people felt that this was a legitimate activity of a professor. I never felt that I was being rewarded. This aspect of my public service I don't think was ever looked at until probably recent years; but certainly for most of my career, I always felt at promotion time that I didn't get any brownie points for my activities in the public sector. LS: That's changed, has it? AH: I think it's changing now. I think it's changed in recent years. LS: I was asking if they helped you, if they, themselves, were involved? But what you're saying is that they didn't even appreciate-- AH: No, no. I got no help, except from people like Fassett and Curtis and Leopold. They all gave me strong support, but I never had Elvehjem, or Meek, or anybody, or Guyer, or anyone else call me in and compliment me, or-- LS: And not even do anything on their own for the environment? AH: No, I don't think those people--that wasn't their--even E. B. Fred I don't think did much. He was all right for supporting research on Lake Mendota but I don't think he did much toward environmental welfare. [He even supported the plan to put in a 600-car parking lot in front of the Memorial Union.] Hasler #48 32 LS: What do you think about the present administration? Chancellor Young? AH: Chancellor Young, I think, has been quite supportive. In fact, while he was dean of my college, this was at the time I was building this building, I got fairly good support from him and building the Trout Lake Station. He was very favorably predisposed to our program. And I think Dean Doremus, in his office, has been very helpful in financial matters, getting our funds arranged and helping us with using our funds well and appropriately. We've had good advice there. As far as, you might say, working on--I don't think I ever got a letter of commendation from any University official about my activities in the public sector. LS: Your file is about two inches thick with newspaper clippings. You've certainly had recognition in the world, but not here. AH: No. Well, let's say that one doesn't dwell on those things. At periods one feels bitter about them, but it has been rewarding to at least get this kind of recognition off the campus and in the international area. (01:24:41) LS: Does the existence of the Institute for Environmental Studies make it easier. Do you feel that that's a group that is concerned about, dedicated to the environment within the campus: Has it fulfilled your hopes? AH: No, I don't think that it has. I don't think that we've had the leadership there that we should have had. LS: Well, comment on that. AH: Well, my views have been expressed rather strongly on that some time ago. I thought that the choice of Bryson to head that was wrong in the first place, and I told Chancellor Young that I thought that it was a poor choice. And he made it anyway, and then Bryson came down the day Hasler #48 33 after he was appointed and interviewed me and said, "Hasler," he said, "I know you don't think I can do a good job of this, and that you think differently about the direction that this should take. And I'd like to solicit your--Chancellor Young has sent me down to solicit your help." And I said, "Well, I'd be glad to give it. The appointment has been made, and we'll live with it, and I'll help where I can." And I did. I think for five years I was a very strong, supportive assistant as to what they had hoped to do. But it has never really helped our program here, or any of the activities that I understood. LS: Why not? AH: Bryson was so self-centered in getting the areas underway that he was interested in himself, that he didn't have the vision, I didn't feel. He first of all antagonized the agricultural people who should have been brought in, helpfully, at the time and loyally supporting, and done well with the engineers. I think he'd been very conspicuous in helping his own program. He hasn't been a very broad-minded administrator. My skepticism about the success of the program, with his leadership, has been borne out, and recently the biological work has been taken over, you see, by Cottam and by Loucks who are trying to muddle along as best they can. But Bryson antagonized zoology and he antagonized this young man that was to help out in the oceanography and limnology program. The oceanography and limnology program has actually been withdrawn from IES, because he wasn't really handling the programs sympathetically. So I think as far as the hydrobiological side of it and the agricultural side of it, it hasn't lived up to the expectations that those of us had who helped move it along in the early days. Rohlich, for instance, was one of the leaders, Gerry Rohlich. I think he had the vision to have carried it off, and I don't know just why--he was, I think, acting director of it for a year at least, and then Bryson was made permanent director. I think Rohlich, or someone like him would have been a much better choice. Hasler #48 34 LS: Is he still here? AH: No, he left. I don't know if that was one of the reasons he left, but he went to Texas. LS: And this was a permanent appointment? AH: Well, any director, you know, is in as long as he has the support of the chancellor. LS: Not like a department chairman, is it? AH: No. I've let my ideas be known. The limnology and oceanography committee withdrew, you know, and this is going to be taken over by the engineering faculty. It'll be administered in engineering rather than IES, because there was so much conflict between--I wasn't the leader in that withdrawal; I was a supporter of it, but other faculty members participated in the withdrawal. It isn't just my own inability to collaborate with Bryson; it's been quite a number of other people too. He antagonized a lot--the chairman of zoology, he handled that issue with Kitchell so poorly. LS: What issue was that? AH: Well, we had a faculty member teaching in the oceanography program; he was assigned to IES. And his handling of this young man, who's now with us--Kitchell--was so rough and unfair we thought, and zoology thought it was unfair, that we'd take him into zoology to keep him here. LS: Grant Cottam is in charge of the undergraduate program, isn't he? How do you feel about that part? AH: I've no objections to that. And also the Water Resources Management Program, with which I am associated, is in IES, and that is going along reasonably well. It hasn't that much support, but it's moving along. Grant Cottam collaborates in that effort. I think Cottam and Loucks, the people in the botanical end of ecology, I've always gotten along with very well. I helped to get the International Biological Program on Lake Wingra into our University, and the funds for that, Hasler #48 35 see, went into IES and were administered there. It was I who made that contact, got the funds here, and made the initial proposal, helped to write the initial proposals. It went along for several years under my strong encouragement, and now it's working on its own. LS: And that's going on? AH: It's going on. I think possibly we ought to stop, and start some other time. I think I'm probably getting a little bit tired. LS: All right, yes. Second Session (01:32:06) LS: We're back again, on March 15th, and now there's a twenty-foot strip of fresh water along the lake. AH: Yes, and also the ice has begun to tinkle and get soft and black, and soon it will break up. It looks like it might be a very early breakup period. The mean date is the sixth of April, so we're three weeks--it should break up any day now, we'd be three weeks earlier than the mean date. But there've been early breakups before, obviously, if we get a mean of the sixth. LS: I want you to talk some more about the '30s, and your memories, and what you have heard about Birge, and what was going on in the department. You said that you weren't the choice of Birge and Juday? AH: I don't have any reason for believing so, and I don't know that they had any reason for believing that they could make a choice, because Birge had been long ago out of the system. He was retired as president, and he'd been chairman of zoology and dean of Letters and Science, and then president, so that all the way along he'd been the really principal, positive person in this Hasler #48 36 area. And he'd obviously made a lot of enemies on the faculty, at least on the biological end of the faculty. And of course when Guyer came--I think that Guyer must have been brought in without his consent. I just assume that because, see, Guyer was apparently very forceful in seeing to it that Birge didn't encroach upon the zoology department. He ran an independent show, and they seemed to operate as separate individuals. And I think, rightfully, Guyer could because he was officially the chairman and Birge was then retired president. But Guyer got the money--I don't know where-to build this little building down here at the end of Park Street, called for many years the Lake Lab. LS: Do you remember when that was? AH: Well, I came in '37 and I remember them saying that it was built during the two years that I was away, which was between '35 and '37. LS: Right in the middle of the Depression. AH: Right. And it was not occupied by anyone for those two years, except by graduate students, who Guyer approved to live there as sort of an auxiliary housing situation. But no one ever worked with any kind of a systematic program out of this building. So when, then, he invited me to come back as an instructor in zoology, he assigned this to me as my research space, and to my knowledge Birge and Juday had never been in the place. When they worked on Lake Mendota in the twenties, yes, 1910 up to 1920, they must have had some other kind of facilities to work on the lake than boats and this place wasn't available to them. LS: Now I have Juday as having been here until 1940, didn't he retire until 1940? AH: I don't think