C. Vernon Cole
C. Vernon Cole, 90, of Estes Park Colorado, passed away on August 30, 2013. He was born in Wenatchee, Washington on November 12, 1922 to Frederick and Olive Cole. He was raised in Amherst, MA. He served in the US Army in WWII in the Philippines and Japan.
Vern obtained his B.S. in Chemistry and M.S.in Agronomy form the University of Massachusetts and his Ph.D. in Soils from the University of Wisconsin.
Dr. C Vernon Cole was a research soil scientist with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at CSU and Agricultural Research Service USDA from 1950 until his retirement in1993. He contributed significant advances in the knowledge of phosphorus chemistry. A practical soil test developed from this research has been used world-wide. His research expanded into plant responses to phosphorus and then into broader studies of phosphorus cycling in relation to organic carbon and nitrogen transformations. He was one of the pioneers in the development of ecosystem models to understand and predict plant nutrient dynamics in the soil and ecosystem. Between 1987 -93 he chaired a major Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE/UNEP) study on phosphorus in a global environment which organized four regional workshops in Africa, Asia, Europe and S. America and involved 240 scientists in 51 countries plus a final synthesis meeting in Hungary. His work has led to major advances in the understanding of management impacts on long-term soil productivity or degradation and opened avenues where collaborative research could address production and environmental concerns in a range of agro-ecosystems. After his retirement in 1993, Dr. Cole continued his research contributions through publications and working with students and colleagues.
As part of his role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Vern Cole was among the IPCC scientists awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
Vern is survived by his wife of 37 years, Jea Cole of Estes Park; son Dave Cole and wife Arlene; son by marriage Lynn Ferguson and significant other Lisa Knutson; daughter by marriage Kae Rosgen and husband Dave, Dee Tuckerman and husband Jake; grandchildren Ben Cole, Meilani Cole; Brandon Rosgen and wife Lizzie, Kizzy Brown; and former wife Terry Lacy.
Vern was preceded in death by his daughter Marjorie Hansen and his son Bob Cole.
In light of Vern’s long-standing contributions to research and education throughout his career, you may wish to make a memorial contribution to the Francis Clark Soil Biology Scholarship Fund which helps both graduate and undergraduate students at CSU further their education and research opportunities in the field of soil biology. Detailed info on this scholarship can be found at http://www.nrel.colostate.edu/education-scholarships.html.