University of Idaho Geologist to Head UT Dallas Department of Geosciences

Dr. John Oldow plans to increase research activity and undergraduate enrollment

July 15, 2008

Dr. John Oldow, a professor of structural geology and tectonics at the University of Idaho, will join UT Dallas as head of the Department of Geosciences effective Sept. 1.    

He will succeed Associate Professor John F. Ferguson, who has served as department head since August 2005.

“I am delighted that we could attract Dr. Oldow to UT Dallas to guide the revitalization of the Department of Geosciences,” said Dr. Myron Salamon, dean of the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. “I expect Dr. Oldow, a leader in applying modern computational tools to geological field data, to attract outstanding scholars to the department while increasing its undergraduate enrollments and expanding its research portfolio.”

Geoscientists study the composition, structure and history of the Earth and the universe around us.  Oldow researches regional tectonics related to active margins, or how the puzzle pieces of the Earth’s crust interact at their edges, where earthquakes occur.  He specializes in field work that includes geologic mapping and other disciplines.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the faculty and students at the University of Texas at Dallas to foster an environment of integrated research and instruction vital to the growth of a world-class program in the geosciences,” Oldow said. “The institutional commitment to the expansion of the Department of Geosciences is important both to the university and Texas and will be greatly facilitated by the UTD vision for cross-disciplinary research and instruction.”      

A dedicated educator, Oldow has taught at Texas Christian University, Rice University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Naples in Italy.  He served as department head of geological sciences at the University of Idaho from 1995 to 2000.

 “We look forward to Dr. Oldow’s arrival and leadership,” said Dr. Robert Stern, geosciences department head from 1997 to 2005. “Dr. Oldow's record of leadership and unique talents in the field of tectonics best matched the challenges and opportunities facing UT Dallas Geosciences and we look forward to moving towards that future with him at the helm.”

Oldow earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and his doctorate from Northwestern University, both in geology.


Media contact: Brandon V. Webb, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, brandon.webb@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Dr. Oldow
Dr. John Oldow researches regional tectonics related to active margins.

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