that's correct, because he was retired when I came back in '37. LS: Maybe he's just listed as an emeritus. So they would logically not have the use of the building, then, as retirees? Hasler #48 37 AH: No. And the Trout Lake Laboratory also was no longer used by them. They built that laboratory. They built up that program anyway. There were very primitive laboratory conditions and housing conditions on Trout Lake. It wasn't until 1965 or 1966 that I got money to build a building up at Trout Lake. LS: When did Trout Lake Lab start? AH: Well, it must have started in the mid-twenties, because it was Birge and Juday who decided that they should be working in an area of the state which was not influenced by human activity. The lake here began to get polluted, you see, with sewage and so forth, and so they moved their whole operation up to this lake district, to Trout Lake. LS: And when you were a graduate student did you go up there? AH: I worked there. I went there two summers--'32 and '33, no '33 and '34, because I came in the fall of '32. LS: Do you remember what it was like then? Could you describe it, what working there was like? AH: We had tents, for instance; we lived in tents, some of us. Some of them lived in old bath houses that had been pulled in there and constructed into dormitories, two to four-man dormitory situations. There was a bunkhouse, an old improvised bunkhouse that several of the graduate students lived in. And then we would get the wife of one of the graduate students to cook for us, or we ate at a cook tent. They had old broken down, half-functioning, worn-out secondhand vehicles--old Dodge and Ford pickup trucks of one kind or another. But Birge would always arrive from Madison and live at the forestry headquarters, which was near the station--by near I mean it was two to three hundred yards away, the forestry headquarters where Birge had his dwellings and where Juday also stayed. Hasler #48 38 LS: What do you mean by forestry headquarters? AH: Well, there was a Department of Natural Resources, then called the Wisconsin Conservation Department, that had these outlying stations around the state for working with state parks and forestry activities, and one of those was at Trout Lake. It was a large, mansion-like old, log, beautifully built mansion--like facility, where the foresters and the director of that part of the state park lived, and some of the other dignitaries and visiting scientists. Birge always came up and stayed there. He would arrive in a limousine driven by a driver, even after his retirement. You see he had access to-- LS: From the University? AH: Yes, and then he and Juday would discuss the problem. They were struggling to get enough money to keep the operation up there going, because by that time the Natural History Survey had folded. LS: The Natural History Survey? AH: Yes, the Geological Natural History Survey, of which he had been the head. It had been discontinued because of economies during the Depression, leaving only the geological section intact. Phil La Follette, as governor, made the decision. Tape 2, Side 2 AH: By that time, Juday had had no assurance of his position with the survey , so the Department of Zoology took him on, with the help of the Graduate School, for his remaining years as a full professor in the department. So he accumulated possibly only ten years of retirement funds by the time he retired. LS: I see. Now that becomes clear. I guess I didn't realize it. Hasler #48 39 AH: And Birge was already pretty feeble, those two summers I saw him there. He would come, and go out in a boat, occasionally, with Lester Whitney, in physics, measuring light penetration in the lake, and he would sort of wobble back and forth from one end of the boat to the other, with everybody wondering when he was going to fall in. [Neither he nor Juday could swim, hence the concern.] He never did, but he was quite unsteady, but still very dynamic and really wanting to do things. And then when I came back in '37, to be on the staff, he had deteriorated considerably. He was quite feeble and he wasn't really working over his data very systematically. But he still had moments of very lucid activities, when you'd hear him talking with Juday, or on the phone talking with some official. My office with Juday, up there in Birge Hall, was right across the hall from him, and so I saw the goings and comings of this activity. LS: Although he still is listed as publishing an article as of 1941. AH: That's right, but that was the big celebration for him, is that what you're meaning? LS: No, just one source I read said that his last published article was 1940 or 1941. AH: Of course that would mean that he would have had to finish it before '41, if it was published in '41. LS: I just wondered if he was still putting his name to articles? AH: What year was that big celebration given for him? LS: I think it was '40 or '41. AH: Yes, I think so. And of course, he never had any graduate students. LS: Right, I saw that. How come? AH: Well, I think he had just been out of the system, had been an administrator for so long, and even when he was in the Department of Zoology, he didn't have any. I don't know the answer to that. I think he preferred to work by himself, and with these specialists at the Geological and Hasler #48 40 Natural History Survey, such as Juday. And of course Juday never had any until that period when he was released from the survey and became a professor of zoology. LS: I'm curious whether the forestry service didn't object to the fact that Birge stayed in a Conservation Department lodge. Was that all right? AH: It was considered to be, I suppose, a privilege of Birge's status as former president, and being interested in research up there. He'd had this long association with them up there. He apparently was there because of their--they accepted him because it was their property, also. These shacks and these provisional housing units and old laboratories were on DNR property. That was not University property. We never got University property until about 1965 when I moved the station over to the other side of Trout Lake, and we were then given eighty acres of land for the new University facility--I don't know what the arrangements were, that's all in the records. The modern laboratory, at the other site, was built in 1966. The DNR wanted to have it separate from theirs; they didn't want the research and University activities on their property associated with the activities of the Parks Administration after this period. LS: How long would you as a graduate student spend during the summer up there? AH: Two months. LS: So you spent the whole summer? AH: Yes, July and August. LS: Did Birge dictate all of the research that was going on, or could you all pursue the kind that you wanted to? AH: Oh, during those two years he was just trying to scrape up enough money to keep the activity going. We were assistants for ongoing research. LS: He had responsibility, or felt-- Hasler #48 41 AH: Well, he felt he had some responsibility for it. LS: Would Guyer not have been particularly interested in supporting it? I mean, getting money for it? AH: Apparently not. I don't remember seeing them ever converse or hearing them converse about University matters. They were two separate individuals with obviously some antagonism, and the same with the chairman of botany, who was Gilbert. He was extremely antagonistic, and rather resentful that Birge had used all the survey money to do lake work and had not turned any over to the study of the vegetation of Wisconsin and other activities that the botanists would be interested in. LS: Which he was supposed to have done. AH: Well, it was called the Geological and Natural History Survey, and Birge's interpretation was to do only lake work for the Natural History division. And also the fact that he took up such publication space in the academy Transactions was resented by the botanists. LS: The academy? AH: The Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences. You see, Birge and Juday were publishing their results in the Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences Transactions, which meant there was no publication space for botany. I remember Gilbert complaining about that fact. LS: How many people were there during the summers? AH: Oh, we'd have probably eight or ten graduate students and one or two young professors. Professor Meloche in chemistry used to come up. He would be a good resource person in this area. He's been retired for several years but he's quite lucid and knowledgeable about this period, and you might catch him some time to fill you in on it because he worked up there as the advisor on limnological chemistry. Hasler #48 42 LS: Who else? AH: Well, Whitney, a graduate student in physics. He was advised by someone in physics, but he was the field man the two summers I was up there working with Birge, especially on light penetration--Lester Whitney. But there were no other biologists from the University up there besides Birge and Juday, no other professors in the zoology or botany departments. LS: What about yourself? (01:50:05) AH: I was a graduate student then. You see, Juday was a professor in zoology now, that is to say, it was their, Birge and Juday's, operation. No other professors from either botany or zoology operated at that place. Meloche in chemistry was the only professor I remember in the two summers I was there. LS: In the Bogue book on the history of the University, he refers to Juday as the assistant of Birge. Is that how he was thought of? AH: Yes, I think that that's true. He was Birge's assistant, but being paid through monies from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. LS: It seemed to me last time that you were trying to get over the point that his work was of equal value. AH: Yes, I think that