Alumni & Friends

Founder’s Wall

Welcome to the Founder’s Wall, where we recognize the people whose hard work and devotion to geology have made a profound difference for our department, our students, and the study of geological sciences.


Michael Tuomey

Michael Tuomey was the first instructor of geological sciences at The University of Alabama. Native of Cork, Ireland, and educated at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, Tuomey was the chair and professor of geology, mineralogy, and agricultural chemistry at UA from 1847 to 1857. As the first state geologist of Alabama, he conducted the first geological survey of the state, drawing attention to its mineral wealth and fossil richness of its rocks. Additionally, Tuomey published the first geologic map of the state.


Eugene Allen Smith

An alumnus of The University of Alabama (1862) and the University of Heidelberg, Germany (1868), E.A. Smith was a professor of chemistry and mineralogy at UA from 1871 to 1913. From 1873 to 1913, he also served as state geologist. During his time at The University of Alabama, E.A. Smith promoted increased understanding of Alabama’s mineral resources and geologic history. A native of Washington, Alabama, in 1913 he became the president of the American Geological Society. Smith authored over 100 publications, including a monumental study on the Cretaceous and Tertiary formations of the Gulf Coast. His work yielded a highly accurate geologic map of the state and was instrumental in the development of the state’s mineral wealth.


Douglas E. Jones

An alumnus of The University of Alabama (1952), Douglas E. Jones was a professor of geology at UA from 1958 to 1997. He served as the head of the geology department from 1966 to 1968, as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1969 to 1984, as dean of University Libraries from 1984 to 1988, as acting Vice-President for Academic Affairs from 1988 to 1990, and as director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History from 1984 to 1997. An outstanding faculty leader, tireless advocate for the geosciences, geologist, and paleontologist, Jones made numerous scientific contributions to Coastal Plain and Alabama geology. He served as an officer and board member of various geological and governmental organizations and agencies.


William G. Hooks

William G. Hooks was educated at the University of North Carolina. He was professor of geology at The University of Alabama from 1954 to 1994, chairman of the Department of Geology from 1969 to 1977, and acting chair from 1968 to 1969 and 1981 to 1982. He received the UA National Alumni Association Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award in 1985, the College of Arts and Sciences Favorite Lecturer Award in 1984, and the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Fellow Award in 1993. An unassuming leader, patient mentor, and dedicated teacher to thousands of students at The University of Alabama, William G. Hooks is proof that a great teacher is born, not made.


Philip E. LaMoreaux

An alumnus of the University of Alabama (1949), LaMoreaux served as a geologist and hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey from 1943 to 1961; he was appointed chief of the Ground Water Branch in Washington, DC, in 1959. He was an Alabama state geologist and Oil and Gas Board supervisor from 1961 to 1976, and an adjunct professor of geology at UA from 1961 to 1976. A distinguished, internationally known hydrogeologist who has provided important leadership in the development of the environmental geosciences in the department, state, nation, and world, he also founded P. E. LaMoreaux and Associates (PELA), a geological and environmental consulting company, in 1970.


Jen-ho Fang

Fang served as chairman of the Department of Geology from 1982 to 1991, and as professor of geology from 1982 to 1997. A noted mineralogist who provided critical leadership during the department’s transition to a major research program, he assembled a group of outstanding research-oriented faculty, championed the expansion of a new PhD program in geology, promoted increased research activities by faculty and students, and facilitated the department’s 1990 move into the Bevill Research Building. A former student named the mineral fangite after him.


Thomas J. Joiner

A recognized leader who promoted the prudent development and conservation of Alabama’s energy, mineral, and water resources, Thomas J. Joiner is also known as a dedicated public servant who served with distinction as Alabama’s fifth state geologist and third oil and gas board supervisor and as a technical advisor to the governor and state legislature. He was a noted petroleum geologist and hydrogeologist, and a successful businessman and CEO of a major geologic consulting company. Joiner received the Alexis De Tocqueville Society Award from the United Way. As a committed supporter of education, Joiner provided untiring leadership as a longtime partner in the Tuscaloosa Adopt-A-School Program, as a member and chairman of the University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Board, and as the principal organizer and first chairman of the University of Alabama Geological Sciences Advisory Board.


George Lindahl III

A proven oil and gas finder, successful executive in the petroleum industry, recognized leader, and noted philanthropist, George Lindahl III provided key leadership in the formation and growth of the University of Alabama Geological Sciences Advisory Board and in the recruitment and retention of outstanding geoscience students and promising junior faculty, and in the advancement and development of faculty as a result of the creation of endowments for scholarships and professorships. Lindahl, a UA alumnus (1968) and Alabama native, was a pioneer of horizontal drilling technology for enhanced petroleum production in the late 1980s. He has held several executive positions in the petroleum industry, including executive vice president, board director, and partner for Walker Energy Partners of Houston, TX; chairman, CEO, and president of Union Pacific Resources, Inc.; vice chairman for Anadarko petroleum corporation and member of the Anadarko board of directors; and managing partner of Sandefer Capital Partners. A community leader and committed volunteer for nonprofit organizations, he has been a member of the All America Wildcatters, a lifetime board member of the Goodwill Industries of Houston, trustee of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, board member of the U.S. Oncology Foundation, and cabinet member of the Montgomery County Texas Women’s Shelter.


Ernest A. Mancini

Professor emeritus, Distinguished Research Professor, Burnum Distinguished Faculty Member, Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor, and former department chair, Ernest A. Mancini has had a long and distinguished career in geology that has brought great recognition to the geology department and The University of Alabama. Through his leadership and tireless efforts, the department expanded its faculty, its undergraduate and graduate student enrollments, and its introductory geology credit hour production. Mancini’s professional and administrative contributions include serving as state geologist and State Oil and Gas Board supervisor for the Geological Survey of Alabama, director of the Center for Sedimentary Basin Studies at The University of Alabama, founder and regional director of the Eastern Gulf Region Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, president of the American Geological Institute, and editor of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin. Mancini’s numerous scholarly research publications, lectures, and workshops have made significant and lasting contributions to the fields of paleontology, stratigraphy, sedimentary basin evolution, and petroleum and have made him a regionally, nationally, and internationally known expert in these areas.