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Woodford-Eckis Lecture Series


— A.O. Woodford (left) and R. Eckis (center), 1981

[2010-present] [2000-2009] [1999-1990] [1989-1981]

The Woodford-Eckis Lectureship, endowed by Rollin ’27 and Caroline Eckis, was initiated in 1980 in honor of Professor A.O. Woodford, or “Woody” as most called him. Woodford founded the Geology Department in 1922 and taught until his retirement in 1955. No doubt Woody’s crowning achievement over those years was his production of outstanding geology students, including Rollin Eckis, who spent his entire career in the oil business, particularly with Richfield and later ARCO where he retired from the position of Executive Vice-President. Eckis served on the Pomona College Board of Trustees from 1958-1977. Based on discussions with the department and a couple of close alumni, it was decided to use Rollin’s gift to establish this annual lectureship at which an outstanding geologist, whether or not a geology alumnus or alumna, would present a major banquet talk followed by a research lecture/seminar the next day. This affair is one of the highlights of our academic year.

2015 Don Swanson (USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory)

  • Kilauea volcano in Hawaii: When she’s good, she’s very, very good, but when she’s bad, she’s horrid.’
  • ‘Kilauea caldera: Its formation and the ensuing 300 years of explosive activity’

2014 Doug Yule  (California State University, Northridge)

  • Great earthquakes on the Southern San Andreas fault: How large, how frequent?’
  • ‘Paleoseismology of the San Andreas fault at San Gorgonio pass’

2013 E. Bruce Watson  (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

  • The environment of earliest Earth: Decoding the oldest zircons’
  • ‘Growth-rate effects on crystal composition: From phenocrysts to climate proxies’

2012 John Grotzinger  (California Institute of Technology)

  • ‘Going to Gale: A Search for Habitable Environments on Mars’
  • ‘Building Curiosity’

2011 Ramón Arrowsmith (Arizona State University)

  • ‘Recent Slip History of the South-Central San Andreas Fault’
  • ‘Surface Processes and Fault-Related Deformation Using LiDAR Topography’

2010 Kathy Cashman (University of Oregon)

  • ‘Mount St. Helens: A Tale of Three Decades’
  • ‘Bubbles and Bangs: When are Volcanic Eruptions Explosive?’