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Peter T. Kolesar

Pete KolesarPeter T. Kolesar was born in 1942 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Peter received his B.S. in Geology from Rensselaer Polytechnic in New York in 1966 and his M.S. from there in 1968.  He earned his doctorate from the University of California, Riverside in 1973.  His doctoral research examined the use of calcareous algae as potential ocean temperature recorders.

Peter came to Utah State University as an Assistant Professor in August, 1974 - Clyde T. Hardy was head of the Geology Department at the time.  During his time at USU Peter taught Introductory Geology, Physical Geology, Introduction to Environmental Geoscience, Geochemistry, Clay Mineralogy, Carbonate Sedimentary Rocks and Science in Society.

Peter became Undergraduate Advisor in 1999 and Associate Department Head in 2000.   Peter’s research focused largely on carbonate rocks and included development of a paleoclimate record from the submerged speleothem at Devils Hole, Nevada. This required that Peter become certified as a cave diver.  Fifteen graduate students were fortunate to have had Peter as their MS thesis advisor. Click here to see a list of all of Peter’s MS theses.

Peter retired from the Department of Geology in 2007 although he has continued to help with keeping our X-ray diffraction laboratory running and has served as a teaching mentor for new faculty.  During the winter months he can often be seen on cross-country skis in Green Canyon or Stump Hollow.  During the summer he logs many miles on his road bike.

The Peter T. Kolesar Scholarship

The Peter T. Kolesar Scholarship was developed to honor Peter’s many contributions to the Department of Geology and its students.  The scholarship is awarded to upper-division geology undergraduate students in good standing, particularly those experiencing financial need.