James W. Biggar, a former UC Davis water science professor whose research involving field soil helped maximize crop production, died Jan. 30 of pneumonia complications, his family said. He was 83.
Mr. Biggar spent more than 30 years in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at UC Davis. His work with colleagues on how water, chemicals and pollution move through soil helped improve food production in the San Joaquin Valley and in other countries.
He received many honors for his work, including awards from the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Academy of America.
Born in 1928, Mr. Biggar grew up in Ontario, Canada. He graduated from Ontario Agricultural College and earned master's and doctoral degrees in soil science at Utah State University.
He joined the UC Davis faculty in 1957. He was a board member and elder at Davis Community Church and served on the boards of the Cal Aggie Christian Association and Young Life.
Survivors include his wife, Beverley of Davis; son, Tim of Escondido; daughters, Laura of Campbell and Robin Smith of Huntington Beach; brother, Jack of Ontario, Canada; and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by a daughter, Marnie.
A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. today at Davis Community Church, 412 C St., Davis. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Davis Community Church or Truckee Donner Land Trust.