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Professor Commissioned to Write Biography on Edwin Drake

Professor Commissioned to Write Biography on Edwin Drake

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     Dr. William Brice, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown professor emeritus in geology and planetary science, has been commissioned by the Oil Region Alliance in Oil City to write a new biography of Edwin L. Drake.

     In 1990, Edwin C. Bell of Titusville wrote the only biography about Drake, Life of Col. Edwin L. Drake.  However, due to increasing curiosity about the man behind the legend, and because important materials and interpretations have become available, the Alliance believed it was time to examine the full range of Drake’s occupational and personal activities.

     A Johnstown resident, Dr. Brice was on the UPJ faculty from 1976 through 2002 and was a visiting professor in earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University.  He currently serves as the secretary/treasurer/editor of the History of Geology Division within the Geological Society of America.  Dr. Brice also is the immediate past-president of the Petroleum History Institute (PHI); he edits PHI’s annual journal entitled Oil-Industry History.  In addition to many articles about the history of geology and the oil industry, he previously authored “A Life with Fossils,” regarding G.D. Harris, a Cornell University professor, who founded the Paleontological Research Institution at Ithaca, N.Y. (published 1996), and “Cornell Geology Through the Years,” a history of the Cornell University geology department from 1868 to 1985 (published in 1989).

     For more information about this book project or the other non-fiction oil history books available through the Oil Region, Alliance, please contact Marilyn Black, vice president for heritage development, 814-677-3152, ext. 105,

     UPJ is a vital knowledge center defining excellence and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural and economic environment through:  excellent faculty teaching, scholarship, and service, as well as enriching faculty-student mentorships and collaborations in scholarship, research, and creative activity; operating as a top employer and key partner in shaping the economic future with an annual impact exceeding $60 million; engaging the community through exceptional volunteerism by faculty, staff, and students; expanding the workforce capacity by linking theory to practice through experiences such as internships and service learning projects; exceeding the  national averages of student graduation and retention rates of similar institutions; a tradition of athletic excellence, with nationally recognized and award-winning programs; 17,000 alumni making a difference throughout the community and world; and by growing partnerships with businesses in areas such as healthcare, education, commerce, technology, and the arts.

Posted by Shook, Kimberly on 10/24/2007 10:30:00 AM