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Berkeley: Departments and Programs

Native American Studies Program
There is no history currently available for this program.

Natural Resources
See Colleges and Schools, College of Natural Resources.

Naval Architecture
In his first report to the Governor (Nov. 1, 1900), President Benjamin Ide Wheeler wrote that among the most pressing needs of the University was "...a school of Naval Architecture and Engineering. The eminent position which shipbuilding has taken here by San Francisco Bay makes it incumbent upon the University to furnish the best instruction in what has now come to be a characteristic California art...."

There is no record of action on this recommendation until 1918-19, when a program in naval architecture became a formal part of the curriculum. After that time, undergraduate courses in naval architecture were offered. Until the formation of a separate department in 1958, these courses formed one of the options in the former Division of Mechanical Engineering.

Except during the expansion of a training program during World War II, the number of students taking the undergraduate courses was usually small, reflecting depressed conditions in the American shipbuilding industry. By the mid-1960s, only three American institutions besides the University offered accredited degree programs in naval architecture: University of Michigan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Webb Institute.

Perhaps because of the small number of educational sources of naval architects, the Navy Department in 1950 began to encourage an expansion of this field at Berkeley, first by gifts of important experimental equipment and later by establishing financial support in the form of research contracts. In 1953, the Regents approved a full professorship in naval architecture; earlier courses had usually been taught by individuals with mechanical engineering titles.

Beginning about 1956, questions began to arise about the direction which education in the expanding field should take, and a departmental committee was formed to study the matter. Among the recommendations of the committee were: a) that a separate Department of Naval Architecture should be established, and b) that only graduate degree programs in the field should be offered.

The latter recommendation was a significant innovation in naval architecture education in this country. The old, established departments at Michigan, M.I.T. and Webb were largely undergraduate departments, with the strong professional flavor which had long been characteristic of education in this field in America and abroad. The plan at Berkeley emphasized a program of scientifically oriented education at the graduate level with less purely professional content. It was aimed at providing opportunities for engineers and scientists specializing in the expanding technologies of aero-space and hydro-space, which are peripheral to naval architecture, as well as for those intending to practice directly in it.

The Engineers Council for Professional Development accredited the master's degree program in 1959, the first such accreditation in this country. By the mid-1960s, the department had three tenured faculty members, two with naval architecture titles, one with the engineering science title. The number of graduate students in the department grew to between 25 and 30 after it was established; the Department of Commerce (Maritime Administration) and the Navy Department augmented the number by sponsoring engineers and scientists in their employment as graduate students.

Specialized experimental research facilities began with the establishment of the College Avenue towing tank in 1937, where hundreds of ship models were tested for west coast industry; for many years it was the only such facility west of Michigan. It was replaced in 1955 by a larger and more modern tank at the Richmond Field Station. Static and dynamic ship structural testing facilities were added beginning in 1960, to form the Naval Architecture Laboratory. source

The department no longer exists as such.

Naval Science
See Navy (Reserve Officer Training Corps).

Navy (Reserve Officer Training Corps)
In 1925, the Congress passed a Navy Omnibus Bill authorizing the establishment of a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. The Bureau of Navigation of the Department of the Navy immediately began negotiations to establish units at several of the leading universities throughout the country, including the University of California. In August of 1926, University officials and the bureau completed final arrangements and on August 20, the first NROTC unit in the country was established on the Berkeley campus. Commander (later Fleet Admiral) Chester W. Nimitz was sent to the University as professor of naval science with the responsibility of organizing the unit. Enrollment was limited to 200 students and offices and classes were combined in North Hall. Navy instructors taught seamanship and ordnance, and University instructors were utilized to teach navigational astronomy and marine engineering. Midshipmen were sent on summer cruises and also were allowed to take short trips with various naval units at San Francisco or Mare Island.

