Ted Bornhorst - 2008 Goldich Medal Recipient

It is my great pleasure to introduce Prof. Ted Bornhorst as the recipient of the 2008 Goldich Medal.  Ted is being honored with this award for his many contributions to the understanding of Lake Superior geology through his research and teaching and, most significantly, for his unparalleled service to the Institute over the past 25 years. 

Ted began (and will likely finish) his geological career at Michigan Technological University.  He received his B.S. from Michigan Tech in 1974 and actually presented his first ILSG talk at that year’s meeting in Sault St. Marie on the topic of his senior research project -  the geology and geochemistry of the Fish Cove rhyolite in Keweenaw County.  Ted headed to the University of New Mexico to complete his M.S. (1976) and Ph.D. (1980) degrees in economic geology only to return to Michigan Tech as an assistant professor in 1981.   Ted received a full professor appointment in 1993 and was appointed director of the world class A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech in 2003.

During his tenure at Michigan Tech, Ted has taught classes, advised students, and conducted research on a variety of topics and in a range of locations (e.g. gold in Finland, rhyolites in New Mexico, quaternary volcanic ashes off the coast of Guatemala).  But by far, the main emphasis of his academic pursuits has been the Precambrian geology and mineral deposits of Upper Michigan.  A true indication of his passion for  Lake Superior geology is the fact that Ted has directed a five-week intensive Precambrian field course in the western UP almost every summer since arriving at Michigan Tech in 1981.  This course has been taken by over 500 students.  I would be willing to bet that the approximately 7000 students who have taken the introductory geology course from Professor Bornhorst since 1989 have probably received a hefty dose of Lake Superior geology, as well.  

Ted has advised (to completion) 4 Ph.D. dissertations, 24 M.S. theses, and 29 senior research projects, almost all dealing with Lake Superior geology.  In addition to being the advisor and mentor for scores of Michigan Tech geology students, many of whom still do research and mineral exploration work in the Lake Superior region, Ted also serves the general public and the geological community by being a member of the State of Michigan's Mineral Well Advisory Committee, representing the western Upper Peninsula.  And because of his knowledge of UP geology and mineral deposits, Ted has been appointed to many state committees and boards looking into rules and regulations for non-ferrous mineral exploration and mining in the state.

Ted’s research interests in the Lake Superior region have focused on three general areas: the Cu deposits of the Keweenwaw Peninsula, the geology and mineral potential of the Ishpeming greenstone belt, and the petrology of granitoids in the Archean Northern Complex.  Ted has been first or second author on over 50 journal publications.  Of these, 19 were on topics dealing with Lake Superior geology.  He has authored 16 field trip guides and 15 maps and technical reports on the geology and ore deposits of Upper Michigan. 

Beyond this impressive resume of academic contributions to the geology of the Lake Superior region, perhaps the main reason that Ted is so deserving of the Goldich award is his unwavering commitment and very real service to the ILSG.   Ted’s impressive list of contributions to the institute include:

  • Presentating 10 abstracts and coauthoring many more of his student’s presentations.
  • Organizing, writing guidebooks for, and leading 6 field trips; most impressive of these has been the Field Guide to the Geology of the Keweenaw Peninsula, by Bornhorst, Rose, and Paces.  This now classic guidebook, which was originally published in 1983 and re-published in 1994, has sold over 5,000 copies to geologists and non-geologists alike.
  • Serving as chairman or co-chairman of 4 annual meetings: 1983 (Houghton), 1994 (Houghton), 1999 (Marquette), and now 2008 (Marquette).
  • Serving as the Institute’s first webmaster beginning in 1995 and maintaining the ILSG webpage until 2004, when the position passed over to the Secretary-Treasurer. 

It is the exceptional contributions and service given by individuals like Ted Bornhorst that has sustained the ILSG over these past 54 years.  As token of the Institute’s appreciation, it is altogether fitting and appropriate that Ted join the ranks of other prominent Lake Superior geologists who have been honored with this prestigious award.   I know I speak for all the institute members when I say “thank you, Ted, for all you have given the Institute”. 

Submitted by Jim Miller
University of Minnesota Duluth