October 9, 2003
Contact: Perle M. Dorr (703) 379-2480


American Geological Institute to Induct New Officers for 2004

ALEXANDRIA, VA - The American Geological Institute (AGI) will induct its 2004 officers during a reception and awards ceremony on Tuesday, November 4, 2003, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, an affiliated member society. The ceremony takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m., in the Metropolitan Ballroom of the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers in Seattle, Washington.

    The 2004 Executive Committee will be led by President Barbara J. Tewksbury, a geologist and educator who holds the Stephen Harper Kirner Chair of Science and is Chair of the Geology Department at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. Following the installation, Tewksbury will begin a one-year term of office. Stephen M. Testa will serve as the Institute's President-Elect. He is president and founder of Testa Environmental Corp. and was the President of the American Institute of Professional Geologists in 1998. Other members of the Executive Committee will include Secretary David R. Wunsch, state geologist of New Hampshire, who will begin the last year of his two-year term, and Treasurer Peter A. Scholle, director and state geologist of New Mexico, who will start his two-year term. The three Members-at-Large, serving overlapping three-year terms on the Executive Committee, will be R. Heather Macdonald, professor of geology at the College of William and Mary, who will be starting her third year; Priscilla Nelson, senior advisor in the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation, who will begin her second year; and Robert W. Ridky, National Education Coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey, who will start his first year of service. Past President M. Ray Thomasson, president of Thomasson Partner Associates, Inc. and a Trustee of the American Geological Institute Foundation, will also serve on the 2004 Executive Committee.

   Tewksbury teaches courses in structural geology, plate tectonics, and planetary geology at Hamilton College, as well as field courses in Iceland, Hawaii, and Colorado. Of particular interest to Tewksbury is improving classroom learning environments. She has played a leadership role in the national geoscience education community for many years, and she has spoken widely and developed workshops on this topic. Tewksbury has also published numerous professional papers on innovative and effective teaching strategies; course design; and the use of inquiry-based, cooperative learning, and investigative activities for geoscience courses. Tewksbury has received many grants from the National Science Foundation to develop courses and to lead workshops to catalyze reform in geoscience education and to promote effective and innovative teaching methods.

   Tewksbury was named New York State Professor of the Year in 1997 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Earlier this year, she received the Neil Miner Award for exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth sciences from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Tewksbury's introductory geology course, Geology and Development of Modern Africa, was selected in 2002 as one of four introductory science courses to be disseminated nationally by the SENCER program of the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

   Active in many professional organizations, Tewksbury has served as a member of several of the Institute's committees, including the EarthComm Advisory Committee and the Nominating Committee. She has participated in various committees of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and served as its President from 1996-1997. Between 1991 and 1994, Tewksbury was President of the Geology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research. She is currently Chair of the Annual Program Committee and a member of the Professional Development Committee of the Geological Society of America. Tewksbury earned her B.S. degree from St. Lawrence University and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado.

    The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 41 scientific and professional associations that represent more than 100,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources and interaction with the environment. More information about AGI can be found at The Institute also provides a public-outreach web site,

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