in the later years as Birge became, you see, dean and president, that he had less time for scientific work, and he would just simply turn over some aspects of the program to Juday. For instance, the chemical and biological aspects were Juday's. "Listen, I'll be the senior author and the senior man in the physical aspects," this is Birge, now, on light penetration, "and you be the principal scientist dealing with the chemistry and biology of the lake." And I think when you read the papers over, you see that dichotomy. They obviously conversed all the time, Hasler #48 43 but he looked upon Juday as his senior right-hand man in that area. But I wasn't here then. I came only after Juday was a professor. One could look into the historical records, I think of the Wisconsin Geology and Natural History Survey. And, you see, after it folded, I mean the organization folded, under Birge's leadership, the geological section was retained, and Bean--I don't know whether he was the first one--but Ernest Bean then became the director of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. But there was no natural history; there was only geology. [In the 1960s, we explored with Dean Ira Baldwin the likelihood of restoring it, but he was skeptical.] And the DNR was looked upon as being the biological arm of the outlying parts of the state. LS: Were you at all involved? You were an advisor, I think were you, to the Conservation Department? AH: Periodically, yes. And I did research with them in the early days. Our first Brule River survey was with money supplied from the DNR. There were some minor conflicts between the DNR and the University in those days because, you see, that part of the Geological Survey had been eliminated, and the question was, well, should some of the rest of the young people in the University revive the natural history part of it, or should the DNR maintain that activity? So it evolved as being two independent activities, research with students versus research with professional biologists. LS: So they didn't work together? AH: Very little, very little teamwork there. LS: That's a loss, I should think. Was it? Two sets of money being used? AH: Well, I don't know that they--the type of work that they did, monitoring of the environment, was something that the University couldn't do with its system and with its graduate student Hasler #48 44 policy. We as professors couldn't really justify that type of activity. And, as I told you last time, if I had made the decision not to go on doing the same thing that Birge and Juday were doing, that kind of limnology, which was monitoring the environment, then I couldn't possibly have made any headway or gained any recognition in the scientific community by following in those kinds of footsteps. So I set out to start a new approach, namely experimental limnology and physiological ecology. LS: Was this a conscious choice of yours? Do you remember just when you realized that you'd have to do this? AH: Well, I think I realized in 1939, '38 and '39, that I would go this route. There just weren't enough federal or state funds, either, to have gone that route. [A Ph.D. could not be granted for four years of monitoring data.] You would have had to have an organization. That type of research could only be done by a very sizeable staff and graduate students. LS: And you don't know how it was finally financed up at Trout Lake, in the '30s? AH: I think from the Graduate School. I think Dean Fred was mainly the supporter of the activity for the most part. They might have had some money from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in some of those studies, but it was, I think, more Graduate School money than state money. I mean state monies via the University as determined by people like the dean of the Graduate School. LS: Before we leave Birge, I'll just give another quote. It's about you. It says that "the fire of Birge's curiosity became most firmly planted in Arthur Hasler." Did you know about that? AH: No, I didn't. LS: That's in the Bogue history. Does that strike you as a good description of what went on? AH: Well, I don't know how to respond to that. I certainly was not influenced by Birge, except to Hasler #48 45 be an admirer of his accomplishments, his scientific accomplishments, and his scholarship and his writing capabilities--he was an excellent writer. But I didn't undertake any kinds of research activities that were related to the things that he had done. Certainly I felt a responsibility, being the fact that I was the only hydrobiologist in the zoology department, of trying to do something which would maintain the reputation of the University, and I, obviously, as a young man, wanted to make my own reputation, establish myself. LS: So this is a writer being a bit flowery? AH: I would think so, yes. I don't think that I was influenced by him. I didn't have enough contact with him, you see; He was already a pretty senile person. I can remember when we considered ourselves really baby sitters for him, in those first three years I was here. He'd be brought by a driver to the University and picked up and taken home. He was unable to keep his papers sorted carefully. He would sometimes have actual seizures, in which we would have to deal with a seizure and call up and have him taken home. So I don't have very many pleasant memories of that era. There were problems rather than inspirations. So it was the literature and the reputation that inspired me, rather than the man. LS: And the fact he hadn't brought you here. AH: No, if I had any responsibility to them, it would be to my mentor, Juday, whom I respected and worked closely with. LS: It's probably an example of where Birge gets the credit for something that rightly belongs to Juday, I would guess. AH: I would think so. LS: So did you go on going to Trout Lake during the '40s? AH: No, Trout Lake was put under the supervision of Noland for a while, and then later Herrick Hasler #48 46 in parasitology had a group of students and research people there. It wasn't until after the war--I guess, even as late as the '50s--that I began going up to that area but not to Trout Lake. I had some private grants from Ben S. McGiveran, Milwaukee, and Guido Rahr of the Rahr Malting Co. in Manitowoc so I had a couple of students working up on the property near Pine Lake of McGiveran and Notre Dame University. It lies half in Vilas County and half in Gogebic County, Michigan. That's a rather interesting episode. Martin Gillin, you see, had this large estate with twenty lakes, thirty miles north of Trout Lake. He was a famous Milwaukee lawyer, and had some interactions with Birge and Juday. It was thought by many people at that time that when he died he would give that property to the University. However, it went to Notre Dame University. LS: Why? AH: Well, there's a lot of speculation about that. He was a staunch Catholic, and Gilbert told me he thought that Birge just didn't see the picture clearly, or that he had some undercurrent differences with Gillin so that he didn't maintain his confidence. I don't know why that happened, but it was a disappointment. I know that everyone would tell you it would come to the University. Later on in the 1950s I was working on that property, because of Curtis and Gilbert's connections with Rahr and with the people that were then operating the Notre Dame estate, and I remember then several years later that my students were confronted, at one time, with no access--weren't allowed to go into the lakes that we had been studying in our experimental limnological program--and this surprised me because I had understood that the relations were fairly good. And someone told me that really in the will there was a provision for the University to work there. So I sent one of my students up to Gogebic County Courthouse, Michigan, to make a copy of the will, and found this statement: "The University of Wisconsin shall ever have access to the Notre Hasler #48 47 Dame estate for biological research." So I then called Father Hesburgh, president of Notre Dame, and told him about this episode and that I knew about this provision and would like to meet him sometime and talk about re-establishing our rights to do research. LS: Why had they closed it off? AH: I suppose the caretakers had changed, and the new caretakers had been instructed to restrict access, and that the chain of command had just lost the contact. LS: So it didn't turn out to be anything deliberately aimed at the UW? AH: I don't think so. LS: And they did let you back in? AH: Their organization just wasn't functioning; they had no biological research of their own going, and this new caretaker apparently hadn't been given instructions properly. And also the estate was used at that time, too, for training priests, in part, and they had a priests' school for summer activities of the priests. That was later given up. But Guido Rahr, whose property adjoined theirs, and who supported our research, had provided for some housing for one or two of my graduate students on his property and access to his lakes, lakes on his property, for research, which adjoined those we were working on on the Notre Dame estate. That was what brought me up into that area again. LS: Where is it? You said it was just north of Trout Lake. AH: About thirty miles, right on the Michigan border. Half of it's in Michigan, half in Wisconsin, the Notre Dame estate, the former Martin Gillin estate. It had very good roads on it. Martin Gillin fancied himself a civil engineer; he spent a lot of his time, hobby time, building roads, and he had full equipment and personnel to build a road through this primitive country. They really are beautifully built roads. Hasler #48 48 LS: That's very impressive, isn't it? AH: Now did we get off the line of your questioning? (02:05:45) LS: No. It occurred