The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Brent Dalrymple Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

August 28, 2013


“A Distinguished Career in Geology”  August 28, 2013  Location: Dalrymple residence, Corvallis, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Dalrymple describes his youth, his experiences at Occidental College - including meeting his wife, Sharon - and his graduate work at UC Berkeley. He then details his work at the United States Geological Survey, with specific focus paid to his research on the earth's magnetic field, investigations which contributed to the formulation of the theory of plate tectonics. Other reseach areas discussed include Dalrymple's studies of volcanic rock in the Hawaiian Islands and other Pacific islands, and lunar magnetic experiments for NASA. From there Dalrymple reviews his teaching experiences at Stanford, his tenure as dean of Oceanography at OSU, and his later research interests, including his testimony as an expert witness in two trials involving creationism. He rounds out the interview by sharing memories of OSU notables such as John Byrne, Jane Lubchenco and Paul Risser as well as his thoughts on receiving the National Medal of Science and retiring from OSU.