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In Memory of Arnold H. Bouma

Updated December 19, 2011

boumaIt is with great sadness that we announce the death of Arnold H. Bouma. Researcher, educator, GCSSEPM Doris M. Curtis Medalist and honorary member, Bouma died Friday, December 16, 2011 in Frisco, Texas. He was 79.

A native of Groningen, The Netherlands, he received his bachelor's degree from the State University in Groningen, a master's at State University at Utrecht in geology, sedimentology and paleontology in 1959 and a Ph.D. in sedimentary geology in 1961.

His doctoral dissertation, titled "Sedimentology of Some Flysch Deposits: A Graphic Approach to Facies Interpretation," was published and widely distributed in 1962 and set off numerous laboratory and field research studies and formed the basis of what eventually came to be known in the field as "the Bouma Sequence"—which has been called a "geological milestone of the 20th century."

In 1962, he accepted a Fulbright post-doctoral fellowship at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., and in 1966, Bouma immigrated to America with his family to accept an academic post in oceanography at Texas A&M University. He taught there until 1975, when he was asked to join the U.S. Geological Survey, initially in the Pacific-Arctic branch and then in the Atlantic-Gulf of Mexico branch.

In 1981, he joined Gulf Oil as a senior scientist and working his way up to chief scientist and acting vice president for Gulf Research and Development Co. When Gulf Oil was purchased by Chevron in 1985, Bouma assumed the position of senior research associate with Chevron Oil Field Research Co.

Bouma returned to the academic world in 1988 when he was named Charles T. McCord Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. There he taught and served for a few years as director of the Basin Research Institute and head of the School of Geosciences. He retired in 2005.

Back in Texas, Bouma became an adjunct professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Texas A&M.

A 20-year member of GCSSEPM, Bouma was named an honorary member of the Section in 1995. He was also awarded the Section's highest honor, the Doris M. Curtis Medal for scientific excellence, in 2010. He received the AAPG Sidney Powers Medal in 2007.