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Philip J. Craul

B.S. Forestry, 1954; M.S. Forest Resources, 1960

Phillip J. Craul earned his B.S. in forestry in 1954, his M.S. in forestry in 1960, and his Ph.D. in agronomy in 1964, all from Penn State. He is Emeritus Professor of Soil Science, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where he was a faculty member from 1968 to 1994. For 13 years he was senior lecturer in landscape architecture, The Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. He was instructor in forestry at Penn State Mont Alto, 1959-1960.

Craul’s professional focus has been on urban soils and their effects on landscape trees. He has educated generations of students, foresters, landscape architects, engineers, and others about effects of soils on trees. His best-known books are Urban Soil in Landscape Design (1992) and Urban Soils: Applications and Practices (1999). Craul has authored 35 publications and several books, has presented papers at 16 national and international conferences, and served on editorial boards of several national periodicals. He has shared his expertise with many agencies including the National Capitol Region of the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the state of New York, and several municipalities and conservation districts in New York and elsewhere. He has also been a soils consultant for more than 30 years to several large landscape architectural firms.

Craul has been a strong supporter of Penn State Mont Alto. He helped activate the Maurice K. and Ethel C. Goddard Scholarship in Forestry, and established the Joanne M. Craul Scholarship in nursing in memory of his wife who was a nurse for many years. He served as a member of the Board of Directors, Penn State Mont Alto Constituent Society, 1996-2001, and was named an Alumni Centennial Fellow of Penn State Mont Alto in 2004.

Craul was elected to several honorary societies, including Sigma Xi, Xi Sigma Pi, and Gamma Sigma Delta. He was a Bullard Fellow for Forestry Research at Harvard University, 1976-1977, and elected to honorary membership in Sigma Lambda Alpha, the Landscape Architecture Honorary in 1993.

Throughout his career, Craul has taught that the soil speaks to us through its properties, telling us how and for what it can be used. He reminds his audiences that "it is not dirt, it is soil, the elixir of life.”

April 2005