to me to wonder whether you had trouble getting to lakes generally that you wanted to study. AH: No. By that time, in the fifties, we were beginning to get funds from not only private sources, but federal sources to do research, to get vehicles and gasoline. LS: I guess I meant access to, people letting you live on them, live by them. AH: Oh yes. You mean, when I wasn't at Trout Lake? LS: No, you or your students studied a lot of different lakes, and did you have trouble getting people to let you--I mean, were you on private land? AH: No, in fact that was one way we had--before the National Science Foundation began supplying funds, that was one way we had of getting funds. We would approach wealthy lake owners--or I think I remember wealthy landowners, like Rahr and McGiveran, apparently picked up information from various sources, and from the newspaper accounts of our research, and came to us then and asked us to come and look at their lake. And my tactic was that when they wanted me to be a consultant to manage their lake, I'd say, "Well, look, I can't give that much time; wouldn't it be better for you to give that to the University and take a tax deduction on it and I will employ a graduate student on a masters' or doctoral problem using your lake, and you will put into that grant enough money for his salary as well as for transportation and housing, and probably even supply housing," as Rahr did and as McGiveran did for us up on the lakes of the Chippewa County projects--small activity up there in this interim when I wasn't at Trout Lake. LS: And they agreed to this? Hasler #48 49 AH: Yes, and gave the funds for it, private people. LS: You must have had some interesting encounters; I suppose you got to know some of these people. AH: Oh, yes, very interesting encounters. It's often difficult working with them, because they would make this grant to the University, but then would feel like they ought to get something personally out of it, you know. Sometimes we'd have to fix up a road to get into a lake we wanted to work at; the way we got that done was to make the grant in such a way that we would build the road to get into our property, but, in a sense, when the project terminated they had a road. In that instance it was an example of a wealthy grantor taking advantage of his grant. I remember in another grant we got from a private source we got to work on the Brule River, which was quite different. The people made the grant to the University and said, "Hasler, you direct this the way you want, bring who you want here. We want to be entirely out of it. We'd like to be kept informed about what's going on, but there'll be no strings attached." LS: It was a private grantor, was it? AH: Yes, Duncan Stewart, of Rockford, Illinois, gave us that grant to work on the Brule. First study we had on the Brule--not the first, the second study, because the first study was the one we did with the DNR funds, and then this second study was with the Stewart fellowship. But this was a way we had--the Graduate School funds and these private funds, available to us up until after the war, when the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, began to make funds available to us. Then we weren't so dependent upon this source of research support. We had no Geological and Natural History Survey funds. LS: Describe the Brule River. How you began going there. AH: Well, the first was that time when we were on the Brule when we did that multidisciplinary Hasler #48 50 study through Gilbert in botany, and our sponsor, Guido Rahr, who was on the commission of DNR, suggested that I be invited to supervise that study, which antagonized the biologists of DNR. So I got the botanists, the geologists, and DNR people to make studies of the Brule River, to describe its characteristics, and, as I told you last time, as a result of that study we recommended certain things to be done for the Brule in order to keep it from deteriorating, to maintain its integrity. It had quite a reputation as a fine trout stream, so the DNR on the basis of these recommendations began buying up property, as much property as they could, to protect the Brule River, so it's not my--while I led the project, the initiation of it was through Gilbert and Rahr, and using funds from the DNR--what was then the Wisconsin Conservation Department. Later we got funds from the Stewarts to do other studies there. LS: You lived up there while you--? AH: No, I had a graduate student who lived there, and I would come in and out periodically to supervise him. LS: How often? AH: Oh, probably every two weeks, and then, later, in the fall and spring, when we had courses here, it would just be weekends, occasional weekends. LS: That's a long way. AH: Yes. Well, we'd be doing other things. I'd make a run to the Chippewa station in Chippewa County, and then come over to the Rahr property. These frequent contacts were in the summer, and then periodically during the winter. We actually did winter studies, and would go up and spend long weekends--like Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday--working on the lakes through the ice. That was another part of my research activity in Wisconsin lakes, was to inaugurate a more intensive winter research. Limnology was looked upon, sort of nationally, as a July-August Hasler #48 51 undertaking, and I reasoned that we should be putting more, giving more attention to the early spring, when the fish are spawning, the winter period--what happened to the biology of the lakes in the winter. And so we began undertaking these studies. And then by that time we also had funds from the Atomic Energy Commission, so that we worked with isotopes, again experimental limnology, putting radioactive materials in the lake and watching its movement under the ice, which had never been done before. No one had ever studied the movement of water under ice. LS: But you yourself weren't actually doing that part of it, I imagine. AH: Periodically on weekends I would join the students there, graduate students who were trained by collaborators in the use of isotopes, and the equipment for that was already available, been worked out by--we could purchase or receive by loan from the Atomic Energy Commission or the Office of Naval Research these measuring devices, scintillating counters and so forth. There was nothing that complicated but that we as biologists couldn't learn the technique of using it. Tape 3, Side 1 (00:00:02) AH: I've been thinking about what you said about how Birge might have influenced me. I was just thinking of an episode that had a relationship to Birge, and that was when the six-hundred car parking lot was proposed by a faculty committee on parking for construction out here on Lake Mendota, in front of the laboratory and Memorial Union. We had a faculty meeting where we who represented the biology division and biological aspects had recorded our desire to make comments to the faculty. I was chosen to be one of the commentators. We began our campaign in Hasler #48 52 the faculty meeting to condemn this proposal and defeat the plan for a big car lot. So I had a picture taken here on the ice--in fact, as it was a few days ago. And before we had these lovely boulders put down, we had nothing but ugly, broken concrete lining the shore, a very ugly shoreline. And all this area where Helen White Hall was, it wasn't very attractive, and the old Hydraulics Building wasn't scenic at all. So I had this slide made showing oil running down over those rocks onto the ice. The old, broken concrete from campus construction was to be used to build the parking lot, rubble from old buildings--a good way to get rid of it. My plan was designed to appeal to the faculty and show them how bad this land-fill really looked. The faculty meeting was held at Birge Hall. A colleague with a 2x2 projector was ready for my signal. I'd told him that at one point in my presentation, I'd say, "All right, turn the lights off and turn on this picture, and I'll make my comments." And so I made my appeal to show how unecological this was and how we felt it was a disgrace to have such a thing happen on Lake Mendota, and I said, "I would suggest that we consider the seriousness of this decision," then I said, "Now let me just show you what it will look like." And I signalled, and here this picture, this ugly picture came on, and I said, "Now I'm not going to quote from my predecessor, E.A. Birge, who frequently gave sermons on St. Paul. Instead, I'm going to quote from St. Mark. "Go thy way and sin no more." And that was my clinching line at the end of this presentation, and I asked President Fred to call for the motion to condemn the proposal to build a six-hundred car parking lot, and it was approved. LS: Was it close? AH: I don't think so. I think it was quite a sizeable majority. That was one time that I used Birge to an advantage. I don't know whether local history cites this--I think it's documented in the books and articles about him--that he gave a sermon every year, at the First Congregational Hasler #48 53 Church, on St. Paul, his favorite theologian. LS: I'm sure it is documented. In Sellery's book, I'm sure, because he had the chapter on his religion. (00:04:03) AH: Well, I thought also of another part that I hadn't mentioned last time. I did talk about German being one of my hobbies--the study of German, and the use of German being a contact with the European community and in my international activities. Just recently, the German department, knowing my interest in the German language, came to me--Ursula Thomas, for instance--and said, "Would you help us to organize a course in biology in German for the students, because we think that we could probably teach German more effectively if we could give the students something that they were interested in, as subject matter, not just