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Student Alumni Association Honors Geologist Art Snoke

April 28, 2011
Woman and man
Senior Lauren Harrison of Laramie conducts field studies led by University of Wyoming Geology Professor Art Snoke. Harrison nominated Snoke for the Student Alumni Association's Outstanding Faculty award. (UW Photo)

A committee of Wyoming Student Alumni Association (WyoSAA) members has selected geologist Art Snoke as this year's Outstanding Faculty Award recipient.

The award recognizes faculty members who are dedicated to student success and make significant impacts in students' lives.

Snoke is professor and head of the Department of Geology and Geophysics. His major research interest is in studying fault rocks from all levels of the crust and even the mantle.  He and his students focus on several research projects that they consider fundamental to the evolution of orogenic belts (long tracts of highly deformed rock).

In the graduate and undergraduate courses he teaches, Snoke attempts to relate personal experiences and encourages students to read primary literature in addition to textbooks. Because he knows that students commonly learn more in the field than in the classroom, field trips are an important component of many of his courses.       

Lauren Harrison of Laramie, who is scheduled to graduate this spring, nominated Snoke for the Outstanding Faculty Award. She says he is her adviser on an undergraduate research project.

"I came away from our first meeting with more than I ever expected," Harrison says."I had personalized attention, a fascinating project idea, an adviser to guide me on the project, guidance for future academic goals and the beginning of the best opportunity I had as an undergraduate at UW."

She continues, "Over the next two years, Professor Snoke treated me, a rough and untrained undergraduate, as a scientist with valid ideas, research savvy and competence. His mentorship has made me into the graduate I am today." 

Professor Snoke is so admired by the students throughout the department as the "quintessential geologist" that they are featuring his photo and favorite quotes on their annual T-shirt.

Snoke joined the UW Department of Geology and Geophysics in 1984 after serving as an assistant and associate professor at the University of South Carolina. He earned a Ph.D. degree (1972) in geology at Stanford University.

In 2001, Snoke received the university's most prestigious faculty honor, the George Duke Humphrey Distinguished Faculty Award.

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