Personal Stuff (2021)

Thanks for being interested enough to check this out! Here is a prose version of some things in my CV.

I spent my entire career at UCSC, arriving in 1972 directly from my PhD in Geochemistry at the Australian National University (ANU). I started as an Assistant Professor Step I (rarely used anymore) with no startup package, and ended as a Distinguished Professor above the top of the UC personnel ladder 38 years later. Along the way I was active in campus-wide faculty governance, and was Department Chair when a new building was built for us and we planned for the subsequent 50% expansion of the department. I spent the 1990s in central administration as Dean of the Graduate School, first Research Vice Chancellor, and founding Director of the Monterey Bay Education, Science, and Technology (MBEST) Center that tried but failed to create a multi-institutional research park at the former Fort Ord near Monterey. As you might guess, there is a lot of history in the preceding sentence, not all pleasant. I left administration in 2000 and retired from teaching in 2010.

About 40 grad students and postdocs, and a similar number of undergraduates, have worked on research projects with me, enriching my career as much as I theirs. The graduate students and postdocs are listed elsewhere on this web site. I would love to hear from any of you who read this.

I am descended from Cornish miners, and grew up in a northern New Jersey mining town (Dover). I got into earth science through collecting minerals (especially from Franklin NJ) and a summer job as an underground mining geologist in Utah. I still love minerals and mountains.

My BS degree is from Wheaton College (Illinois) about a decade after several famous geochemists graduated from there, including Larry Kulp, Paul Gast (whose PhD student I almost became), Karl Turekian, Wally Broecker, and Paul Ribbe among others. My MS degree is from Franklin and Marshall College (PA) where I learned most of my geology from Tony Morse, Don Wise, and John Moss among others. My PhD is from the ANU where I was a student of Ross Taylor, Bill Compston, and Ian Macdougall, and a contemporary of Tony Irving, Petr Jakes, Bas Hensen, Ian Smith, Mike Gorton, and Chris Gray among others.

I came to UCSC largely because of its idealistic ambition to combine the reward system of a research university with the emphasis on undergraduate teaching and multi-disciplinarity of liberal arts colleges like Wheaton and F&M. I was a founding member of Oakes College that was half of my professional life for the first decade. Oakes was a multi-ethnic academic experiment with a strong emphasis on science. Most of the exceptionalism and idiosyncracies of UCSC are gone now, but my career was enriched by being an active part of it while that lasted.


At UCSC, I taught everything from general education geoscience and Oakes College core courses, to upper division departmental courses (mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, economic geology, and environmental law and impact statements), to graduate courses in igneous and planetary geochemistry, and tectonics.


Along the way I was awarded an NSF Graduate Fellowship, became a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (limited to 0.1% of its membership), and received an Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize from the German government for lifetime achievement. I held visiting appointments of a month to a year in the Academies of Science of Czechoslovakia and China, the Universities of Auckland and Canterbury in New Zealand, the Universities of Tokyo and Tohoku and IFREE/JAMSTEC in Japan, the Universities of Paris (VII), Blaise Pascal (Clermont Ferrand), Grenoble, and Marseille in France, Bristol University in England, and the Universities of Kiel (GEOMAR), Cologne, and Göttingen in Germany.


Although retired, I remain active in research with many publications, research projects and expeditions, and service to the scientific community in the last decade. See the Research page for details. In effect, my decade in administration, plus my department’s retreat from my research area, delayed projects that I have completed in retirement. Those other roles also enhanced my desire for the freedom and satisfaction of research work, so I am less burned out now than I might have become otherwise.

I have been married to Catharine since 1967 and we have hosted many earth scientists in our home. Catharine taught high school English and eventually founded a local charter academic high school that is consistently ranked as one of the top public schools in the USA because of her emphasis on rigorous AP-oriented pedagogy. Our older daughter, Emily, is a rural medical doctor in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Our younger daughter, Eleanor, is a multi-lingual social impact assessor in Vancouver BC for a Canadian engineering firm. Each has two children. We have taken frequent advantage of opportunities to live and work abroad including long stints in Australia and Fiji as graduate students, and later in New Zealand, France (twice), Japan, and Germany. In addition to those countries, I have done field work in Fiji, Tonga, eastern Indonesia, the Mariana and Izu island arcs, northeast China including Changbaishan on the border with North Korea, and Costa Rica.