Promoting education and research in Geology, Archaeology, Anthropology, Energy and Environmental Sciences.
|From the President|
The ISEM was established nearly forty years ago to foster interdisciplinary research in geology and anthropology. It also conducts a structured program of events directed toward the energy industry.
My vision for the Institute focuses on the support of graduate student
research, because graduate students embody
the essence of creativity and energy that makes universities great. They
are role models for undergraduates. They
are builders of the future, and they deserve the best help they can get
to obtain their scientific goals. They are wildcatters embarking on the
The state of science has changed tremendously over the last forty years. Nevertheless, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies are still important and still relevant. But their nature has changed. Nowadays, advances are facilitated to some extent by technology, by being able to measure smaller quantities more precisely, or by manipulating larger databases, for example. Given that, there are extremes to the spectra in both anthropology and geology where overlap is less than obvious. In general, it matters not whether measurements or databases are made for archaeological or geological purposes, so long as the relevance of the data to both are recognized. Research trends in geology and archaeology include major efforts to understand the environment in broad and specific ways, thus reflecting the evolution of both disciplines and their interrelationship. The ISEM captures that concept by fostering the departments of geology and anthropology at a major university and, so far as I know, that is unique.
Moreover, because of the flow of students through the university, there is a continual infusion of enthusiasm. In my opinion, the most creative research at a university is done by the most energetic investigators, by which I mean graduate students. That is who we can support best. Their efforts insure a steady stream of new knowledge, but not just any new knowledge: It is new knowledge that is interesting to both scientists and nonscientists. That is the nature of geology and anthropology. It is the kind of knowledge that may have economic or social relevance at high levels on one extreme, and concomitantly be of such general interest on the other that it provides the first introduction to science for many children. Those are valuable qualities that make us broadly relevant and allow us to build relationships with the community. That is why we can work so well with natural history museums, on the one hand, and on the other produce credible energy programs. So far as I am aware, that is unique.
The features that make us unique are the essence of our character and they are the elements of our strength. They are: interesting subject matter, students, interface with the community, value added to the energy industry.
How do we build on these strengths?
The President's Report is simply this: We should stay focused on our mission and build to our strengths because those are our identity and worth.
All of you knew this, but I am new on the job.
|Board of Trustees|
|Student Research Awards|
|Hedberg Award in Energy|
|The contents of this Web site are the sole responsibility of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of Southern Methodist University. The administrator of this site may be contacted at email@example.com.|