Marilyn Fogel, a professor of Earth Sciences, was appointed the inaugural holder of the Wilbur W. Mayhew Endowed Chair in Geo-Ecology at a Nov. 30 symposium and naming ceremony at the Alumni & Visitors Center.

The symposium included remarks from Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, CNAS Dean Kathryn Uhrich, David Oglesby, chair of the Department of Earth Sciences, and invited speakers from UCR and various other institutions.

This chair, endowed by an anonymous donor, honors Mayhew’s pioneering work and creates a legacy in his honor. In the 1950s, Mayhew at UC Riverside and his colleague Ken Norris at UCLA, along with many others, were the driving forces behind the creation of the University of California’s Natural Reserve System, which comprises more than 30 field sites for teaching and research throughout the state.

The reserves continue to provide scientists and students with vast tracts of unspoiled natural resources for field studies. Mayhew retired from teaching in 1989 and from the Natural Reserve directorship in 1990. He continued to live in Riverside with his wife, Corinne, until he passed away on September 19, 2014.

As the Wilbur W. Mayhew Endowed Chair in Geo-Ecology, Fogel will lead UCR’s EDGE Institute, where she will guide research on global environmental change and crises the world is facing today. Fogel’s more than 40-year research career has concentrated on tracing ecological and geochemical processes on Earth and in planetary materials and environments using stable isotopes of biologically relevant elements.

Fogel’s research demonstrates that we can learn a lot about our past, present, and future world through the vast reservoir of the remains of living organisms beneath Earth’s surface – from predictions about climate change into the next century to understanding how life on the planet began and the ancient organisms that once lived here.

Chancellor Wilcox presented Fogel with a plaque acknowledging her as the inaugural Wilbur W. Mayhew Endowed Chair in Geo-Ecology. He also acknowledged the attendance of Mayhew’s daughter Laurie Brower and grandson Eric Mayhew. 

Full article featured on Inside UCR here.

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