During the 1930s, the unit expanded both its curriculum and student enrollment. In 1930, instruction was begun leading to a commission in the supply corps reserve, and in 1932, instruction was begun leading to a commission in the Marine Corps Reserve. In 1933, the unit moved its offices from North Hall to Harmon Gymnasium. Throughout the 1930s various enrollment increases were authorized by the Department of the Navy, and by 1940, the unit totaled 300 midshipmen.

The greatest changes in the unit, however, occurred during and after World War II. During the war the unit served as a base for an expanded V-12 program at the University, and occupied International House in addition to offices in Harmon Gymnasium. In 1945, the V-12 program was terminated and enrollment was limited to 100 entering freshmen. In 1946, the Holloway Program, providing for federal scholarships to select midshipmen, was instituted at Berkeley and for the first time led to a commission in the regular Navy. Two years later, Callaghan Hall was constructed to serve as a naval armory and training center in order to provide midshipmen with more intensive practical instruction in navigation and ordnance equipment. In 1963, the NROTC unit consolidated all of its offices and classrooms by moving from Harmon Gymnasium to Callaghan Hall.

After the war, emphasis on instruction changed from the original concept of training reserve officers available for active duty only in national emergency, to providing the Navy with regular career officers. By 1968, curriculum changes included requirements in psychology, leadership training, mathematics and physics, in addition to the professional courses in ordnance, navigation and marine engineering.

In the mid-1960's, the Regents designated a commons room in Callaghan Hall in honor of Fleet Admiral Nimitz. The developmental plans combined library and study facilities and provided the midshipmen with an inspirational meeting place for social and organizational functions. source

Near Eastern Studies
Near Eastern studies began at Berkeley with the establishment of the Department of Semitic Languages in 1894. Coming so soon after the founding of the University, this was an added indication of the desire of the founders of the new institution to emulate the great universities of the Eastern seaboard where Hebrew and its "allied tongues" had been, together with Greek and Latin, part of the core of a liberal education in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Reverend Jacob Voorsanger of San Francisco offered his services to the University, without compensation, and was appointed professor of Semitic languages and literatures. Later, a second member was added to the staff with the appointment of Max Margolis as assistant professor in 1897. The first budgetary allotment to the department was made in 1898 with the promotion of Margolis as associate professor and his inclusion on the salary roll.

Enrollment in the department grew with the doubling of the staff and a proliferation of courses. Elements of Hebrew were added to courses in various periods and types of Hebrew and the "allied tongues," such as Arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, and Syriac, were soon a part of the curriculum. Annual statistics of enrollment, which showed a growth from 11 students in 1894-95 to 114 in 1902-03, fluctuated greatly during the early years when two professors and sometimes an assistant made up the full complement of the department. Lecture courses on the Old Testament or on the ancient Near East accounted for the bulk of the enrollment while language courses generally included fewer than ten students on the elementary level and dwindled to a single student on the advanced level. Few students continued their studies on the graduate level--to some extent because the field did not offer many professional opportunities at that time. Only one Ph.D. degree (1905) and three M.A. degrees were granted before 1950.

The department remained more or less the same through the first half of the twentieth century. During much of that period the staff consisted of William Popper, who succeeded Margolis in 1905 and retired in 1944, and Henry L. F. Lutz, who joined Popper in 1920 and retired in 1953. Work in the whole range of languages, literatures, and cultures of the ancient, medieval, and modern Near East was divided between these two men.

Under the chairmanship of Walter J. Fischel, who succeeded Popper in 1944, the name of the department was changed to Near Eastern languages, reflecting the growing interest in cultures, such as Iranian and Turkish, not covered by the previous name. In 1956, the greatest steps forward were taken with the appointment of several young scholars to the staff and the addition of South Asian languages, the modern languages of the Indian sub-continent, to the departmental roster. After that year, there was steady growth: in staff, to a 1968 total of 20 full-time members; in general student enrollment, from 229 in 1956-57 to 819 in 1964-65; and in graduate students, with one Ph.D. and 16 M.A. degrees completed between 1950-1968.

