Dr. Ted Sperry was an early leader in restoration ecology. Under the auspices of Aldo Leopold, he was given sixty acres of old farm land near the University of Wisconsin Madison campus. With a small crew of CCC workers and long-handled shovels, he was told to "go make a prairie." Dr. Sperry considered his work and research at the now-famous Curtis Prairie his greatest professional achievement.
Married in 1935 to Dr. Gladys C. Galligar, Ted took a position at PSU in 1946. He retired in 1974 to become Professor Emeritus and a very active retiree until his death in 1995. Dr. Sperry was curator of the herbarium that now bears his name until 1992. This site honors the contributions and memory of Dr. Sperry and Dr. Galligar.
Dr. Galligar designed Lyrrose, their residence on Paradocs, the couple's name for the one-acre lot that they had purchased in 1949. Dr. Galligar's notes on Paradocs from 1956 have been transcribed and Dr. Sperry's essay on The Ecological Paradox was published as the Presidential Address of Dr. Theodore M. Sperry to the Kansas Academy of Science in 1960.
Paradocs was donated to Pittsburg State University after Dr. Sperry's death. Today, the site is managed by the Department of Biology as a guest house and natural area. For more information about the Sperry Home and Paradocs, including tours and stays at Lyrosse, contact the PSU Biology Department at (620)235-4731 or e-mail the Biology Department.
This video link is from Wisconsin Public television and is about the role of the CCC in developing the Curtis Prairie, led by Aldo Leopold and with Ted Sperry. The video shows at least two photos with Ted Sperry. See also "How the CCC Boys made conservation history at the UW Arboretum".
Sperry-related Links (open in new browser windows)
| The Sperry Herbarium | The Sperry-Galligar Audubon Society | | Kansas Ornithological Society | Kansas Native Plant Society | | Society of Ecological Restoration - Sperry Award |