Paul A. Schroeder
Professor of Geology
University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA

BA - Geology, New England College
MS - Marine Science
University of South Florida; Ph. D. Yale University

Areas of Expertise:
Geologic record of global change, shale mineralogy, soil mineralogy, and kaolin mineralogy

How Dr. Schroeder Became Interested in Clays

Dr. Schroeder became interested in clays by virtue of the fact that much of the Earth's crust is made up of clay minerals and clay sized materials. The surface of the Earth is where we extract most of our natural resources. It is also the place where dispose of most of our wastes. Clays are some of the most reactive materials found on Earth. To be interested in clay mineralogy is a natural by-product of being interested in the mechanisms that are responsible for making economic mineral and energy deposits as well as the recording of environmental changes in the geologic record through time.

Dr. Schroeder’s career path in science began when he took a SCUBA and Data Collection class his freshman year in college. The geologist that taught that course had a truly inspiring message about the complexity of Earth and the need to be rigorous in our observation and understanding of Earth processes. Before taking his position at UGA his major career activities included (1) conducting marine geology studies of Cobscook Bay, Maine, (2) working in Florida for the U.S. Geological Survey on oceanographic cruises;

SCUBA diving, coring and collecting geophysical data; (3) working for Texaco's Exploration and Production Division reservoir studies team, in Houston, TX; conducting mineralogical studies of oil cores from around the world, and (4) working as a visiting scientist at the Schlumberger-Doll Research Laboratory in Ridgefield, CT; performing rock studies related to geochemical logging.

The exciting thing about clay science is the fact that so many different scientists get together. Clay science brings together geologists, soil scientists, material scientists, biologists, chemists, archeologists and physicists (to name just a few). Great clay scientists can be found all over the world. The nice thing about this it that it give us all opportunity to collaborate and learn about our differences and most often our similarities.

Professionally , Dr. Schroeder is currently a Professor of Geology at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, USA. His activities entail a combination of teaching, research and outreach (all of which he feels should be linked). He teaches the courses "Earth and Environmental Processes " and "Earth Materials" to undergraduate students and the courses "Clay Mineralogy and Geochemistry", "Weathering, Soils and Saprolite" and "Topics in Geochemistry Seminar" to graduate students. Dr. Schroeder has conducted research in the areas of (1) The Geologic Record of Global Change - funded by the National Science Foundation; (2) The Geological and Material Properties of Kaolin Deposits - funded by the English China Clay International and the J.M. Huber Corporation; and (3) The Crystal Chemistry of Illite-Smectite in Sedimentary Basins - funded by the Petroleum Research Foundation and Texaco Exploration and Production

Services. Dr. Schroeder also performs outreach to the public sector of Georgia by giving talks about "Minerals of Georgia" and through identification of unknown materials found by citizens who are curious as to the materials’ origin.

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