Dec. 28, 2012
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2012 - The year in pictures

By Tom Campbell

While the widespread and prolonged drought might be our lasting image of 2012, there were others that evoked an array of feelings and emotions during the year, too. We share with you some of these images as captured by the camera of Connections Managing Editor Tom Campbell. (Click on the picture to view larger image.)

You can read the stories that go with some of the photos by clicking the links within the captions. Enjoy. 

Larry Becker

Landscaper Larry Becker made an environmental statement when he bought two Chevy Volt hybrid cars for his Indianapolis-based company. The sleek lines of the vehicles and threatening skies were elements in this portrait of one of Purdue’s Distinguished Agricultural Alumni award recipients.

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman

Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman was featured as the 2012 spring semester Learning from Leaders guest during a visit to campus in April at the invitation of Jay Akridge (left), Purdue’s Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. Skillman spoke to students in Pfendler Hall’s Deans Auditorium on the topic of the importance of developing leadership skills.

Herbarium sample


Sometimes, even a mundane assignment like photographing archived weeds can be revealing. This weed, part of the collection in the Kriebel Herbarium, was gathered by a botanist detached to Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s brigade in the Black Hills in 1874.




Indrajeet Chaubey

Purdue ecohydrologist Indrajeet Chaubey received the 2012 Purdue Agricultural Research Award. He was a good sport when I asked if he had a pair of wading boots and a couple of hours to take a ride. Here, he tests this quiet stretch of Wildcat Creek about 15 miles east of campus in Clinton County.



This curious cow, her nose powdered with feed, was trying to see if the photographer’s camera could be tastier than the meal provided her by caretakers at Purdue’s Animal Sciences Research and Education Center. 



Ian Kaplan

Do pay attention to the man behind the curtain! He is Purdue entomologist Ian Kaplan, who received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Shown working with a colony of hornworms in his greenhouse lab, Kaplan received the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their careers.

Reuben Goforth

The biggest story of the year for Purdue Agriculture was the drought that locked most of Indiana in its grip from the spring into the fall. Reuben Goforth, an assistant professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, found that freshwater clams were left high, dry and dead by the receding waters of the Wabash River.


student farm

The small plot of land on the western edge of campus is only five acres, but to students like senior Ahmad Tarmizi Abdul Razak, it is a farm nonetheless. Since 2010, Razak and other students have learned much about sustainable agriculture by working at the farm.


WWII vets

About 50 World War II veterans, including a couple of retired Purdue faculty members, participated in an Honor Flight program in Washington, D.C., this summer. The full story will be told in the next issue of Connections.  

sow drinking

This sow appears to be smiling for the camera as she gets a long, cool drink of water in a nursing pen at Purdue’s Animal Sciences Research and Education Center.  



Tom Bradford

Tom Bradford returned to the classroom – literally – to lecture a class of agricultural economics students. But as soon as he sat down with the students, I knew this was going to be a better photograph than anything I could get during his lecture. 


Joey Stephenson at Victory Field in Indianapolis

It looks like Joey Stephenson is hosing down a member of his grounds crew at Victory Field in Indianapolis. Stephenson, BS ’06, was named Triple-A Sports Turf Manager of the Year for his attention to detail in preparing the field for play for the Indianapolis Indians.  


Jim Clemens, Purdue biochemist

Truth be told, I didn’t shoot this photo of Jim Clemens, an assistant professor of biochemistry. I placed the camera inside a climate-controlled cabinet filled with fruit flies, checked the light, pre-focused, stood back and let Clemens push the shutter with one hand and grab the vial with the other. Voila!


Carol Sikler donated more than 18 gallons of blood and pins to prove it

When we profiled Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering employee Carol Sikler in March, she had donated more than 18 gallons of life-giving blood. And she had the pins in her hand as well as pin pricks in her arm to prove it. 


Wade Wilkins, Montgomery County

There aren’t many things better than a walk in the woods on a spring day. Wade Wilkins pauses to admire a lavender wildflower on his Montgomery County property.



Purdue's Horticulture Gardens


Among the most important elements to the success of agriculture is the bee.This bee is busy as a you-know-what at Purdue’s Horticulture Gardens.




soy field

This soybean field west of Purdue’s campus, pictured just before sunset, was doing fine in early June with the help of a moisture-retaining blanket of corn stubble. But when the summer rains didn’t materialize, neither did the traditional summer growth spurt. 


canoeists in Tippecanoe River

This trio canoeing in the Tippecanoe River found the going rough during the drought. The river level was so low that one of the canoeists had to abandon ship and pull the other two to a favorite fishing spot.


Herbarium sample


A steady hand, a flash and a long exposure made this photograph possible just outside the Purdue horticulture greenhouse on the southern edge of campus. Cary Mitchell is experimenting to see how well vegetables grow under the influence of LED lights.

Beck's Hybrids greenhouses near Atlanta, IN

Lights glowing from Beck’s Hybrids greenhouses near Atlanta, Ind., can be seen for miles at night. They provided the perfect backdrop for a portrait of Kevin Cavanaugh, Beck’s director of research.



Student Soy & Corn Innovation Contest

These students put their heads together and came up with shock-absorbing helmet pads as part of the annual Student Soybean and Corn Innovation Contests in March.




soyfield in drought


By August, it was clear that the drought of 2012 was one of the worst in history, as evidenced by these pathetic-looking soybeans barely surviving in a field just east of Lafayette.



Greg Hunt

We found a different perspective of entomologist Greg Hunt by putting a queen bee on the Purdue researcher’s protective mask. No bees were hurt in the making of this photograph.


southern Indiana aftermath of March tornadoes

Purdue Extension is playing a continuing role in the recovery of southern Indiana from the March tornadoes that ripped through Henryville, Marysville, Nabb and other communities. This photo shows that the tornadoes took down trees and buildings but not the American spirit.



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