grammar and literature?" And I said, "Well, What money have you got?" "Well, we don't have any money. We just want to talk about it right now." And I said, "Well, why don't we organize an outreach activity by using people on the campus who speak German to give a series of lectures?" And I said, "I'm sure that I could find nine or ten people on the faculty and I'd be one of them, who would be willing to give a lecture on biology in German for the students." So we got a little committee together and chose I think fourteen people and presented this lecture series in biology the year before last. It was a great success. We had an average attendance of seventy people at these evening meetings once a week during the whole semester. One time we had 140. There were twenty students who were biology majors who were taking it for credit, one credit, and twenty in German who were taking it for credit, and the rest were townspeople and faculty people who'd come just to hear these lectures. LS: Was the course at the time for lectures, or were the lectures separate? Hasler #48 54 AH: It was a series of evening lectures in which one credit, Extension credit, was given. LS: It's a wonderful idea. I had heard about it, and I'm glad that you brought it up because I hadn't heard how it worked out. Who did you find to give lectures? AH: Well, we brought Mortimer over from Milwaukee, for instance; he's married to a German, and he took his Ph.D. at Berlin; he speaks like I do--broken German. LS: He's the man who wrote the article in--? AH: The article in Sellery's book about Birge, the scientist. There was Fritz Albert in ag journalism--gave a very good lecture. Helmuth Beinert in biochemistry, Harkin in soils. Klaus Patau was to have given one of the lectures and he died that semester, and so we had to find an alternate for him. We got Katterina Lettau to give a lecture on meteorology, on the phenology which was related to biology. LS: Did you get Hugh Iltis? AH: We did get Hugh Iltis, right; I think we had Hugh Iltis. LS: Are you doing it again? AH: No, last year it was given a different way. A three-credit course in paleontology was given in German, as an outgrowth of this, because one of the speakers in that series was Professor Westphal in geology, and that identified him to the department. They then got him to give a complete course, because he was German-trained in paleontology. A natural for it. There have been several suggestions of continuing it in other subjects. For instance, one of the persons who attended this series of lectures was Dr. Lawrence Giles, and he came to us with a proposal that he would organize a medical series in German. There were enough German-speaking physicians in town, surgeons, that he could give one in German. LS: And can it be for medical students who want credit in German? Hasler #48 55 AH: No, again for the same reason, just to give a series of lectures that would be interesting to the townspeople and pre-med students who were interested in German, and in medicine. I don't think--and there have been other proposals for doing it in the social sciences and the physical sciences. (00:09:35) We talked a little bit last time also about my late wife, Hanna, who was a musician. She studied under Mrs. Heffner in German, and she became quite active a few years before her death in doing choir work in the Mormon Church in southern Wisconsin. She would travel once a week to a different part, what we call a branch of the church, or ward of the church, in southern Wisconsin, and train the women in choral work. And then at a conference which was in the spring of the year they would have one evening set aside for her to give a concert with these women coming from all these various parts of southern Wisconsin Mormon units. And that I thought was a very interesting thing because here were housewives from working class families up to professional families who had never really been exposed to classical music, Mozart and Brahms and so forth. They had known, of course, about church music in life, but to get a real classical exposure was her objective, and it was really quite successful. A recording was made of her concert. It was quite a credit to her career in public service. LS: I assume it was just volunteer work. AH: All volunteer work, yes. (00:11:27) LS: I thought it would be interesting if you did talk a bit more about the Mormon Church here. I think you said you still had something to do with it. AH: Oh, yes. I've maintained my connection, and make non-tehological contributions to it. I Hasler #48 56 think they do a lot for young people and their organization, youth organizations [Boy Scouts, debating, ballroom dancing, hiking, fishing, natural history, acting, weaving]. It gives a good deal of stability to social organization and talent outlet opportunities that are worth supporting. And when we first came, we met in the basement of the First Congregational Church, and I think even in one of the funeral homes. And then we were able to get a grant of funds from the mother church to build that small chapel on University Avenue next to the Congregational Church, just next to Lathrop Street, the next lot from the corner of Lathrop and University. And we, as members, would help in the building of the church, to do things that we had the capability of doing. LS: Do you mean money, or do you mean actually working. AH: No, actual physical work, like putting on the shingles or excavations or painting or laying tile. And then in 1963 we had overgrown that chapel, and there were now two branches of the church, two wards, as they were called, so they decided to build a larger church out on Regent Street, right near the area of Hilldale. And my boys by that time were fully grown, capable of doing heavy work, and so we helped built that extensive dry wall that surrounds that property on the south side--one of the most extensive dry walls, I think, in Madison. It was a two-year job, working into evenings. During the wintertime--you can build dry walls, you know, in the wintertime if you have enough dry sand to do it with. So it was evenings and weekends and Saturdays that we worked there, and we, again, helped to build the chapel itself, things that laymen can do under the instruction of an artisan, a tradesman.We always had the tradesmen supervising. LS: Was it Mormon tradesmen? AH:In that first building, they were, but--I think the architects were local architects, in that case. Hasler #48 57 But that supervisor was a tradesman. But there were other local tradesmen who were hired to do the technical work, like the wiring and laying of brick, and so forth, but things like laying the tile, painting, putting on shingles, things of that type that could be done under instruction, we did that. LS: Are there many university people in the Mormon Church? AH: Yes. I wouldn't say many, but there's a sprinkling of them--Mark Stahmann in biochemistry, and Champ Tanner in soils, and Wilford Gardner in soils, Dave Clark, geology, D.C. Smith, agronomy. LS: Are these converts, or people who've grown up as Mormons? AH: These are all people--that I've named so far--who were brought up as Mormons and came here either on the staff or--and there have always been a large number of graduate students here from Utah schools. In fact, someone was telling me that at Utah State University in Logan, there are more Ph.D.'s from Wisconsin than from any other school in the United States. It exceeds any of the California schools, and any like Cornell, which has a big agricultural college. I've forgotten the percentages, but it's a very large number of faculty members there who received their training at Wisconsin. LS: Is that because of the Mormon community here? AH: No, I think it's just the reputation of the university. And I think possibly quite a lot of our graduate students who come here to study and then receive assistantships must come from the western states as often or more often than from eastern states. LS: So you're still a regular church goer then? AH: Since my first wife died in 1969, I go only periodically. I've never been a very orthodox Mormon. The theology conflicts with my biological views of theology, but I've been loyal to it Hasler #48 58 because of the roots I have and the background, and I've been grateful for what it did for my family and for my grandparents and parents in providing opportunities in this country. I think a lot of those things about it are admirable, but I'm not theologically in sympathy with some of the beliefs. I don't think I would be fully satisfied with any religion. [By participating in the church youth activities, I was able to expose young people, including my children, to evolution. I also helped to get Afro-Americans accepted as members.] And I married Hatheway Minton, who's a Unitarian. I go to church with her periodically. We exchange. LS: Your children, have they stayed Mormon? AH: Some of them, yes. Most of them, actually. My daughter is raising her family in the church. I have two sons who are raising their families in the church. Two sons have left the church, and one [a Vietnam veteran, partially disabled] isn't married, but is very dedicated. LS: But the two who have left are renegades? AH: Yes. Where I would call myself a "Jack Mormon"--one who remains affiliated but doesn't have the full conviction, you know, the Mormons have a name of--someone has given the name of "Jack Mormons"; whereas someone who is a renegade would be, I guess, just that. LS: Well, I'd like to move on a bit; unless you can think of some other questions. AH: No, go ahead. (00:19:32) LS: Your great interest in international programs in biology which, as you say, didn't really help your career here at all, what was your reason for getting so involved in them? I know you said that you thought being in the Mormon Church had helped