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Herbert Michael Reisenauer
In Memoriam

Herbert Michael Reisenauer

Professor of Land Air and Water Resources, Emeritus

UC Davis

Michael Reisenauer, emeritus professor in the Department of Land Air and Water resources, died December 13, 2015. Professor Reisenauer had a long and productive career with Washington State University at Pullman Washington and UC Davis. He retired from UC Davis in 1988 after 22 years of service in the Kearney Foundation of Soil Science and in the Department of Land Air and Water Resources. He served as an emeritus professor for 17 years. Dr. Reisenauer was noted for his expertise in soil fertility and plant nutrition. He taught Soil Fertility and plant and soil analyses courses for many years as well as mentoring master and doctoral students. He and his student's research examined many aspects of soil fertility, and plant nutrient availability in which the availability and role of micronutrients were major topics. Dr. Reisenauer was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.

His interest in soil science and plant nutrition stemmed from a youth spent on a family farm in Genesee, Idaho. Dr. Reisenauer obtained a B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Idaho. He began a doctoral program at North Carolina State in 1941 that was interrupted by service in the United States Navy. During the war, Mike served on board submarines in the Pacific theater. Following the war, he continued to serve in the Naval Reserve and attained the rank of Commander. He resumed his doctoral studies at North Carolina State and completed his Ph.D. in 1949. Dr. Reisenauer then accepted a position as Assistant Soil Scientist at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington where he worked on soil fertility and fertilizer use. He became noted for his research on trace elements fertilization of plants- especially molybdenum and cobalt. He moved through the professorial ranks and was promoted to professor of Soil Science in 1962. That same year he accepted a position as a Soil Scientist and Lecturer in the Kearney Foundation of Soil Science at UC Davis where he continued to examine the soil- plant relations of trace elements. In 1970 he transferred to the Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition (later to become part of the Department of Land Air and Water Resources) and attained the rank of Full Professor in 1974. Mike continued to work on diagnostic techniques for plant nutritional problems until he retired in 1988. He served as an emeritus professor until his passing in 2015. Dr. Reisenauer is survived by his two daughters Ann Reisenauer and Lynn Logan, his son-in-law Richard Simpson; and two grandsons Kyle and Nathan Logan.

Robert J. Zasoski
Dennis E. Rolston
Michael J. Singer