Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

OSU Geology Program 100th Anniversary

Susan Schnur talks to Robert Rose

Ph.D. student Susan Schnur talks about her research with OSU geology alum Robert Rosé during a celebration of Geology@100. (photo: Theresa Hogue)

Alumni from across the state and nation gathered in Corvallis to celebrate 100 years of geology at Oregon State University. The four-day Geology@100 event from June 26-29 featured lab tours, mini-courses, field trips, and a host of other activities that honored the program's long-standing history and significance to the profession.

Recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike had the opportunity to learn about the program's roots, which date back to the late 1800s when the first courses were offered. The program officially launched in 1914 and has since evolved to include studies in paleoclimatology, geophysics, volcanology, and other areas.

Besides a chance to revel in the past, Geology@100 provided several opportunities to learn about advances in the geological sciences. Mini-courses covered topics such as glaciers and earthquakes in Cascadia, while tours showcased cutting-edge research in labs such as the ice core lab and W.M. Keck Laboratory for Plasma Spectrometry.

Cathie Stumpenhaus, a 1974 graduate who came to the event from Portland, said much of the sophisticated lab equipment on display had yet to be invented when she attended Oregon State. Even so, her geology degree equipped her for a fruitful, 30-year career as an environmental geologist. "My degree in geology is the bedrock of my career," she said, noting the apropos pun.

For Robert Rosé, who earned his geology bachelor's in 1964 and master's in 1967, the gathering was a learning experience and a chance to connect with former classmates. "I've talked with some people here who I haven't seen in 30 years," he said.

A reception and dinner at LaSells Stewart Center featured a specially brewed Snow Peak Steinbrau, made by Corvallis-based Sky High using extremely hot rocks. A large-scale timeline brought to life historical highlights, from the first female graduate in 1939, to the first geology field camp 80 years ago, to the merger with the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) in 2012. The evening concluded with prizes, cake, and a healthy dose of bluegrass music.

Mark Abbott, dean of CEOAS, said the geology program has a century-long track record of providing meaningful learning experiences for students. "The program has a lot to be proud of in terms of engaging students in research. It really is an outstanding program," he said.

Anita Grunder, associate dean for academic programs and event organizer, thanked attendees for supporting the centennial celebration and laying the groundwork for the next 100 years. "It is so touching to see all these people who have done great things with their lives and whose roots are with us," she said. "It has made this century so meaningful, and I just hope we build programs that do this for another century."

Geology at 100

For more information visit:

Geology at 100
Event Photos
Geology Field Camp
A Brief History of Geology at Oregon State University, 1913-2014
The first 50 years timeline (1.7MB PDF)
The second 50 years timeline (1.8MB PDF)
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