Robert E. McDole entered Oregon State College (OSC) in fall 1948 and attended OSC until 1952, when he earned a BS in Soils. From 1952 until 1965, he conducted soil and range surveys in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho as a soil scientist with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1964, he entered graduate school at the University of Idaho and earned MS (1968) and Ph.D. (1969) degrees in soil science. He also was employed by the University of Idaho as a research fellow and Extension Soils Specialist. McDole was responsible for all Extension Service soils programs in Idaho, including soil fertility, soil surveys, soil conservation, soil management, and youth programs. He also served as Chair of the Soils Science Division of the Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences at the University of Idaho from 1986 until his retirement in 1990.
A native Oregonian, McDole was born in Eugene, Oregon, and lived in Ontario, Oregon from 1933 until he graduated from high school. McDole lived in the Campus Club men's cooperative during his student years at Oregon State College.
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