By Samantha Greenfield, Staff Writer ||

This past week’s Common Hour speaker, Stanley A. Mertzman, Dr. Earl D. Stage and Mary E. Stage professor of geosciences, is the recipient of the 2014 Bradley R. Dewey Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Mertzman shared his passion for geology with the audience.

“The present is the key to the past,” he said.

However, he asked, what does one do when there is no record? This is the question that drives his work as a geologist — work that he compares to being a detective. His research involves three methods, which he explained to the

The first is geologic mapping, in which he takes his students out into the field and study’s an area of 7.5 degrees of latitude by 7.5 degrees of longitude. This is about 55 to 56 square miles. Mertzman and his students work on mapping Mount McLoughlin in southern Oregon each Summer.

The second part of his work pertains to NASA and The Canadian Space Agency. Dawn, a space rover, picks up samples from space, and those samples are sent to Mertzman here at F&M. Mertzman identifies the minerals in these samples from space.

The last part of his work invovles collaborating with a lot of local companies such as Armstrong, which has a mineral fiber plant for producing ceiling tile. Mertzman was invited to Armstrong to see exactly what they were doing. The experiments they do there are on a larger scale than any other work that he does, and this excites Mertzman immensely.

Mertzman took this opportunity to thank his department, colleagues, members of the produce office, the College staff, and his family.

Senior Samantha Greenfield is a staff writer. Her email is