University of British Columbia, 1951, BSc, Agriculture (Soil Science)
David Stevenson was born in Virden, Manitoba, in 1924. After four years in the RCAF during World War II he enrolled at UBC in 1947 and obtained the degree of BSA (Soil Science) in 1951. Following irrigation research at the Summerland Research Station, supported by a grant from the BC Fruit Growers Association, he became a Research Assistant in Soils at Oregon State University, 1953-56, and obtained an MSc from that University in 1956. Later he was a Research Officer in soils at Swift Current Research Station, Saskatchewan, 1956-57. Subsequently he was appointed Junior Soil Scientist at OSU, doing research on Soils and Irrigation and for one year he was Irrigation Extension Specialist for the State. In 1963 he received the PhD degree from OSU. He held the position of Research Officer (Soils) at the Canada Department of Agriculture Lethbridge Research Station, Alberta, from 1962 to 1966.
In 1966 Dr Stevenson transferred to the Summerland Research Station for Soils and Irrigation Research as a Research Scientist, where he conducted research for the next 23 years. He was appointed Section Head, Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering in 1978, a position held until retirement in 1989. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 research and technical papers and was Associate Editor of Canadian Journal of Soil Science for 6 years.
Dr Stevenson has held memberships in the American Society of Agronomy and in Canadian, American, and international Soil Science Societies societies. He is a member of the Canadian Society of Soil Science (CSSS), and the Pacific Region Society for Soil Science (PRSSS). He was a long-time member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Pacific Division of the AAAS during his working years. He has been a member of the Sigma Xi Society from 1958 and attached to the UBC Branch in later years.
He served on the National Committee on Agrometeorology for 6 years and on 3 task forces for the Okanagan Basin Water Study in the late 1960’s and until 1975. His research established principles and guidelines for trickle irrigation in BC. These guidelines were used worldwide. He was a contributor to the BC Irrigation Manual and served on the BC Soil Science and Food Science Lead Committees for about 10 years. He was part of a two-person mission to the poverty areas of Guatemala for the Canadian Hunger Foundation in 1973. In addition he visited the Soils Department in Bet Dagan, Israel, in 1981 to exchange technical knowledge about irrigation generally and trickle irrigation specifically.
Dr Stevenson and his wife now live in retirement in Penticton, BC, and “enjoy the peaceful life, if being seniors can be described as peaceful. Our two children are now seniors and our four grandchildren are all in their 20’s. We all spent many happy days camping and fishing, particularly during our 8 years spent in Oregon when the children were of the right age for that sort of thing. Now I am content to play golf and still do a little fishing. We travel when we can.”