Thursday, July 08, 2010

Ken Weaver, former Maryland State Geologist

We just learned that Ken Weaver, Director of the Maryland Geological Survey from 1963 to 1992, passed away yesterday. [right, Ken (r) with Chris Slaughter, on Chesapeake Bay. Credit, MGS]

Ken received the American Geological Institute (AGI) Ian Campbell Medal in 2001, with this citation:
“Dr. Weaver built a respected research and service unit in the Maryland Geological Survey,” says his citationist, Dr. Robert R. Jordan, Director and State Geologist of the Delaware Geological Survey. “Note that the magnificent home of the Maryland Geological Survey is officially named the Kenneth N. Weaver Building – a singular honor by his state – and that several hundred thousand visitors a year are introduced to science at the Sideling Hill Visitors’ Center that Ken developed,” Jordan added. The Center, which opened in 1991, is located at a rest area along Interstate 68 in Maryland. A dramatic syncline is exposed at the site demonstrating the folding of the Appalachians when two tectonic plates collided during the Permian period.

Weaver is from a Mennonite family of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He served as a Merchant Marine and then studied geology at Franklin and Marshall College and The Johns Hopkins University, where he completed his Ph.D. As Jordan notes in Weaver’s citation, “His graduate career started with an induction notice and ended with transformation from Ph.D. to PFC, this time with the Army Operations Research Office.”

In 1956, Weaver joined Medusa Corporation as Chief Geologist and later became Manager of its Geology and Quarry Department. He was appointed State Geologist and Director of the Maryland Geological Survey in 1963, a position he held for almost 30 years.

Weaver’s service to the profession is widely recognized. Honors include the Van Couvering Award, American Institute of Professional Geologists; the Cohee Public Service Award, American Association of Petroleum Geologists; and the John Wesley Powell Award, U.S. Geological Survey. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a past president of the Association of American State Geologists, and has served on the Executive Committee of the American Geological Institute. He is the 20th recipient of the Ian Campbell Medal.

The Maryland Board of Public Works renamed Bennett Hall, the home of the Maryland Geological Survey, the Kenneth N. Weaver Building on September 28, 1994, in honor of Dr. Kenneth N. Weaver, who served as State Geologist and Director of the Maryland Geological Survey from 1963 to 1992. The renaming was a fitting tribute, because it was largely Dr. Weaver's vision and leadership that led to DNR's acquisition of the property and to its subsequent renovation and restoration.

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