Mike Mudrey - 2006 Goldich Medal Recipient

Mike's award has been the subject of some media attention in his home town, you can read the article here.

It is my pleasure to acknowledge the many contributions of Mike Mudrey on the occasion of his being awarded the 27th Goldich Medal for “Outstanding Contributions to the Geology of the Lake Superior Region”. Over the past 30 years, Mike has produced an extensive list of papers, maps, and abstracts that have significantly contributed to our understanding of regional geology. He has also compiled an outstanding record of service to the Institute on Lake Superior Geology.

Mike Mudrey began his education at South Dakota School of Mines in 1963. In 1964 he transferred to Princeton, where he graduated with an A.B. degree in Geology and Geochemistry in 1967. At Princeton he had the opportunity to study with some of the pioneers of modern geology, and received a strong background in geology and chemistry.

He began his association with economic geology working at Homestake in the summer of 1965. After working briefly with vertebrate paleontology in the summer of 1966, he began his long career in the Lake Superior Precambrian working as an assistant to Sam Goldich in the summer of 1967.
Mike was a graduate student at SUNY Stony Brook in 1968, then moved to Northern Illinois University, where he completed his M.S. in 1969. His thesis topic was the petrology of the Northern Light Gneiss, completed under Sam Goldich's supervision. During the summers he assisted Sam at the Bureau of Standards and in the field in Minnesota and Ontario. In 1969 Mike moved on to the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in geology and analytical chemistry in 1973. His thesis research was a petrologic study of the Pigeon Point Sill, with Paul Weiblen as his advisor. While at Minnesota, Mike worked as a geologist for the Minnesota Geological Survey where he gained additional experience in field mapping and geochemical studies. After graduation, Mike returned to Northern Illinois University to work two years as a Scientist and Project Manager for the Dry Valley Drilling Project of the NSF Antarctic Program. In 1976 Mike joined the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, were he worked until retirement in 2005.

At the WGNHS Mike's first job was to start up a Precambrian mapping program, necessitated by the discovery of volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits in the north. This work led to the first state bedrock map to subdivide the Precambrian, published in 1984. Mike was the driving force behind the long effort to complete gravity and aeromagnetic surveys of the state. Those who have been regulars at the ILSG are familiar with Mike's many contributions to the Precambrian geology of Wisconsin, but working at a small state survey requires one to wear more than one hat. Over his career at WGNHS, Mike ably served as expert on such diverse topics as earthquakes and seismicity, radioactive waste management, mineral and water resources, oil exploration, regional stratigraphy, and radon in the environment. Mike has always had a strong commitment to public service and education as well as scientific research. He was never too busy to answer a question on Wisconsin geology, whether from a legislator or a K-12 science student. In retirement he remains active, continuing to collaborate with his Survey and agency colleagues, and serving as consultant on radon to the Wisconsin Department of Health.

Mike has been an active contributor to the Institute on Lake Superior Geology since the early 1970s, when he first met Sam Goldich. He has served as co-chair, field trip chair, board member, member of the Goldich medal committee, Secretary-Treasurer (1990 to 1994), and field trip leader and session chair numerous times. Mike has nearly always contributed an abstract or two, and in the true spirit of Sam, he has never been at a loss for some good critical discussion.

It is my pleasure to present the 2006 Goldich Medal to my friend and colleague of many years Mike Mudrey, in recognition of his many contributions to regional geology and service to the Institute.

Submitted by B. A. Brown