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Sedimentologist Arnold H. Bouma Passes Away



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Renowned researcher and educator Arnold H. Bouma, who worked as a marine geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from 1975 to 1981, passed away December 16, 2011. Many members of the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program remember with pleasure working and sailing with Arnold. The following obituary was provided by Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home (http://hosting-24300.tributes.com/show/Arnold-H.-Bouma-92942200):

Dr. Arnold H. Bouma, “A truly caring man who put his family and students first, who truly impacted thousands of lives.”

Surrounded by his family, Arnold H. Bouma passed away the evening of December 16th, 2011, at the age of 79. He is survived by his best friend and wife for over five decades, Lieneke; their three sons and their families: Mark A. Bouma and wife, Elizabeth and children, Tamara Bouma, Logan Bouma, and Kelsey Bouma; Bobby Bouma and wife, Gina and children, Colt Webb and Sydney Bouma; Lars Bouma and wife, Vicki and children, Harrison Bouma and Carleigh Bouma.

Arnold H. Bouma
Arnold H. Bouma, 1932-2011.

“There are still discoveries to be made, but it won't be the computer that tells us what it all means; for that, we always have to go back to the rock.”

- Arnold H. Bouma

He was known internationally in the geological world as “an extraordinary geoscientist, a prolific author and editor, an educator committed to the highest standard of teaching, and a researcher who advanced the geocommunities’ knowledge through his innovation, creativity, and tireless contributions to deep-water sedimentology and stratigraphy.”

Arnold Bouma was born in 1932 in Groningen, Netherlands. His professional education started at the State University at Utrecht, Netherlands, where he earned a Masters of Science in Geology, Sedimentology, and Paleontology in 1959 and a Ph.D. in Sedimentary Geology in 1961. Arnold Bouma’s 1962 research findings identified a sequence for dividing deep-water turbidites into intervals—which later became known as “the Bouma sequence”; it has been cited as being “a geological milestone of the 20th century.” In 1966, Arnold and his family emigrated to the United States, where he accepted a professorship in oceanography at Texas A&M University. From 1975 to 1981, he was a marine geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Between 1981 and 1986, he was a senior scientist, manager, and acting vice president for Gulf Oil Research and Development Co. In 1986, he became a senior research associate at the Chevron Research and Development branch in La Habra, California. He left Chevron in 1988 to become the Charles T. McCord chaired professor at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, where he taught for many years. In 2005, he and his wife returned to College Station, Texas, where he held a position as adjunct professor with a bold plan to establish a Shale Studies Center at Texas A&M.

Arnold with former USGS employee Bob Orlando
Above: Arnold with former USGS employee Bob Orlando at the 2007 American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Convention in Long Beach, California, where Arnold received the Sidney Powers Memorial Award, the AAPG's highest honor. Photograph courtesy of Bob Orlando. [larger version]

Arnold was the winner of LSU’s 2003 Distinguished Research Master Award and a distinguished lecturer and leader for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM). His numerous awards include the Francis P. Shepard Award from the SEPM in 1982 and the Outstanding Education Award from the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies in 1992. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Sidney Powers Memorial Award, the AAPG’s highest honor (learn more about Arnold’s scientific achievements in an article written for this occasion: http://www.aapg.org/explorer/2007/03mar/bouma.cfm); and in 2010, Arnold received the Doris M. Curtis medal for scientific excellence.

Arnold in his field area in the 1970s.
Above: Arnold in his field area in the 1970s. Photographs from collection at Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home (http://hosting-24300.tributes.com/show/Arnold-H.-Bouma-92942200). [larger version]

A memorial service was held December 21, 2011, at Aria Memorial Chapel. Memorials may be sent in honor of Arnold Bouma to the SEPM Foundation endowment fund (http://www.sepm.org) to help support future graduate studies. Please send family condolences and sign the online register book at http://www.ariacremation.com.

 

Related Web Sites
Obituary for Dr. Arnold H. Bouma
Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home
Bouma's Sequence Was Just a Start
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Society for Sedimentary Geology
not-for-profit society

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Fieldwork
cover story:
Arctic Expedition Reaches 88.5 Degrees North Latitude

Collaborative Seafloor-Mapping Program Completes Final Surveys

Seafloor-Sampling Survey off Massachusetts

Research
Coral Reef Disease Hits Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawai'i

Climate Change Scenarios in California's Bay-Delta

Outreach
"Hurricane" Movie and TV Series to Feature USGS Scientists

Public Forum On Seafloor Mapping at the Ocean Explorium

Meetings
Working Sessions on Use Cases for Semantic-Web Development

Workshop on Fledermaus Software

Awards
Video Podcast Series Wins 2011 USGS Shoemaker Award

Staff Sedimentologist Arnold H. Bouma Passes Away

Publications Views of South San Francisco Bay Before Salt-Pond Restoration

Using Mangrove Peat to Study Ancient Coastal Environments and Sea-Level Rise

Jan. / Feb. 2012 Publications

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