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Dr. John L. Berkley, Professor Emeritus

Professor John (Jack) Berkley (Ph.D. Univ. of New Mexico, 1977) retired from SUNY Fredonia at the end of the Fall 2010 semester after 28.5 years, 13.5 years as department chair. He is an igneous/metamorphic petrologist and planetary scientist. His major research has centered on petrological and geochemical studies of a certain class of meteorites called achondrites. During the summers of 1998 and 1999, Dr. Berkley accepted a NASA fellowship that involved petrological and geochemical work on a Martian meteorite (EETA79001). He spent about 10 weeks at Johnson Space Center, Houston, each summer using the electron microprobe facilities, collaborating with colleagues, and taking advantage of the fine research resources available at JSC and the nearby Lunar & Planetary Institute. He gave two talks on this research to the 30th and 31st Lunar & Planetary Science Conferences.

Berkley has also worked on the petrofabrics of some Antarctic Brachinites as part of a larger study on these meteorites with Dr. David W. Mittlefehldt, planetary scientist at JSC. Mittlefehldt, by the way, is a 1973 of the SUNY Fredonia Geology Department (as it was called then).

Dr. Berkley's current research revolves around a Ba-Mn-oxide cemented black sandstone occurrence along Canadaway Creek in Fredonia. This study has revealed that the unusual cementing agents were likely deposited biologically, by Mn-oxidizing bacteria. The study, which involves the cooperation of the Biology Department, may have implications for life processes on other planets.

Dr. Berkley taught courses in Petrology (rocks), Mineralogy, Environmental Geology, Planetary Astronomy, and Volcanoes.

Jack Berkley vita in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format

{Photo, left: SEM image of laminated Mn-oxide-hydroxide minerals deposited by bacteria in sandstone, with microprobe analysis points (red)}









Page modified 12/7/15