Dr. Paul Umhoefer came to NAU in 1992 after extensive research in Alaska, British Columbia, and Mexico. Paul spent the next 30 years advising graduate students, teaching and sharing his enthusiasm for tectonics, sedimentary basins and geosciences as a whole. With over 170 research items, Paul’s contributions in advancing tectonics and basin research have been cited by more than 2,100 other scientists. While maintaining a research program in tectonics, Paul stepped into the Director role for the School of Earth and Sustainability and led the school from 2012-2016. His leadership promoted the faculty’s vision and resulted in a dynamic interdisciplinary school that promotes geosciences, climate science, ecology and conservation biology, and socio-ecological sustainability. As a dedicated advisor he kept in touch with his past graduate students, and expanded his network to include alumni across all areas of the geosciences.
In 2021, Paul and his wife, Barbara Ralston, established the Paul Umhoefer Endowed Professorship in the School of Earth and Sustainability. The professorship is intended to attract an eminent scholar whose work in tectonics and sedimentary basins will substantially advance the discipline. An endowed faculty role is one of the highest honors a university can bestow. The faculty who hold this position will represent prestige and leadership worthy of the endowment’s namesake, Dr. Paul Umhoefer, and of the educational mission of geosciences and Northern Arizona University.
Sadly, Paul passed away suddenly on November 24, 2021.
This fund will carry on his legacy supporting future generations of students and faculty in SES.