Monday, August 11, 2014

Bill Dresher, first State Geologist of Arizona

We learned late today that Dr. William H. Dresher passed away on August 9.   Bill was named the Dean of the College of Mines and Director of the Arizona Bureau of Mines at the University of Arizona in 1971, and became the first person to hold the title of  “State Geologist." He served as Director and State Geologist until 1981.

In 1977, the Bureau became the Bureau of Geology and Mineral Technology, comprising the geological survey and a mineral technology branch. The Survey was moved out of the University in 1988 to become the Arizona Geological Survey.

Services are scheduled for Thursday, August 14 at 11am with a reception to follow, at Casas Adobes Congregational United Church of Christ, 6801 N. Oracle Rd, Tucson. 520-297-1181.

A short bio is posted on the Camp Miller 2011 Reunion page:

William H. Dresher was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduated from Northeast High School and earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University in 1953. He received his Ph.D. in Metallurgy from the University of Utah in 1956. After graduation, he worked for Union Carbide Corporation where, as Assistant Director of Research, he supervised research and development on the extraction and purification of uranium, vanadium, tungsten, molybdenum, and asbestos.

In 1971, he became the Dean of the College of Mines at the University of Arizona, where he increased the College's enrollment and research income, established a degree program in Mineral Economics, and successfully lobbied the Arizona State Legislature for the establishment of a formal state geological survey.

In 1981, He became President of the International Copper Research Association, Inc. (INCRA), supervising product development and providing the leadership that made INCRA an effective organization to promote and defend the use of copper worldwide. In 1989, he became Vice President of Technology of the International Copper Association, Ltd. (ICA). In 1995, he retired from ICA to establish his present consulting practice.

He has represented minerals technology in the National Research Council and was a member of Ronald Reagan's transition team in the field of minerals policy. He is a past president of the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America, a past member of the Board of Directors of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS), and a Distinguished Member of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME). He has been a member of the Mining Foundation of the Southwest since 1971, where he serves on the Board of Directors, and in 1999, served as Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee. He is currently the chairman of the SciEnTeK-12 Foundation – an organization that encourages young people to enter careers in science and engineering.

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