Edward C. Roy, Jr. received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from Ohio State University in 1961 and 1964. Upon graduation, he worked for the Shell Oil Company on the Gulf Coast until 1966, when he became an Assistant Professor of Geology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He served as the Dean of the Division of Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering in 1986-1987, and as Vice President for Academic Affairs from 1987-1999. He is currently the Gertrude and Walter Pyron Distinguished Professor of Geology.
He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (Honrary), SEPM, Geological Society of America (Fellow), Paleontological Society, and the South Texas Geological Society (Honorary).
Roy's research interests are paleontology, paleoecology, biostratigraphy and sedimentology. His publications are devoted to the paleoecology and sedimentology of Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks. He has served as the President of the American Geological Institute, the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, and of the South Texas Geological Society. For many years he has held memberships on numerous committees of the AAPG, SEPM, GCAGS, and AGI. In addition to his work with professional societies, Roy was a member of the Board of Earth Sciences and Resources of the National Research Council (1993-1998).
Honors and awards include Outstanding Professor (Trinity University, 1967), the Best Paper Award (Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, 1981), the A.I. Levorsen Award (Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, 1981), the Distinguished Service Award (American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1990), Honorary Member American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1993), Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999), and Fellow Geological Society of America.
Challenges for Undergraduate Education
Undergraduate geoscience education continually faces challenges due to changes in our discipline and the cyclical nature of employment opportunities. The last two decades have been a period when employment in the geosciences experienced extreme highs and lows with intermediate ups and downs. Undergraduate enrollment during the period had similar swings and the geoscience departments took action in response to these changes. Now is the time to review the past and to plan for the future education of geoscientists.
Undergraduate curriculums have changed considerably over the past decade as have the specialties of faculty who were hired during this time. The number of introductory courses has expanded beyond traditional Physical Geology and Historical Geology to include Environmental Geology, Geology of the National Parks, The Dynamic Earth, and Earth Systems Science to mention a few. It was hoped that the new titles and different approaches would attract students to the geosciences for their science requirement, and perhaps, as majors. The curriculum for majors also changed as courses in hydrology, environmental geology, computer geology, remote sensing, and GIS were added. This in turn, has often left to the deletion or condensing of traditional courses such as mineralogy, petrology, stratigraphy, paleontology, and petroleum geology. A current challenge is to determine what subject matter in the geosciences will best prepare undergraduates for further education in graduate school as well as to meet the future demands of our science.
Field work must be an important component in the education of all undergraduate geoscience majors. Field experience should include trips with course work, trips of several days with the department and summer field camp. The learning of field techniques, data collecting, analysis of data, report writing, and presentation should be a part of each student's education. These experiences are expensive and they will require some funding from the colleges and universities, federal government programs, private foundations, and professional societies.
A continuing challenge is the recruitment and education of the appropriate number of students to meet the future demand of the geosciences and society. The number of students who enter college desiring to major in the geosciences is very small. Today geoscience majors must be recruited from the ranks of introductory courses. Perhaps in the near future, more students will be exposed to the Earth sciences in the secondary schools resulting in a great number who will choose careers in the geosciences.