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Thursday, May 03, 2007

USI geology professor earns Integra Distinguished Professor Award

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Dr. Paul Doss, associate professor of geology at the University of Southern Indiana, is the Integra Distinguished Professor for 2007.

His ability to merge research, teaching, and service to the benefit of students, peers, and the public has earned him the award, which will be presented during the USI Commencement on May 5 at Roberts Stadium.

Nominations from fellow faculty members said Doss is immersed in his work and finds ways to excite his students about learning in general and geology in particular. They said he assists the larger community with information needed to make informed decisions.

Doss directs student research and works with Alcoa Warrick Operations in regard to disposal of the byproducts of coal combustion.

He also has developed a course on the geology of national parks, a topic of which he is most familiar having served as supervisory geologist for Yellowstone National Park in 2000-2001. He led major educational projects to further the public’s understanding of Yellowstone’s world-significant geological and hydrothermal features and for that he earned a Special Achievement Award in 2001 from the United States Department of Interior.

His service to USI is exemplary. This year he is chair of the Environmental Science Program Development Committee for the Pott College of Science and Engineering. He is a mentor to young faculty for the college and a career mentor for the Geological Society of America.

For eight years he served as department chair for the USI Department of Geology and Physics and in 2003 he was elected at-large representative to the USI Faculty Senate. He holds the office of vice chair for the Faculty Senate.

He has worked with the University Core Curriculum Council, USI-New Harmony Task Force, an accreditation subcommittee, and he has served on the board of directors for the USI Foundation.

His publication in peer-reviewed abstracts and manuscripts on geology-related topics is extensive. He has written a chapter in the book The Earth Around Us: Maintaining a Livable Planet, which earned Book of the Year in 2000 from Discover Magazine. He encourages undergraduates to be part of the research, and those who do get their name on the research documentation.

He teaches introductory and advanced-level courses in environmental geology, physical geology, wetland science and hydrogeology.

He is interested in making the Evansville area a thriving Midwest community. He routinely participates in events that are designed to encourage long-term green initiatives, including recycling, growth of organic foods, wildlife habitat management, as well as environmental management and understanding. And he encourages students to understand the importance of research to the community while emphasizing each student’s responsibility for accuracy of observations, interpretations, conclusions, and how information is presented.

He also serves as an expert to journalists when such topics as earthquakes, results of human activities on ground water quality, and other geological topics make news.

He joined the USI faculty in 1997. His undergraduate degree was completed at IUPUI and his master of science and doctoral degrees are from Northern Illinois University.

The Distinguished Professor Award is made possible by a generous gift from Integra Bank.

With the award Dr. Doss will receive a grant from Integra, select a student to receive a scholarship in his name, give a lecture next year, and deliver the address at the winter Commencement in December 2007.

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