May 20-21, 2004

ITEM 123-1007-R0504    Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Geology upon Don Winston; The University of Montana-Missoula

THAT: Don Winston, in his 44th year of dedicated service to The University of Montana, has merited the commendation of the Board of Regents of the Montana University System, and earned the title of Professor Emeritus of Geology.

EXPLANATION: Dr. Don Winston has been teaching at The University of Montana since 1961, two years before he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas in 1963. Don's exuberance for teaching and learning at the outcrop has held steadfast for over four decades of excellence in teaching and scholarship. Dr. Winston remains the most enthusiastic of our faculty when it comes to loading up a couple vans of undergraduate and graduate students for a 10 day field trip during spring break a week when many professors less than half his age are resting.

Professor Winston focused the vast majority of his scholarly work on the sedimentology and stratigraphy of the Precambrian Belt Supergroup that is so prevalent in western Montana and adjoining lands. Biologic processes often obscure the environmental record for the most recent billion years of Earth history. The billion-plus year old Belt Supergroup sedimentary rocks host no evidence of bioturbation. Those rocks record surficial conditions and processes on a planet whose storm waves beat on lifeless shores. An international and renowned contingent of scientists regularly host a conference on recent results and ideas gleaned from Belt rocks. Those scientists dedicated their most recent book, The Precambrian Belt Symposium Volume IV, to Professor Winston. When scientists describe and discuss finely laminated, non-bioturbated, sedimentary rocks from the Precambrian, they use Don Winstons classification and terminology.

Winston is an internationally recognized scholar due to his life's work on the Precambrian rocks so dominant in Western Montana. That recognition comes from a continual record of presentations with published abstracts at national and regional meetings of the Geological Society of America and various international meetings. His expertise has lead to invitations to speak at international conferences and contribute to international geologic commissions. Don's students have been co-authors on many of the talks and participants on many of the field trips that have been liberally sprinkled around the globe including Norway, Namibia, China, Australia, and Brazil. Via his energy and dedication to teaching in the field, Professor Winston has nucleated exceptional camaraderie in generations of graduates from our department. Don has also been a mainstay in keeping field experience and teaching in the field in our curriculum despite the extra costs and time commitments. This leadership has contributed mightily to the success of our program and the careers of our graduates.

The Department of Geology is pleased to recommend Professor Don Winston for Emeritus status.