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John Haun -- 2006 Outstanding Alumnus
Doctor of Philosophy - 1953 - Geology
John D. Haun, born in Old Hickory, Tennessee, received the first Ph.D. in geology from the University of Wyoming in 1953. He notes, “The period of my graduate education was an exciting time for students in the Geology Department. Most of the students were veterans of World War II and came to the university with self-discipline and a single-minded determination not seen in earlier or later generations of students.”
Following graduate school, Haun was employed at Stanolind Oil and Gas Company, which later became Amoco. He was vice president at Petroleum Research Corporation from 1952 to 1957. In 1955, John became a faculty member at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). Recognized as an outstanding educator, he received teaching awards throughout his 30-year academic career, including the CSM Outstanding Professor Award in 1973. “The foundation for my career in petroleum geology at Colorado School of Mines was based on an undergraduate liberal arts education at Berea College and graduate school at UW,” Haun says. “I am especially indebted to those who shaped my UW education—Professors Knight, Thomas, Blackstone, McGrew, and Shaw. They gave me an appreciation for the science of geology and a desire to contribute to its advancement.”
During the early part of his career, Haun was extensively involved in oil and gas exploration throughout the Rocky Mountain Region, and in 1957 he and James A. Barlow formed the oil and gas consulting firm, Barlow and Haun, Inc., based in Casper, Wyoming. Robert J. Weimer (B.A. 1948; M.A. 1949 geology) notes: “Dr. Haun’s early and continued investigations into the occurrence of and exploration for petroleum in the Rocky Mountain Basins, especially Wyoming, have provided a standard for other exploration geologists. His influence has been felt as an author, editor, educator, independent consultant, and advisor in both the public and private arenas.”
An active member in professional and scientific organizations, Haun served on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for ten years and was president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). He was an active member of the American Petroleum Institute, the National Petroleum Council, the Interstate Oil Compact Commission, the National Research Council, and the United States National Committee on Geology. He has received numerous awards for his achievements, including the University of Wyoming Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1986 and the AAPG Sidney Powers Memorial Award in 1995.
Haun’s wife Lois also majored in geology at Berea College and together they have traveled extensively. An avid trout fisherman, Haun has fished most of the major streams in the Rocky Mountain Region.