you in terms of organization. AH: Oh, I think it developed my skills. LS: But that's different from why you liked to be in the international organizations, is that right? Hasler #48 59 AH: Well, I suppose one of the aspects of Mormon culture is to spend quite a lot of your time in public service, and I didn't do that in the church. I spent a lot of my time, you might say, tithing. Ten percent of your income, you give to the church. And I was giving at least 10 percent of my time for public activity. I think I felt some obligation there, as a hydrobiologist, to play a leadership role in matters of ecology and conservation, and to do that you have to go through organizations. And when we held the first International Congress of Limnology in Madison in 1962, I was chosen by the society to be chairman of that activity. It'd be the first time we'd held this congress, which is held every three years, in North America, and it was quite an undertaking to think we could do that here in Madison. LS: Why did they pick on Madison? AH: Well, because I was here and was willing to undertake the responsibility. So I put a request--I knew I couldn't do it without getting a substantial amount of funds for it, and I couldn't put my own full time in it--so I wrote a project proposal to the National Science Foundation to support this activity. And it involved bringing a full-time man, John Wright, in to work as my executive secretary for that full year prior to the congress, and also involved getting the money to put out this book, Limnology in North America, which would be available to members who attended It involved also getting enough money to charter an airplane to bring the Europeans over, because even by that time, the economic situation of Europe hadn't recovered to the point where scientists could travel. The only way we could get a large enough complement of European scientists over here was to bring them over, so we chartered a plane with those funds and brought 120 Europeans. We had a competition for seats and picked the best people we could out of the European community to bring. LS: That's really an enormous undertaking then, isn't it? Hasler #48 60 AH: It was a big undertaking. LS: How often? AH: Well, it was done every three years in Europe, and various nations take turns. It's been held, since 1960, once more on this continent; three years ago it was in Canada. It's going back to Denmark this year, and the Danish scientists will have the responsibility. And then again when the Ecological Society of America decided to launch a public service organization called the Institute of Ecology, they asked me if I would, as a senior ecologist, undertake to direct the first beginning years of that, and I worked with that about two years, part-time. LS: What did you have to do with that? AH: Well, the Ecological Society of America, felt that ecologists should play a bigger role in conservation and ecological matters in the country, and that there should be facts made available to the community, facts gathered and assembled and evaluated by ecologists. So one of the tasks I had was to organize a group of workshops to work on ecological problems. One of the most significant was to put together a book called Man and the Living Environment, which we sent to Stockholm for the 1970 International Conference on the Human Environment. And we were the only group to get in a well thought-through document, published in time for that to take place, so that the politicians of the world had a chance to have something substantial to look at and plan for. That's one example of things we did. We also got various universities who had strong ecological teams to join with us in this effort. We wrote proposals to the various granting agencies to get money to sponsor these workshops--use the ecological community in a productive way to help solve ecological problems in the nations in the world at large. LS: Did you have any help? AH: Yes, and there again I accepted only if I could have a couple of full-time people, and we Hasler #48 61 brought them here, and I had this new building to serve their needs. We had the offices here in this building for those three years. LS: Do you have a lobbyist? AH: No, you're not allowed to do that kind of lobbying. At least you weren't then. We took care not to. We were preparing factual material for legislative action, but we didn't do any lobbying for it. LS: Do you feel it has accomplished something? AH: Yes, it has made a mark. There's a lull now in support for that type of activity. The funding is very difficult to get for the last year or two. LS: Who was funding it to begin with? AH: The National Science Foundation was the main source. LS: And why aren't they now? AH: I think that they felt that they had initiated the activity and that other agencies should, that's always their practice you know, to get things started. What's the next thing you want to talk about? LS: Well, you were elected to the National Academy in 1969. That was rather late. Do you have any comments to make about that? AH: Well, it's really about the average age for field biologists to be elected. That's one of the complaints about the National Academy of Science, that people don't get recognition and have enough credentials to be elected. There aren't many biologists who get elected at a young age--probably geneticists or the molecular people in which they can make rather significant discoveries in a laboratory, but certainly no one in the ecological field. I think that's one reason. Another reason I had--I'm presuming--is that I had developed this work with salmon which is, in Hasler #48 62 a sense, physiological, so I obviously had the support from the physiological community as well as my ecological work on the lakes. LS: Do you think it was largely for the work with salmon that you--? AH: I would suspect so. That was where I received major acknowledgement, but my studies in experimental limnology played a role too. I remember when I was elected to the academy, there was only one other ecologist in the academy, Hutchinson. In other words, out of eight hundred people in the academy there was only one in ecology, Evelyn Hutchinson. I was the second, I think, to be taken in. Or was there one other? I think there may have been one other. Well, about that time two or three came in, such as Stanley Cane, but Hutchinson was the distinguished person. He had been in it for several years. And there still aren't many. LS: No. How many are there now? AH: There are probably only about six now. We've been able to get in about one ecologist a year since I was elected. LS: How many do they elect each year? AH: They elect about sixty each year. LS: Did it come as a surprise? AH: Oh, it came as a bolt. I didn't have the slightest idea. LS: Did you feel very honored? AH: Oh, I was highly honored. It's something that one covets, I would say. I was also surprised when I was elected to the Finnish Academy and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences here last year. That came as a complete surprise, too. LS: And how many Americans do they have? AH: Well, only three or four Americans. Hasler #48 63 LS: Why did they choose you? AH: I don't know. LS: Is this out of all the possible scientists in the United States? AH: Sure. Well, we only propose three or four. By we I mean the NAS only proposes three or four foreign scientists to be elected each year. So I think out of the ones that were elected last year or the year earlier, there were only two Americans, and I was one of them. But it's an elitist organization, too, and it's a very complicated voting procedure--a lot of checks and balances. New fields don't get much support. The older fields of physics and chemistry strongly, they have the dominant role to play, biology less so, a sub-division of biology like mine even less. LS: Do they all sort of look over their shoulder at you when you go to the meetings? AH: Well, I don't feel conspicuous. LS: Would you like to talk about your work with the salmon? Why you pursued it so diligently? AH: Why, it just has always fascinated me. LS: You say always-- AH: In my early career as a biologist, I was always fascinated by this puzzle of how the salmon can get back to its home stream. This was known, you see, to be a fact, and many of my predecessors in the field had presented enough evidence so it was known that fish have a homing capability. But the question was, how do they recognize home? Tape 3, Side 2 AH: I decided to work with it, and then when I became acquainted with Karl Von Frisch's work on sense of smell in fishes [Through the German and U.S. Bomb Survey I met Karl von Frisch who had studied sensory behavior of fish. With a Fulbright fellowship I worked a year in his lab Hasler #48 64 in Munich. Certainly he helped shape my ideas for research on salmon homing.] and got my first ideas that smell might play a role in this homing capability, that then demanded that one follow through on a series of very-well-thought-out experiments in order to prove or disprove that hypothesis--that salmon come back to the homestream because of smell. And I was able to get supporting funds in the early days from the Office of Naval Research for it. It was a challenging concept to them that had some remote bearing upon navigation at sea. LS: What? AH: Well, no one ever thought that the smells of water had anything to do with how an animal could get around. They were working with porpoises in those days [who might be trained to carry messages under water], and any aquatic animal who could do something unique was thought to be interesting, so we received our first support from them. I always have been fortunate to have a number of graduate students. Each time one graduate student would terminate, I'd have a new one who'd build upon what we had done before. LS: I see these