As I approach retirement – my successor Jonathon Cooper starts as our new Technical Director in a couple of days - I search for some profound and meaningful comment to make about my experience at Carleton over the past 36 school years. But if I were a profound person I would have been a philosopher or a theorist rather than a technical director, so maybe I should just keep it simple. I have enjoyed my work at Carleton immensely. The place, the people, and the subject of geology have all been interesting and rewarding.
I am leaving the Carleton Geology Department in good hands, and I know that the faculty, Jon Cooper as the new Technical Director, Ellen Haberoth, and current and future students all will take good care of the Geology Department and help it thrive into the future.
There is absolutely no question that the very best part of my experience in all these years has been getting to meet and work with well over a thousand wonderful people at Carleton. We have a full thousand geology students and alums plus hundreds of Carleton staff and faculty who have been the best possible work-mates. What a great group of motivated, kind and caring people! What little I have been able to accomplish in my career at Carleton is attributable as much to all of you as it is to me.
Accomplishments which I am pleased with include establishing the template of professional-level support people in the science departments at Carleton, helping the Geology Department run smoothly with the benefit of well-managed facilities and equipment for many years (it was different when I arrived in 1975), the opportunity to work with faculty and students on many interesting original geology research projects, a long tradition of well-managed field trips, and developing the Carleton Geology Newsletter and more recently creating interesting and distinctive content for the Geology departmental web site. The Dacie Moses House still thrives and serves students as a “grandma’s house” away from home, staffed and maintained by Carleton students, 30 years after Dacie passed away and bequeathed her home to Carleton. And, the Geology Department enjoys the reputation of being open and accepting to a wide variety of people thanks to many things and many people including our faculty, which is unusually diverse for a small college geology department, and the Carleton Geology LGBT Alumni Network.
Some special highlights of my time here included geophysics research projects mapping out the buried river valleys associated with the Cannon River system, participating in two Keck research projects, and the visits to off-campus programs including the Italy program and the SEA Semester in 1999.
I remain eternally grateful to Eiler Henrickson, Ed Buchwald and Shelby Boardman for going along with my proposal to volunteer in 1975 until the concept of the Technical Director position could be formally established the following year. Both I and the Geology Department had something the other needed, and the relationship has worked out extremely well for both sides.
As to what activities I’m looking forward to in the next phase of my life, well, I would like to do more of the things I’ve enjoyed as sidelines for all these years such as music, visiting friends and relatives, and camping excursions around the Midwest and other places in North America. As volunteer service, I have made some plans to take a chamber music trio and a fiddle music group (featuring Glenn Lee ’78) to some of the local retirement homes on a monthly basis; do some web site development work for the geology department at my alma mater, Beloit College; and work on a city committee called the Arts And Culture Commission whose goal is to nurture the arts community in Northfield. And, I have indulged in the purchase of not one but two boats, a runabout for day use and a larger one you can camp on, for exploring lakes and rivers wherever I can find them.
Many thanks to all of you for your fantastic support and kind words and thoughts over the years. I think of retirement as I do of graduation - a bend in the road rather than the end of the road – and I look forward to seeing you all again soon!
Wishing you all the best,