Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In memoriam - Philip LaMoreaux, Sr.

Phil LaMoreaux died last night. He's not from Arizona, or even worked here much as far as I know. But he was one of the more influential leaders in the earth sciences in recent decades.

I had the pleasure of knowing him as a colleague and mentor for the past twenty years. A mentor less in his role as an internationally respected hydrogeologist and environmental geoscience leader, but more for his personal and professional qualities. The first word that comes forth when anyone mentions Phil is "gentleman." [right: plaque honoring Phil's induction into the Univ. of Alabama alumni hall of honor]

Phil was always gracious and upbeat. He drew forth the best from everyone he worked with.

There will be memorials with more details on his contributions, but for those who did not know him, let me list a few accomplishments.

He worked started as a geologist and hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey from 1943-1961 and was appointed Chief of the Ground Water Branch, Washington, DC in 1959. Served as Alabama State Geologist and Oil and Gas Board Supervisor 1961-1976. He founded P E LaMoreaux and Associates (PELA), a geological and environmental consulting company in 1970. He served as Director, American Water Resources Association in 1971. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1987, “for geological and geotechnical contributions to groundwater resource development and to hazardous waste disposal and management.”

You may recognize his name as the editor in chief of the journal “Environmental Geosciences.”

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