AIPG South Dakota Section Past-President Tom Durkin (left) presents the 2014 J.P. Gries Geologist of the Year
award to Dr. Colin J. Paterson (right.) Award announced March 19, 2014 at AIPG South Dakota Section annual
meeting, Ft. Pierre, SD, and presented March 24, 2014 at SDSM&T, Rapid City, SD. Photo taken by Dr. Kelli McCormick.
2014 J.P. Gries Geologist of the Year award announced
March 19, 2014 – The South Dakota section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) has named South Dakota School of Mines & Technology professor Dr. Colin J. Paterson as 2014 J.P. Gries Geologist of the Year. The award is named in honor of Dr. John Paul Gries for his exceptional work in the field of geology and is provided each year by the South Dakota Section AIPG in memory of Dr. Gries, a longtime geology professor at the School of Mines.
Dr. Paterson, a native of New Zealand, earned Ph.D. and B.Sc. (Honors) degrees in geology at University of Otago in 1978 and 1972, respectively. He inherited his love of the outdoors, sports, and geology in the majestic terrain of the South Island of New Zealand. While attending university there, Paterson interned with mineral exploration companies, completed his Ph.D., and then took a position as lecturer in economic geology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa (where he fine-tuned his squash skills), and used these educational and research experiences to launch an academic career in North America.
Dr. Paterson currently serves as professor of Economic Geology at the School of Mines, where he has remained a faculty member of the Department of Geology & Geological Engineering for the past 32 years. In this position, he has educated thousands of undergraduate and graduate students in geology, many of whom have gone on to achieve success in the mineral industry in North America and elsewhere around the world. Dr. Paterson has led geology field camps and trips for college students in the Black Hills, Turkey, Spain, Hawaii, New Zealand, and the southwest United States. He has published over 30 professional papers in the field of geology.
Dr. Paterson has made many other exceptional contributions to the field of geology and the environment, a few of which are listed below.
Following a 1993, NASA Space Grant-funded summer faculty internship at USGS EROS Data Center, Paterson helped develop the first undergraduate and graduate classes in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the School of Mines
Chairman, Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering at School of Mines from 1995-1997
Director, Black Hills Natural Science Field Station (geology field camp) from 1999-2005
Co-founder and President of the Norbeck Society, Inc., an advocacy group for stewardship, restoration, and enjoyment of public lands in the Black Hills
Founder and advisor of “Norbeck Uni” and “Society of Economic Geologists”, student organizations at the School of Mines
Previous J.P. Gries award recipients include State Geologist Derric Iles and Dr. Mark Fahrenbach of the South Dakota DENR’s Geological Survey Program, Fred Steece of DENR’s Minerals and Mining Program, and Drs. James Fox, Alvis Lisenbee, J. Foster Sawyer, Perry H. Rahn, Jack Redden and Edward Duke of the School of Mines, and Mark Anderson of the U.S. Geological Survey.
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