I came here 40 years ago. Just after I finished my PhD at MIT. My thesis: atmospheric electro magnetic gravity waves.
This building (Mitchell) was not here when I came. You know that big hole in the ground in the shadow of the Green Earth Sciences building?
The Salvatori Geophysics building before Jon arrived.
The sole landmark visible today is geology corner on the left edge.
The Friday beer oak tree is gone too.
(picture credit: Bob Kovach)
Like all professors I went looking for funds for graduate students. I got grants from the usual sources, but what I really wanted to do was something nobody else was doing -- get money directly from geophysical survey companies and oil companies. I tried six years. I invented wave equation migration which I would like to claim is how I got SEP started. But the real reason I was able to get SEP started might be the price of oil ran up past 3 or 4 dollars a barrel.
Would you like to hear about the time half the gas stations in Palo Alto ran out of gas? The other half had long lines of cars waiting. Then they'd run out gas too. That's when I came up for tenure. So, you see, lady luck smiled on me again. Those gas lines were a result of government price controls.
When I first arrived here I saw Bob Kovach had a secretary. I had no desire for a secretary. When you have a secretary, I thought, you need to talk to her, to give her activities to fill her day. I could not imagine that. I just wanted to think about geophysics -- all the time. Nowdays I've changed. Now I enjoy chatting with people. Stop by my office. Join me for lunch. Any day.
In the early days there was not much bureaucracy. In those days the dean downstairs had only two secretaries. Imagine that. Only two secretaries in the deans' office. Amazing!
And what about Geophysics? We had a secretary too. Just one. Her name was Mary Dowden. I still see her.
In the beginning in Geophysics we had no faculty meetings. Didn't need them. From time to time it would happen accidentally that I'd be in the men's room when the other faculty would trickle in, George Thompson, Bob Kovach, and Allen Cox. Before finishing our business in the men's room we'd also finish all the faculty business. That's how we came to hire Amos Nur. Norm Sleep too. Those days are gone forever. Now our chair person is a woman, the dean above her is a woman, and the provost above her was a woman.
My office today is behind the upper crotch in the gum tree.
As I get older I find the people get friendlier every year, unlike the computers. Every year the computers get more persnickety. So...
After retirement I plan to continue teaching. As for research, I'll keep drumming up new projects for new students, but those students will have to rely on Biondo and Bob to get them finished.
That brings you pretty much up to date.