Baird to receive teaching award

Dr. Gordon Baird of the Department of Geosciences at SUNY Fredonia will receive the Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Outstanding Educator Award on Nov. 4 at the Erickson Alumni Center in Morgantown, W.Va.

Baird earned his degrees in geology: a bachelor’s from Earlham College in Indiana in 1969, a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 1971, and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1975.

He grew up in Rochester, N.Y. and became interested in the fossils and rock layers of the area.

Assistant Curator at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago from 1976 to 1981, Dr. Baird’s work allowed for the regional mapping of ancient freshwater and saltwater evidence across five Illinois counties.

Baird has been a faculty member at SUNY Fredonia since 1982, and currently is chairman of the Department of Geosciences. . A 40-year-long collaboration with Dr. Carlton Brett and his students led to the publication of numerous peer-review papers, non-peer-review publications and guidebooks.

Beginning in the 1980s, Baird (with Brett) shifted focus to the foreland basin deposits, such as the Utica Shale and various widespread Devonian black shale units, including the greater Marcellus interval and the higher Geneseo, Dunkirk-Huron, and Cleveland black shale successions. His work included regional mapping and characterization of widespread black shale-roofed unconformities.

Dr. Baird is currently studying sections through the Utica Shale across the Mohawk Valley region of New York. He is also working to understand the signatures of the global Hangenberg mass extinction and associated drastic prehistoric climate changes recognized elsewhere by others.