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David M. Gates
Regents' Proceedings 260

David M. Gates, professor of botany in the Department of Biology, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 1991, following 20 years of service at the University of Michigan.

Professor Gates earned his B.S. degree in 1942, his M.S. degree in 1944, and his Ph.D. degree in 1947, all in physics and all from the University of Michigan. From 1947-55, he was a faculty member in the Department of Physics at the University of Denver, where he directed research on high altitude spectroscopy. Over the next decade, he was associated with the National Bureau of Standards and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. From 1965-71, Professor Gates was the director of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and a professor of biology at Washington University. He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1971 as professor of botany and director of the University of Michigan Biological Station.

Early in his career, Professor Gates became interested in studying the physical processes by which plants and animals exchange energy with their surrounding environments. His 1962 book, Energy Exchange in the Biosphere, was a landmark in the field of ecology. This publication, along with his research papers, stimulated a new generation of plant and animal ecologists to use a rigorous quantitative approach to measure and interpret the ways in which organisms are adapted to their environments. Scientists around the world continue to use this approach to study how organisms are adapted to environments ranging from the tropics to the polar-regions and from wetlands to the hot deserts.

Professor Gates' tenure at the Biological Station was marked by a substantial increase in research programs and by the construction of new facilities and the renovation of many existing facilities. In recognition of his professional achievements, Professor Gates has received the Gold Medal for Accomplishments in the Field of Ecology from the National Council of State Garden Clubs, the Award for Outstanding Achievements in Biometeorology from the American Meteorological Society, and the Distinguished Faculty Award from the University of Michigan. In 1975, he was named president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

The Regents now salute this faculty member for his dedicated service by naming David M. Gates Professor Emeritus of Botany.