as two separate studies of yours, but maybe you don't--the salmon and the lakes? AH: Oh, I think these are separate activities. I felt that this was a red thread that I could follow along over a long period. LS: Was it sort of a hobby? AH: Well, no, definitely not a hobby, it was a major part of my research effort throughout my career; right from 1945 on I've had a program in this. LS: But it would be like a historian studying the Civil War on one day and the colonial period on another day. AH: Possibly. LS: It's unusual. Hasler #48 65 AH: Well, that's one thing I've enjoyed about being a professor, is this diversity of activity. I could play horn in the civic symphony; I could be active with my family. I could have this very stimulating aspect of behavior of animals which involves physiology, which is one of my capabilities. I've had training in it. I've taught comparative physiology. It was an aquatic program. It was sometimes difficult to do because some of the experiments involved going to the west coast, so it was logistically difficult.We'd have to use--like the work we did on Lake Mendota in which we used the white bass, simulating in a lake what salmon do in the open sea. And it wasn't till salmon got into Lake Michigan--they were stocked in Lake Michigan--that we had, then, salmon close enough at hand that we could keep a continuous program nearby for twelve months of the year. And it was here, of course, where we made the real breakthrough. So the ideas that I had back in 1951 really have been brought to fruition in the last seven or eight years through our work on Lake Michigan and the imprinting studies we've done. It's been very satisfying to me to see ideas that we developed back in 1951, well earlier than that, but actually published in 1951, come to fruition, and there's no question now but what the concept that we had then was right. We did enough experiments to prove or disprove, and each time we had a red thread where we could get closer to the goal of saying is it or isn't it, and we were able to do that. LS: Were you worried that somebody else might do it first? AH: No. In fact, we invited them. We published--that experiment we've done that last few years on Lake Mendota--we published the specification for how to do that in 1951 and challenged our colleagues in Alaska and the west coast or Sweden, for instance, to follow through on this experiment, of using an artificial chemical as a surrogate for the odor of a home stream. That is, imprint the fish in a hatchery with this chemical. Mark them. Let them go to sea. And when they came back, decoy them to another place by introducing the odor there. In other words, we could Hasler #48 66 deceive them, you might say, with an artificial odor, decoy them to the place. We simulated, in other words, the homestream with an artificial chemical. No, we published that experiment and the details of it in 1951 hoping it'd be done, but no one ever was able to do it.We couldn't get out west to do it, but when we had the fish here in Lake Michigan we were able to do so. LS: How did you decide which project to pursue when you got grant funds? I mean, might it ever have happened that you would decide after all to stick to the fish and try to finish that off before moving on to the lakes? AH: Let's see, how will I answer that question? I always had a number of graduate students who wanted to work with me, and you couldn't put them all to work on salmon. You couldn't have the money. But there were other things, ideas I would have or they would have, that would be worth proposing support for. So I would put together a research proposal to the granting agency, like the Atomic Energy Commission, for those winter studies up in northern Wisconsin, write up a project proposal, and then I would ask one of the graduate students to be the assistant for that project. And that would enable him--usually we could get those monies for three and four years in a row if we had made progress in the meantime, and that way that graduate student could do a Ph.D. thesis on that project, and I would really be supporting that activity with these grant funds. LS: But going into salmon, he would then not be prepared to do anything on lakes, because he would be pointed in a different direction. He just started with you with salmon and went this way or with lakes and went that way? AH: That's right. Or at times, of course, we would have to--we would have an activity requiring say several people working intensively for several days, and then we would all pull together, say five graduate students would come and work intensively for this project, and then we would trade off by going, working on something that was more close to his on another occasion. We did Hasler #48 67 a lot of that type of trading around with service, technical service. LS: Do you have graduate students now? AH: I have two remaining. I hope to be able to see them through. We just received our last and final grant from the National Science Foundation--$5,000 to bring these last experiments to a close and these last two graduate students to their degrees and to support one and one-half postdoctoral associates. LS: And what is left to bring these experiments to a conclusion? AH: Well, we still have some more experiments to do on some aspects of masking of odors in the home streams.We're just trying to clean up some ideas of the homing problem that fish have. What happens when they're imprinted to this artificial chemical and they're confronted with another chemical? We'd like to know something of the behavior of these animals in the migratory route. And we'd also, I hope that some of my successors will go back to working on the open-water navigation which we did on Lake Mendota; that needs to be done again with salmon. There have been enough new discoveries of equipment that could be used to explore a little further into the problems of open-sea orientation, open-sea navigation, but we won't do any of that in this period. LS: Yes, because, I suppose, anybody could drop the chemical in the water and get them to go to some river mouth, for instance the Canadians or the Mexicans, or--is that possible? AH: Well, not unless they had conditioned and imprinted the fish in the hatchery. LS: I mean, if you had your chemical that you put into your hatchery and they discovered what that was, they could-- AH: They could decoy it away from us. Well, it might be possible on Lake Michigan, I suppose, where you could have someone from Michigan taking Wisconsin fish away from us by using our Hasler #48 68 chemical over there. It's theoretically possible. (00:44:43) LS: Have you got other projects? [In 1985 I proposed the concept Salmon for Peace, i.e., use imprinting technique developed on Lake Michigan to rehabilitate the salmon in the Amur River bordering China and the USSR. See the clipping at the end of this volume.] AH: No, I think I've--those Picnic Point and Muir Woods things, I think some of your other interviewers have brought up those. The construction of this lab and Birge we talked about one time. During the war we did a lot of--again this was an international activity--quite a group of us here on this campus and scientists throughout the country who collected books and packages to send to people who were damaged by World War II--we spent a couple of years sending books to people whose laboratories had been destroyed, food and clothing packages. LS: Now is this as Mormons? AH: No, scientists. No, I did this apart from the Mormon church. So we helped a lot of them in times of stress--Hungarians and Poles and Germans, Frenchmen. A lot of them, you see, the first few years, that summer after the war--'45, that whole year, there was pretty grim from the food point of view, getting clothing and razor blades and some items of food were quite important. No, I remember getting up at our society meetings and making appeals to my colleagues to make contributions to us to send money, send packages to our colleagues abroad. LS: Now who is "we" here? AH: Well, let's see. It was Jake Beuscher in the Law School, was one that worked with me; Sieghardt Riegel in German worked with me some; and then on the national scene, Hutchinson worked with me. There was, oh, six or seven scientists, oh, more than that, maybe as many as twenty. Hasler #48 69 LS: It was a national thing? It wasn't just the University of Wisconsin? AH: Yes, wherever we could get money. I would supply names. Someone would write in to me and say, "I'm interested. I heard your lecture at the--your appeal at the last meeting. Could you give me the name of someone I could send a package to?" Or, "Here's ten dollars. Buy a package and send it to them." LS: I'm glad you mentioned that. It's not the sort of thing that people would usually think of asking--I wouldn't think. AH: Well, you see, I was with that U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey and I was pretty deeply touched by the horror of all of it, and then the people that I met there were in bad straits, and then through them we met other people, heard about other people, and so I became deeply touched by the tragedy. And so I wrote a little essay. No ecologists had been to Europe, you see, and had contact with these European limnologists and physiologists. So I had a mimeographed letter that I sent around to my associates reporting on my experiences and who was doing what in Europe and what they were doing. This was--saw the first breakthrough--a direct contact of a scientist with our friends and colleagues over there, and that awakened an interest in helping. I published a little article in Science, the organ of scientists, the AAAS publication, Science, called "This Is the Enemy", in which I was pointing out that these people can't help what happened to them. I used the example of Karl Von Frisch, who had some