Baylor Brooks

Baylor Brooks

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Give to the Baylor Brooks Scholarship

The success of Geological Sciences at SDSU is rooted in the Department founder, Baylor Brooks, a visionary educator who instituted the culture of undergraduate research and field study for which the Department is widely recognized. Known to those 1930’s-50’s students as the “Skipper,” he enticed them to stray from other callings by creating a fun, safe and family-like academic atmosphere. The glue that held these relationships together included field trips, frequently to areas of abandoned gold mines, where a day of exploring natural and geological wonders would be capped off with a spaghetti dinner, a couple of brews, stories, laughter and camaraderie around the campfire. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Baylor received his BSc degree in geology from Stanford University and did postgraduate work at Oxford University, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago before joining the faculty of San Diego State Teachers College in 1931. Although only a minor in geology was offered in the early years, the Department became well known because of the caliber of students that Baylor sent to UC Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA and USC, among others institutions, to complete their undergraduate and graduate education. He retired in 1966 but remained active through the 1980s in helping guide the direction of the Department. The Baylor Brooks Scholarship was established by Baylor himself, and is awarded to the best student or students that are declared geological sciences majors and who show promise in two of the following three courses: Geol 205 (Historical Geology), Geol 300 (Geologic Inquiry and Problem Solving), and Geol 221 (Mineralogy).