Donald W. Fiesinger
Don was raised in Syracuse, NY, receiving a BA in Education from SUNY Potsdam in 1966. He then attended Wayne State University from 1966 to 1968 [MS Geol 1969], Miami of Ohio from 1968 to 1970 [PhD program], and the University of Calgary from 1970 to 1974 [PhD Geol 1975]. He began his teaching career at SUNY New Paltz in 1974. Losing his job there due to a budget cut, he came to Utah State University in 1976 where he remained for the balance of his professional career. His research interests were centered on igneous petrology, studying a dike swarm in the Lake Champlain Valley for his MS and then Quaternary volcanic rocks in British Columbia for his PhD. He developed an interest in ore deposits, working for St. Joe Minerals in up-state NY (Balmat-Edwards district) in 1969 and working for Great Plains Development in Calgary leading geochem exploration projects in the Canadian Rockies (summer 1970) and northern British Columbia (summer 1971). As a consequence of these research interests and work experience, he taught mineralogy & crystallography, optical mineralogy & petrography, and ore deposits at USU. He directed 11 theses on Tertiary and Quaternary volcanic rocks in southern Idaho and northern Utah, many in the vicinity of Grouse Creek. Click here to see a list of all of the MS theses that Don supervised. He is currently providing supporting information on these theses and other unpublished research to colleagues at the USGS and UGS for a geologic map of the Grouse Creek quad (1:100,000).
Don succeeded Clyde Hardy as head of the Department of Geology in July 1982 at the same time as receiving tenure and promotion to associate professor. He was appointed associate dean of the College of Science in Jan 2000 and was replaced as head by John Shervais in July 2000. He became interim dean of the College of Science in July 2000 and was named dean in 2003, a position he held until 2007. Don continued to teach mineralogy and optical mineralogy until his retirement in 2009.
Don and his wife Janet have two married daughters, both living in the Portland, OR area, and they have 2 grandsons (identical twins) born in 2002. They are currently enjoying retirement by traveling and making frequent trips to Portland and the Oregon coast. Don’s hobbies include kite flying and photography.
The Donald W. Fiesinger Award
The Donald W. Fiesinger Award was developed to honor Don's many years of service to the Department of Geology and the College of Science. The award is given to a graduating senior who has made outstanding contributions to the department's activities and program.
If you would like to contribute to the Donald W. Fiesinger Award, you can send a check to the Department of Geology or you can go to the Utah State University secure on-line giving site. Please be sure to specify the Department of Geology and the fund that you would like your contribution to go to. Thank you very much!