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
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