KU News Release

June 8, 2012
Contact: Luis Gonzalez, Department of Geology, 785-864-4974

KU geologist wins top honor

Paul Enos

More Information

LAWRENCE — The world’s largest society of sedimentary geologists has given its highest honor to an emeritus distinguished professor at the University of Kansas.

The 3,500-member Society of Sedimentary Geology has awarded Paul Enos of Lawrence the Twenhofel Medal. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to sedimentary geology and a career of excellence that notably advances scientific knowledge in the field.

Sedimentary geologists explore the age and composition of rock layers, distribution of fossils, and geophysical and geochemical properties of rocks. Their work can be used to enhance the recovery of natural resources, including water, oil and gas, coal and industrial minerals.

A field geologist who is remembered by alumni for his enthusiastic leadership of field trips, Enos is also known for his many research accomplishments. These include being among the first geologists to describe modern carbonate systems. Carbonate rocks include limestone and dolomite, which contain over half of the world’s petroleum, much of its water and nearly all of its caves.

Enos earned three degrees in geology, receiving a Bachelor of Science from KU in 1956, a Master of Science from Stanford University in 1961 and a doctorate from Yale University in 1965. He worked as a research geologist for Shell Development Co. in Florida and Texas before joining the faculty at the State University of New York in Binghamton, N.Y. in 1970. He served as the Haas Distinguished Professor of Geology at KU from 1982 through 2000, and retired after a 21-year career at the university in 2003. Enos continues today to be active in research and teaching field courses.

Enos is the sixth geologist with KU ties to win the Twenhofel Medal, which has only been awarded to 41 people. The first person to win the medal in 1973 was R. C Moore, the founder of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology and a KU faculty member from 1916 to 1962. Other KU winners are Alfred G. Fischer, a faculty member from 1948 to 1951; John Imbrie, a faculty member from 1951 to 1952; and alumni Carl O. Dunbar (Bachelor of Science 1912 and a year of graduate study) and William L. Fisher (master’s, ’58, doctorate, ’61).

The medal is named for William H. Twenhofel (1875-1957), a University of Wisconsin professor who is considered the father of sedimentary geology. Twenhofel taught geology at KU from 1910- to 1915 and served one year as the Kansas state geologist.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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