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Robert Q. Oaks, Jr.

Rob Oaks JrRobert Q. (Bob) Oaks, Jr. was born in 1938 in Houston Texas. His dad headed a seismic crew, so Bob grew up in the southwestern US oil patch. Bob worked summers for Gulf Oil Corporation, 1955-57, and for Transcontinental Gas Pipeline, 1958-60. He earned his BA in Geology at Rice University in 1960 and his PhD in Geology at Yale University in 1965, where he studied interglacial shorelines in Virginia. He apprenticed with Chuck Campbell as a Research Geologist with Jersey and then Exxon Production Research Company, 1964-1966. In 1966, he accepted a teaching position at Utah State University under J. Stewart Williams, then Department Head and Dean of the Graduate School. He was tenured in 1970 and promoted to Professor in 1979. He taught numerous undergraduate courses: Introductory Geology, Surficial Geology, Photogeology, Petroleum Exploration, Exploration Geophysics, Sedimentary Petrology, and Marine Geology, and was responsible for the Fall and Spring Guest Speakers Program and related field trips for 10 years. His graduate courses included Non-Carbonate Sedimentary Petrography and Paleoecology. He and Pete Kolesar were undergraduate advisors for junior and senior majors in alternate two-year sequences for several years. He consulted for Magellan Petroleum Corporation in Central Australia during 1979-1986, together with four of his graduate students. Bob retired from teaching in 1999, and thereafter became Professor Emeritus. He has remained active in research and in consulting for groundwater in the Cache Valley area and is co-author on papers with Jim Evans, Susanne Janecke, Tammy Rittenour, and Joel Pederson, plus several graduate students.

Bob has 30 refereed publications in journals and books, 44 other publications and reports, and 32 published abstracts. He chaired 18 MS theses, and served as a committee member for 64 MS and PhD degrees in Geology and six other departments at USU. He belonged to 9 professional societies, served on the Editorial Board for Elsevier’s journal, Marine Geology, 1970-1999, and was the 11th Recipient of the Utah Geological Association’s Lehi Hintze Award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of geology of Utah in 2013.

Rob Oaks JrBob was an enthusiastic Boy Scout and then Scout Leader in Logan’s Troop 1 with 3 hiking trips at Philmont Scout Ranch and 3 canoeing trips into Quetico Provincial Park in Canada north of MN, each more than 50 miles. Bob has a daughter and son, who have blessed him with 4 grandsons, and he lives in North Logan with his darling wife Lu.

The Robert Q. Oaks, Jr. Scholarship

The Robert Q. Oaks, Jr. Scholarship was developed to recognize Bob’s dedication and excellence in teaching and challenging all his students. The scholarship will assist undergraduate and graduate students who are nearing the completion of their degrees at USU. In order to be considered for the Bob Oaks Scholarship, graduate students must have completed their thesis or dissertation proposals and be in the final stages of writing their theses or dissertations. Undergraduate student applicants must be Geology majors in good standing, within 20 credits of graduation, and have a minimum 2.2 GPA. All students must demonstrate financial need and have completed a majority of their course work as determined by their advisors. Recipients of the Bob Oaks Scholarship must agree to remain enrolled in their respective degree programs and remain in residence, defined as actively pursuing completion of their degrees on one of Utah State University’s campuses.

If you would like to contribute to the The Robert Q. Oaks, Jr. Scholarship, 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 to which you would like your contribution to go. Thank you very much!