Adair Wheaton

Dr. Adair Wheaton was a good friend and also an exceptional researcher.  Adair grew up in Sandford where his family farmed.  He loved the land and clearly understood agriculture from the ground up.  Adair was a quiet man, but one of the most respected scientists at the Citrus Experiment Station.  He was the "go to" guy when anyone had a question about statistical design.  His research work covered many areas.  Adair was one of the first to do work with growth regulators.  He did legendary research with tree size control; density, pruning practices, pre plant treatments, matching rootstocks to soil, etc.  Adair had a grove so he knew the issues that impacted growers.  He did a tremendous amount of work with irrigation practices.  Was a leader in the development of BMP for nitrogen applications on the ridge.  He understood computers and solenoid valves and filters and tensiomiters and neutron probes and a bunch of other complicated electronic/mechanical devices.  I am sure there are many more contributions he made with his research.  Adair was the leader of the research effort at Water Conserv II from day one.  He actually understood all the valves, filters, timers, computer, etc. in the South Block.  He actually designed the plot.  He set up the first research trial, the West Block, to determine if too much reclaimed water could impact soil, trees, foliage and fruit.  Adair was a "hands on" researcher.  I can remember seeing him sitting on the tailgate of his pickup cleaning filters and flow meters, walking with him through a young planting to find out why trees were dying (seems crickets liked to get inside our wraps and chewed on the young bark), watching him help pickers collect yield data (not only did Adair keep up with his guys, he kept up with all the data for the rest of us), and many more dirty and demanding tasks.
  Adair was a remarkable individual.  For years he fought Parkinson's disease and did so with dignity.  Never complaining, always positive.  He had a shy smile and quiet way.  He had great depth; a mind always at work looking for answers to complex questions, a willingness to help others with no expectations of anything in return, always positive, did not criticize or put down anyone (or any idea).  He was respected by everyone that had any dealings with him.  Truly a quiet leader that had a tremendous impact on the citrus research effort in Florida; either directly through his work or his unselfish sharing with his colleagues.  What a privilege to work with Dr. Adair Wheaton and be able to have him as a friend./mechanical devices.  I am sure there are many more contributions he made with his research.  Adair was the leader of the research effort at Water Conserv II from day one.  He actually understood all the valves, filters, timers, computer, etc. in the South Block.  He actually designed the plot.  He set up the first research trial, the West Block, to determine if too much reclaimed water could impact soil, trees, foliage and fruit.  Adair was a "hands on" researcher.  I can remember seeing him sitting on the tailgate of his pickup cleaning filters and flow meters, walking with him through a young planting to find out why trees were dying (seems crickets liked to get inside our wraps and chewed on the young bark), watching him help pickers collect yield data (not only did Adair keep up with his guys, he kept up with all the data for the rest of us), and many more dirty and demanding tasks.