Editorial: Tribute to Eugene S. Simpson
Editorial: Tribute to Eugene S. Simpson
Shlomo P. Neuman 0 1
Michael E. Campana Guest Editors 0 1
0 Michael E. Campana Water Resources Administration Program, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico , Albuquerque, NM 87131-1116 , USA
1 Shlomo P. Neuman (Y) Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, The University of Arizona , Tucson, AZ 85721, USA Fax: c1-520-621-1422 , USA
profiles 7 Hydrogeology Journal 7 editorial
We dedicate this special issue of Hydrogeology Journal
to the memory of its founding editor and first
editorin-chief, the late Eugene S. Simpson. Gene died on
December 12, 1995, at the age of seventy eight following a
long and distinguished career as researcher and
educator. With his departure, we all lost a valued colleague;
many of us lost a close friend and beloved teacher. The
papers in this special issue were authored by Gene’s
former colleagues and students as a tribute to his
humanity and creative spirit. The wide range of topics
covered by these papers reflects Gene’s broad interests
in the water sciences.
Gene was born in Schenectady, New York, in 1917. ing claims. Needless to say, one came away from such
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engi- an exercise richer both in knowledge and in analytical
neering from the College of the City of New York in thinking skills.”
1944 while helping to build port facilities and ammuni- Gene’s research at the university led to important
tion dumps for the U.S. Navy during World War II. In new developments in the modeling of subsurface solute
1945, Gene took a position as hydrologist with the U.S. transport, the use of isotopes to estimate groundwater
Geological Survey (USGS), where he helped investi- recharge, and the hydrogeology of fractured-rock
tergate the groundwater resources of the northeastern rains. For these contributions, Gene was made a Fellow
United States. Soon he was recruited by C. V. Theis to of The Geological Society of America. His research on
join a newly formed USGS team charged with the in- fractured rocks culminated in the XVIIth Congress on
vestigation of hydrogeologic problems associated with the “Hydrogeology of Rocks of Low Permeability,”
existing and proposed nuclear facilities. Their pioneer- which he and the senior guest editor of this issue
coning work anticipated the need to protect groundwater vened jointly at Tucson in 1985. The Congress was
from radionuclides and other contaminants at a time sponsored by the International Association of
Hydrowhen few recognized the need to do so. This work geologists (IAH). That same year, Gene retired.
helped kindle Gene’s research interest in transport Following his retirement, Gene remained
profesthrough porous media and isotope hydrology, to which sionally active by helping students complete their
rehe made important contributions throughout his career. search theses and by serving the IAH. He was
SecreIn 1949, Gene obtained an M.A. and in 1960 a Ph.D. in tary/Treasurer of the U.S. National Chapter from 1984–
Geology from Columbia University. 89 and President from 1989–92. It was during his term
During 1960–62, Gene was assigned by the USGS to as President that Gene undertook to launch and edit
work at the Belgian Nuclear Research Center C.E.N. in the IAH journal Applied Hydrogeology, which later
beMol on hydrogeologic issues associated with the dispo- came Hydrogeology Journal. In 1989, the
Hydrogeolosal of radioactive waste. A year later, Gene joined the gy Division of the Geological Society of America
renewly formed Department of Hydrology and Water cognized Gene’s many contributions by presenting him
Resources at The University of Arizona in Tucson. As with its Distinguished Service Award. In 1993, Gene
professor of geology, hydrology, and water resources, was made honorary member of the IAH in recognition
and as acting head of the department during 1974–75 of his outstanding scientific, editorial, and
organizationand 1979–81, Gene contributed in a major way toward al work on behalf of the Association.
the steady growth in size and reputation of the depart- Throughout his life, Gene exuded warmth and
opment. timism. A few months before his death, he sent his
In this endeavor, he made the study of hydrology in- leagues at the university a poem that reads, in part:
tellectually challenging and rewarding for his students.
One of them, Ike Winograd, recalls that “from time to “Minutes that feed on simple pleasures . . .
time, Gene would use a simple but eloquent pedagogi- Reading comics on the patio,
cal tool to force students to really think about what Cool breeze, warm sun, I weep with delight.
they were reading. He would assign the class a contro- My wife, my brother, here with love and comfort.
versial paper, plus the published discussions of it. He My pipe . . . a simple pleasure.”
then instructed the students to list the explicit
assumptions and the implicit assumptions in both the original He was speaking of his wife Diana and brother
Wilpaper and its critiques. Then students were asked to liam.
serve as individual judges of the merits of the compet- At heart, Gene was a poet. He is sorely missed.