Award: President’s Award, 2005
Awardee: Dr. Frank G. Ethridge
Publication: The Outcrop, November 2005, p. 23
The Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists is pleased to present its President’s Award to Dr. Frank Ethridge for his sustained, dedicated service to the Rocky Mountain geoscience community.
In 1975, Frank became an Associate Professor at Colorado State University, and was promoted to full Professor in 1981. By the late 1980s Frank and fellow CSU professor and world-renown fluvial geomorphologist Dr. Stanley Schumm were leading figures in the experimental modeling of fluvial, shoreline and deep-marine systems. In addition, Frank was building an international reputation as an expert in the areas of fluvial and deltaic depositional systems, clastic diagenesis and the sedimentologic attributes of petroleum systems. It was during this time that Frank and co-author William Wescott, his first doctoral student, first documented fan deltas in the literature.
While Frank’s research interests have involved him and his students in projects around the world, he has always brought his collective expertise back to the Rocky Mountain region. Through collaborations with universities, government agencies and industry, he has spearheaded research into both the ancient and modern systems of numerous western U.S. basins. Through classroom instruction and scores of field trips and short courses he has conveyed both the foundations of sedimentary geology and cutting edge concepts to students, teachers and industry professionals. His contributions continue to inspire regional geoscientists and influence industry activity and have done so throughout his career, as evidenced by the 65 peer-reviewed papers that bear his name. This includes the 1994 work entitled “An Experimental Study of the Effects of Base-Level Change on Fluvial, Coastal Plain and Shelf Systems,” for which he and his co-authors received the Best Paper award from the Journal of Sedimentary Research.
Frank’s true legacy, however, is best exhibited by the proliferation of undergraduate and graduate students who have benefited from his teaching and mentoring. Some of his protégés have become authorities on Rocky Mountain basins in their own right, and many of his students have made significant contributions to the field of geology through their work in industry, government and academia, both regionally and in the far corners of the world.
As a supporter of the region’s societies, Frank’s service to his profession includes 25 years as a member, and at times officer, of the RMS-SEPM. In 1998 he received Honorary Membership in the SEPM for his legacy of scientific contributions. He has also been an enduring member of AAPG, RMAG and IAS, serving on numerous committees and frequently contributing to the organization of technical forums and society meetings.
It is with great delight and appreciation that the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists honors Dr. Frank G. Ethridge with its President’s Award for his unfaltering contributions to the greater understanding of Rocky Mountain geology and his steadfast support of his students and colleagues.