Francis H. Brown
A dedicated scientist, Dr. Brown is best known for his work in Africa focusing on the ages of hominid fossils, showing how human evolution can be advanced by geologic studies. His extensive fieldwork and innovative lab work in stratigraphy have enabled discoveries in related disciplines around the world.
Dr. Brown received his B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the U of U faculty in 1971 and has been a full-time professor of geology and geophysics since 1980. He served as chair of his department from 1988 to 1991, and has been dean of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences since 1991. Most recently, he co-authored a paper in the journal Nature announcing the discovery of a 3.5-million-year-old human skull in Kenya. Brown was part of a team led by paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey of the National Museums of Kenya.
Described by President Machen as, "a scholar whose abilities in the areas of research, teaching, and administration show an unparalleled devotion to his profession and university. As a teacher, his concern for students is legendary; as dean, his unselfish leadership and his support of his faculty have earned widespread admiration."
Dr. Brown has given back his award to the U and has asked that it go toward an endowed fund. "It's staggering to receive an award for doing what you love best," commented Dr. Brown.