Jewish ancestors, who suffered under the Nazis and how he was still suffering. And there were many people like this who were helpless by default, and they were in tragic situations. It was an outgrowth of just being touched by the tragedy of the war. (00:49:49) LS: I'd like to hear what you have to say about the DNR. You did mention that because of the Hasler #48 70 DNR it was now possible once again to use chemicals in lakes. Has it changed very much since it was the department, the Conservation Department? Why have they made such a ruling? What are some of the backroom policies that you're aware of? AH: You recall that I was chairman of the Lake Mendota Problems Committee for Mayor Reynolds. We presented reports about the--from various experts on the campus and in town, on what was wrong with the lake and what had to be done to improve it. And one of the activities that came up was how to deal with the large aquatic plants. And one complement of people in the DNR, and in the public, felt that the way to deal with aquatic plants was to poison them with herbicides. Well, we in the scientific field, certainly the biological field, felt this was not a proper way to deal with it, that it would be best to harvest them with weed harvesters. And I had fortunately gained the support of a mechanical engineer, Professor Donald Livermore, to devise machinery that could be used for harvesting aquatic plants. The reasoning being that aquatic plants were a nuisance, they were there because there was so much fertility in the lake. There were too many of them. They could be harvested, taken out, and utilized. LS: Yes, now you did mention this fact. Why didn't the DNR stick to this? AH: Yes, well, they have all through this period of treating lakes--the years when they treated Lake Monona with copper sulfate--not they, but they permitted the copper sulfate to be used, and they permitted it to be used all over the state, as well as other herbicides to deal with problems. It was in their tradition and in their policy to do it, but we here on Lake Mendota opposed it.We felt it shouldn't be applied to Lake Mendota, and so some of the townspeople and, oh yes, we got the city to--which then had charge of the use of chemicals for this use on Lake Mendota. Now, various people who believed in--the public and the DNR who believed it could be done just as well with chemicals, challenged the city's right to make such a ruling. And in the courts they Hasler #48 71 lost--the city lost this right. It is the DNR's responsibility to rule on where chemicals can be used and to supervise their use. And so when that happened, the city could no longer object, legally, and the townspeople, then, who wanted to use chemicals for treating under their beaches could get the DNR to approve that. They could buy the poison and then have it applied under DNR supervision. LS: Why, aren't there people in the DNR who don't want to use poisons in the lakes? AH: There are some, but they--it's just one of the paradoxes, very difficult for me to understand, why this isn't the case. There's a lot a people who feel that chemicals aren't doing too much trouble with this small a--if there's a nuisance problem, it's easily handled this way. It turns out to be that it isn't cheaper, just an easy way to solve the problem. (00:54:40) LS: Is your feeling that the DNR, in its existence, which has been a long time then, has done more or less for the environment of the state? How would you rate it? AH: I think, as conservation departments go and as DNR departments go in the country, I think it has done a lot of good things for the state. It's a--well, I think it's after all, a very political organization. It has to respond to pressure from sportsmen who don't have the knowledge that biologists have, so that the biologists have often given advice which hasn't been accepted, because of political pressures. The management of the deer, for instance, and some of the management of the forest, pheasants and so forth, a lot of those policies are not the result of biological knowledge, but by pressure groups. The Conservation Congress has been, I think, a very strong force in dealing with the animals of the state--deer problem, fishing laws, and managing the fishery. LS: Is it doing well? Hasler #48 72 AH: Well, I think it has received poor marks, whereas the biologists have very often been overruled by political pressures in the Conservation Congress. (00:56:43) LS: Where does a man like Walter Scott--? AH: Walter Scott has been, I think, a very strong force for wise ecological management in the Conservation Department. I'd give him high marks over the years for his progressive outlook and the influence he's brought to bear. I think he's more often than not stood up on the side of biology and ecology against pressures than many others could have done. LS: Was he in a third position from biologists and politicians, or is he more with the biologists? AH: I would think he's been more often on the side of biology. He's had to make compromises, I'm sure. Couldn't have lived in that department without having to make compromises. LS: Have you thought of him as an ally since you--? AH: I think so, for the most part, yes. LS: Have you had much to do with him personally? AH: Not a great deal. Oh, I've, through the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences and through some committee meetings that I have been in the room with him, so that I have known him for many years, but I never have had any dealings with him as far as approving funds that I might use, or disapproving some request that I was making for the use of lakes. LS: I'll just ask you this at the end. AH: Yes. LS: You play the horn. Do you practice? AH: Well, I don't play anymore. I haven't played. No. When I began to travel, because of these advisory duties that I had with the Office of Naval Research and the national Science Foundation Hasler #48 73 and the various societies, I was out of town too frequently--missed rehearsals and couldn't keep up my performing ability so I resigned. For many years I was on the board, the Board of Directors of the Madison Civic Music Association, and think I did something for it. I was able to help rewrite the bylaws of the board of directors so that it was a rotating body. When I came on, it was by appointment, and there were many people, who were distinguished people, who'd been on the board for years, and I thought there was a too much inbreeding in the organization. So I was able to help rewrite the bylaws to build in a system of rotation, and that has persisted. Now, I listen to opera and go to many concerts on the campus, but I've given up practicing. LS: Do you have any other non-fish or lake hobbies? AH: I'm a bird watcher, and I like nature walks. I do a lot of walking in the Arboretum. I was on the Arboretum Committee, you know, for many years, and I know the Arboretum like the back of my hand. I taught field zoology and used the Arboretum as a field in which to teach my students the fauna of the area. I did that for several areas, so I enjoy natural history walks. LS: Well, we'll bring it to a close then. Hasler #48 74 INDEX Anderson, Norman, 30 Baldwin, Ira A., 43 Bean, Ernest, 18, 43 Beinert, Helmuth, 54 Beuscher, Jacob H., 30, 68 Birge, Edward A., 2, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 25, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 51, 52, 53, 68 Bradley, Harold A., 22 Bryson, Reid A., 32, 33, 34 Cane, Stanley, 61 Carson, Rachel, 28, 29 Clark, David, 56 Clodius, Robert L., 24, 25 Cottam, Grant, 18, 29, 33, 34 Crow, James F., 16, 28 Curtis, John T., 18, 24, 31, 46 Doremus, Robert B., 32 Elvehjem, Conrad A., 31 Fassett, Norman C., 18, 31 Fisher, Ellsworth H., 28 Fred, Edwin B., 31, 44, 52 Fry, David, 13 Gardner, Wilford R., 56 Gerloff, Gerald, 24 Gilbert, Edward M., 18, 41, 46, 49, 50 Giles, Lawrence, 54 Gillin, Martin, 2, 46, 47 Guyer, Michael F., 12, 22, 31, 35, 36, 40 Harkin, John F., 54 Harrington, Fred H., 25 Hasler, Hanna Prusse, 8, 54 Hasler, Hatheway Minton, 11, 57 Heffner, Mrs. Roe-Merrill, 10, 54 Herrick, Virgil E., 45 Hesburgh, Rev. Theodore, 46 Hisaw, Frederick, 15 Hohlfeld, Alexander R., 9, 10 Hutchinson, Evelyn, 61, 68 Iltis, Hugh H., 54 Ingraham, Mark H., 13 Juday, Chancey, 2, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 22, 25, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 45, 46 Kaeser, William, 25 Kitchell, James F., 34 La Follette, Philip F., 38 Leopold, Aldo, 18, 31 Lettau, Katterina, 54 Livermore, Donald, 70 Loucks, Orrie L., 33, 34 Magnuson, John J., 18 McGiveran, Ben S., 45, 46, 48 Meek, Walter J., 17, 22, 31 Meloche, Villiers W., 41, 42 Meyer, Roland K., 15 Mortimer, C. H., 13, 53 Neess, John C., 17 Noland, Lowell E., 12, 13, 15, 20, 45 Patau, Klaus, 54 Plaut, Walter, 16 Rahr, Guido, 2, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50 Reynolds, John, 27, 69 Riegel, Sieghardt M., 5, 10, 68 Ris, Hans, 16 Rohlich, Gerard A., 24, 33 Sarles, William B., 24 Schmidt, Carl, 28 Scott, Walter A., 71 Skoog, Folke, 24 Stahmann, Mark, 56 Stewart, Duncan, 49 Tanner, Champ, 56 Thomas, Ursula, 53 Thomson, John W., 18 Twaddell, W. Freeman, 9, 10 Vogelman, Ray, 29 Von Frisch, Karl, 63, 69 Wagner, George, 12 Westphal, Klaus, 54 Whitney, Lester, 38, 41, 42 Wolf, 20 Young, H. Edwin, 31, 32 Hasler #48 76 Laura Lord Smail was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1922. She has a B.A. from Smith College (1944), and an M.A. in Southeast Asian History from Cornell University (1956). She came to Madison in 1961 when her husband joined the history department. After a period working as a freelance editor, and then as a parttime editor at the UW Press, she began, in 1975, working as an interviewer for the Oral History Project. She became director of the project in 1982.

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