Dr. G. Michael Clark, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences, received the University of Tennessee Library Friends Outstanding Service Award in a November 9 ceremony at the John C. Hodges Library. Clark was honored for his service — both formal and informal — to the UT Libraries.
Dean of Libraries Barbara Dewey made the award to Clark at a gathering of library faculty representatives.
“Mike has served as a library faculty representative for more than two decades and is a tireless advocate for library services. He effectively represents the interests of his colleagues and those in related departments in discussions of library issues,” said Linda Phillips, head of collection development at the Libraries. Library representatives are important faculty liaisons to the Libraries who help to guarantee that the Libraries select the best resources to support teaching and research at the University.
According to Phillips, Clark is always ready with a comprehensive list of collection needs and always willing to search for extra funds to purchase materials.
Clark frequents many library departments and is well known to library staff as an enthusiastic library supporter. “Dr. Clark is a strong advocate for the Map Library, a place where he regularly holds classes,” noted earth sciences librarian Kay Johnson. “He is proactive in requesting materials for his department and knows who runs all of the various service points he uses.”
Dr. Clark’s research focuses on Appalachian surficial geology and geomorphic history. His research projects range from studying Appalachian periglacial features, measuring the ages of surface rocks and sediments, to examining landscapes and regolith in the Dominican Republic. He enjoys teaching classes from introductory geology to graduate-level geomorphology, including a popular class on geology of the national parks.
Clark is committed to sharing his love of earth sciences with middle and high school students. He is currently developing a series of classroom activities for Tennessee students that integrate the geology and physical geography of the student’s immediate surroundings with real-world problems such as land use, natural hazards, and environmental concerns. His other outreach efforts include working with interns in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, sponsoring workshops for in-service earth science teachers, and assisting in the annual Earth Science Fair sponsored by the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Frank H. McClung Museum.
The Library Friends Outstanding Service Award is made annually to a faculty or staff member of the university community who has made outstanding contributions, in the broadest sense, to the growth and welfare of the UT Libraries. Following a university-wide call for nominations, the Library Friends Executive Committee make the final selection.