Shear was a charter member of APS. He studied under C. E. Bessey at the University of Nebraska, receiving a B.S. degree in 1897 and an M.A. degree in 1900. He began employment with the USDA’s Bureau of Plant Industry in 1901. During his career, Shear worked on a number of diseases, most notably, cranberry diseases, Texas root rot of cotton, and black rot of grape. Shear was highly regarded among fellow plant pathologists and was one of the most influential pathologists of his time. This level of leadership and respect positioned Shear to be one of the primary leaders in seeing the need for and establishing APS.
(Submitted for publication in July 2008.)