Earth Dean

A brief note on a personnel change at Stanford, announced in the Stanford Report this morning:

(#1) The new Earth Dean, with lilies-of-the-valley (and a purple calla lily)

Geologist Stephan Graham has been named dean of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Provost Persis Drell has announced.

Mostly, I just enjoy the sound of of earth dean. I think of an earth dean and his earth angels. And I envision the earth greeting Professor Graham:

(#2) My dean! My dean!

A note on administrative arrangements at Stanford. We have a School of Humanities and Sciences (link), which covers humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural sciences (embracing biology, chemistry, and physics, plus statistics and mathematics). Geological sciences began at Stanford with an applied focus, a fact reflected in there being a separate school of earth sciences, now officially the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. The beginning of the story:

A separate school for Earth sciences was established at Stanford in 1947 — although it was known at that time as the School of Mineral Sciences. The Earth sciences have been at the heart of Stanford’s academic program since the university’s beginnings, however, when John Casper Branner was hired as Stanford’s first professor in 1891. In 1913, Branner became Stanford’s second president. He brought to Stanford his private geological library, which contained about 5,000 volumes. That collection grew to become the foundation of the Branner Earth Sciences Library, housed in the Mitchell Building, and now home to about 125,000 volumes and some 270,000 sheet maps.

The original Department of Geology had changed its name to the Department of Geology and Mining by 1898, reflecting its focus on the search for and extraction of natural resources during that period of Western development. (link)


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