Charles F. Park, Jr.
2010 Inductee from Mining's Past
Charles F. Park, Jr.'s interest in geology began with the mineral collection he prepared during his boyhood in Wilmington, Delaware. That interest led to his attending the New Mexico School of Mines and earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1926. His academic interests and skills continued to grow as a student of geological engineering at the University of Arizona, where he received a Master of Science degree in 1929, followed by a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Minnesota in 1931.
Beginning his career as a mine surveyor in New Mexico, he quickly joined the U.S. Geological Survey where he continued to work for 15 years, ultimately leaving the Survey with the position as geologist in charge of the section of metalliferous deposits. He joined the Geology faculty of Stanford University in 1946 and became Dean of Mineral Sciences there in 1950 – a position he held until 1965. Dr. Park held the Donald Steel professorship until his retirement in 1968 and was Professor Emeritus from 1968 to 1975, during which time he also was a visiting professor at both Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan.
His contributions also include serving as president of both the Society of Economic Geologists and the International Association of the Genesis of Ore Deposits.
His rich experience of field research led him to consistently emphasize the importance of field observations as a crucial foundation for research and new ore deposit discoveries. This crucial philosophy was readily instilled in his geology and mining students and is reflected in his writings. This talent with both teaching and searching for ore deposits is reflected in his personal bibliography of more than 75 publications including "Geology of Ore Deposits", which was first published during his service as Dean at Stanford. This widely respected textbook was originally co-authored with Roy McDiarmid and subsequently was revised and co-authored with John Guilbert.
Charles Park's talents as a resource scientist expanded well beyond the halls of Stanford: he was on the boards of directors of several corporations, including Homestake Mining Company and the Golden Cycle Corporation as well as science textbook publisher Freeman, Cooper and Company. As a professor of economic geology, his greatest legacies are the many geologists and engineers at Stanford and numerous other universities that he inspired to explore, research, and develop ore deposits around the globe.