One aspect of the national trend in the study of non-western culture was the rise of area studies. In 1956, the University's Department of Political Science appointed a specialist in Near Eastern government and politics and area specialists were appointed in other fields. This development led, in 1962, to the creation of a Committee for Middle Eastern Studies in the Institute of International Studies, to coordinate the Near Eastern offerings in departments outside the language department.

The large and growing library collections owed their origin to the early efforts of Voorsanger, whose congregation, Temple Emanuel, gave the first funds for the purchase of books on Hebrew and the Bible. The University's Egyptological and Assyriological collections housed in the Lowie Museum of Anthropology go back to expeditions sponsored by benefactors of the University in the early years of the century. source

Neurobiology, Division of
See Molecular and Cell Biology.

Neuroscience Program
There is no history currently available for this program.

Nuclear Engineering
Graduate studies in the field of applications of nuclear energy had their inception on the Berkeley campus in the fall of 1955 when the first M.S. program in nuclear engineering was offered by the Division of Mechanical Engineering. This program was developed largely as a result of the foresight and effort of Professors Edward Teller, Richard A. Fayram, and Nathan W. Snyder and reflected conclusions on curriculum arising from discussions at the 1954 Berkeley Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Initially, the program consisted of 26 units of prescribed work in nuclear reactor theory, mathematics, materials science, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and applied thermodynamics.

There were seven students in the first group at Berkeley, six of whom received their M.S. degrees in June, 1956. The program underwent steady growth, with 14 students receiving the M.S. degree in June, 1957 and 23 in June, 1958. Course work beyond the M.S. level was initiated in 1956, and the program became more formalized with the appointment of Mills as professor and vice-chairman of mechanical engineering for nuclear engineering. The tragic accidental death of Mills in the spring of 1958 was very keenly felt by the staff, occurring as nuclear engineering was about to be elevated to department status.

In the fall of 1958, Professor Lawrence M. Grossman, who had joined the group in 1957, was appointed acting chairman of the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Thomas H. Pigford joined the staff as professor and chairman in the fall of 1959.

Under Pigford's chairmanship, the faculty was greatly augmented, Ph.D. programs expanded, and laboratory space and experimental facilities increased. The student enrollment rose rapidly to a 1968 level of approximately 95 graduate students.

The students in the department were drawn from many different undergraduate majors, including the various branches of engineering, engineering science, physics, and chemistry. A flexible course schedule and a rigorous set of examinations were established for the Ph.D. program. In the decade after 1958, the department awarded 19 Ph.D. degrees. The recipients of these degrees went on to positions in branches of the nuclear industry or government laboratories. Others entered the academic field. A significant proportion of the students in nuclear engineering were from European countries and the Middle and Far East. Most of these returned home to their own countries to aid in the development of national or industrial programs in the applications of nuclear energy.

The department received a number of research contracts and equipment grants to support graduate student research and laboratory courses. Two Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) equipment grants were used for the purpose of equipping graduate student laboratory courses. The AEC also provided research funds for studies in nuclear fuels and materials, thermionic energy conversion, and transient heat transfer with phase change. A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant for the study of ion erosion of surfaces led to work related to the ion propulsion program. Experimental work in pulsed neutron techniques and radiation detection devices was also carried out. In addition, theoretical studies in nuclear reactor theory, neutron transport problems, magnetohydrodynamics, and two-phase fluid flow were in progress. A close relationship was established with the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory both at Berkeley and at Livermore, and several thesis projects were completed in collaboration with that organization.

Perhaps the most significant development under Pigford's chairmanship was the staff's preparation of a proposal and safety analysis for the construction of a new one-megawatt research reactor. This project was funded in 1963 by the National Science Foundation and the reactor was under construction by 1968. The reactor was housed in a new building on the campus, Etcheverry Hall, part of which was especially designed to accommodate the new facility. The department's laboratories and offices were moved to the new building in January, 1965. In July, 1964, Professor Hans Mark was appointed department chairman. source

Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology
The home economics movement at Berkeley began with a series of lectures by Ellen S. Richards of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the summer of 1909. The early proponents of interest in this field of education were chiefly Jessica B. Peixotto, professor of social economics, Miss Lucy Ward Stebbins, assistant professor of social economy and dean of women, and President Benjamin Ide Wheeler. A committee was appointed about 1911 to study offerings in this field. The first new appointee (1912) was Miss Ida Secrist, who was in the field of textiles and was called lecturer in domestic art. In 1914, President Wheeler appointed Mary F. Patterson assistant professor of domestic art. In 1915, Agnes Fay Morgan, who had just received the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago, was appointed assistant professor of nutrition in the Division of Nutrition of the College of Agriculture. This division continued in existence until 1925, but the nutrition and dietetics courses were incorporated into the new Department of Home Economics in the College of Letters and Science in 1916.

By 1916, some agitation for training home economics teachers had sprung up among California high school principals and teachers. In the spring of 1916, President Wheeler acceded to the demand by establishing a Department of Home Economics, chaired by Mary Patterson. In six weeks, a two-story, shingled redwood building called the Home Economics Building was constructed at the northeast corner of the campus on a site later occupied by the Engineering Materials Laboratory, which eventually developed into Earl Davis Hall.

By 1918, the home economics department was split into two divisions, household art and household science, administered respectively by Mary Patterson and Agnes Fay Morgan. These shortly became departments in the College of Letters and Science, each offering a major for the A.B. degree. By 1917, four master's degrees in household science had been granted.

Each department had only two or three faculty members, but nevertheless offered courses in supervision of practice teaching and methods of teaching home economics, as well as graduate seminars. By 1922, animal rooms had been built into the basement of the building and research on vitamin and proteins was underway. The first Ph.D. degrees in nutrition were awarded in 1930 and 1932 and new courses were added in both so that interior design, home consumer economics, and, by 1935, institution management and training in hospital dietetics were offered.

In 1930, household science moved to the new Life Sciences Building, household art to a temporary building on the south side of the campus, and the old Home Economics Building was razed. In 1938, the Department of Household Science entered the College of Agriculture and was renamed home economics. Most of the household art offerings and faculty did not join this movement but remained in the College of Letters and Science, forming the basis for the Department of Design. All the textiles, clothing design, and construction courses entered the new Department of Home Economics.

Hospital dietitian's intern training in cooperation with the University of California Hospital in San Francisco was started in 1935 under the leadership of Helen L. Gillum. Nearly 200 dietitians finished this course. Twenty-three of these went on to graduate study, 21 to earn the M.S. degree and two the Ph.D. degree in nutrition.

Graduate study and research in nutrition were organized in 1930 under a graduate group in animal nutrition, with Carl L. A. Schmidt, chairman, composed of some 40 faculty members from several departments in Berkeley, Davis, and San Francisco. In 1946, Agnes Fay Morgan became chairman and in 1949, the name of the group changed to "nutrition." Thirty-five Ph.D. degrees in nutrition were awarded between 1931 and 1962 to graduate students working in the department. In addition, more than 133 master's degrees were earned in this subject. Nearly 300 scientific publications were the outcome of this activity of staff and students.

In 1954, Agnes Fay Morgan retired and Jessie V. Coles became chairman of the department. In the same year, the department moved into Agnes Fay Morgan Hall, constructed especially to house it. In 1956, the department's name was again changed to the Department of Nutrition and Home Economics. Ruth Okey took over the chairmanship and held it until 1960, when George M. Briggs was named to that position. In 1961, the Berkeley Department of Food Science and Technology, including the marine food science laboratory of the Institute of Marine Resources, joined the department, which added considerable strength in food chemistry and biochemistry. In June of 1962, the last of the general home economics major students were graduated and thereafter the name of the department became nutritional sciences. source

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The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Last updated 06/18/04.