• Iowa becomes a state

    December 28, 1846

    Iowa becomes the 29th state in the Union under President James K. Polk.

  • The State University of Iowa is founded

    February 25, 1847

    Founding of the University of Iowa.1

  • First State Geologist


    James Hall, American geologist and paleontologist who was a major contributor to the geosynclinal theory of mountain building, becomes the first State Geologist of Iowa. He was state geologist of Iowa from 1855 to 1858 and of Wisconsin from 1857 to 1860.

  • Cabinet of Natural History Collection

    c. 1863

    Cabinet of Natural History collection exists and contains Geological Survey materials.2

  • Charles A. White creates Geological Survey of the State of Iowa

    1866 - 1870

    By act of the General Assembly of Iowa, un January, 1855, a geological survey of the State was ordered. The work was continued during subsequent years, when in the winter of 1858-9 their final report was printed in two volumes by order of the General Assembly. No provision was subsequently made for continuing the work until the meeting of the Eleventh General Assembly, when in view of its unfinished condition the re-organization of the survey was ordered in April, 1866.

  • Samuel Calvin becomes UI Chair of Natural History


    Samuel Calvin (1840-1911) becomes UI Chair of Natural History which included geology, botany and zoology and curator of the University Cabinet. He was the first head of the State University of Iowa Geology Department and served as State Geologist from 1892 – 1911 (excluding 1904-1906).3, 4, 5

  • Geoscience Library organized


    Geoscience Library organizes as an actual library, previously known as the Cabinet of Natural History.2

  • Friends and colleagues Thomas Macbride (left) and Samuel Calvin (right) in 1905.

    Science Hall completed


    Science Hall completed, 6000 ton building relocated in 1905 to Jefferson Street, and renamed Calvin Hall in 1964 to honor Samuel Calvin (right, with friend and colleague, Thomas Macbride, left).6

  • Iowa Geological Survey and Iowa Geological Board established


    A permanent geological survey, as a separate agency of state government, was established in 1892. In accordance with the legislative provisions, a Geological Board also was established to govern the broad administrative policies of the Survey and to appoint the State Geologist. (This Board was dissolved in December 1980, and the State Geologist was to be appointed directly by the Governor.) The Board was composed of the Governor, the State Auditor, and the presidents of Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the Iowa Academy of Science. They elected Professor Samuel Calvin, Chairman of the Department of Geology at the University of Iowa, as State Geologist, and from that time until 1947 (through the Wilder, Kay, and Trowbridge administrations), both positions were held by the same individual.

  • Frank A. Wilder joins department


    Frank A. Wilder joined department in 1903 and became Iowa State Geologist, then Calvin again assumed the title.7

  • George F. Kay joins department


    George Frederick Kay joins UI Geology Department; is department head and Iowa State Geologist from 1911-1934, Dean of College of Liberal Arts 1917-1941.8

  • Bohumil Shimek confirms origin of loess


    Bohumil Shimek (1861 – 1937) confirms the windblown origin of loess in Iowa.9

  • Arthur C. Trowbridge joins department


    Arthur C. Trowbridge invited to join the faculty by George F. Kay; serves as is State Geologist and Director of the State Geological Survey 1934-1947.10

  • Chester K. Wentworth develops the Wentworth Grain Size Scale


    Chester K. Wentworth (M.S. 1921, Ph.D. 1923) developed the Wentworth Grain Size Scale.11, 12

  • Geoscience Library


    Prior to 1924 the Geoscience Library is located in the Science Building, aka future Calvin Hall.2

  • Arthur C. Trowbridge c.1910 (photo from Iowa Digital Library)

    Arthur C. Trowbridge


    Arthur C. Trowbridge (c.1910, photo from Iowa Digital Library), State Geologist 1934-1947, Trowbridge Hall named for him in 1973. He coined the term "sedimentology". (The term was published by Waddell in 1933).13, 14

  • Phillip B. King receives Penrose Medal and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal


    Phillip B. King achieves M.S., received the GSA 1965 Penrose Medal, and awarded Distinguished Service Medal of the U.S. Department of the Interior.15

  • State Geologist and Chairman of the department no longer combined


    The State Geologist of Iowa and the Chairman of the Department of Geology at the University of Iowa are no longer held by the same person.

  • Science Hall renamed Calvin Hall


    Science Hall is renamed Calvin Hall after Samuel Calvin.6

  • Wasatch - Uinta Feld Course established


    Wasatch – Uinta Field Course established in Park City, UT (U. Minnesota, U. Iowa, U. Michigan, Purdue, U. Illinois, U. Kentucky). Professor Richard A. Hoppin designated as Alternate Director.16

  • Trowbridge Hall

    Trowbridge Hall becomes new home of Geosciences


    Trowbridge Hall named and designated as the new home of geosciences as Health Science relocates to the new Medical Campus. The Geology Library relocates to Trowbridge Hall.2, 17

  • Department of Geology and IGS moved to Trowbridge Hall


    The Department of Geology and the Iowa Geologic Survey (IGS) move into Trowbridge Hall.18

  • Oakdale Campus created


    Oakdale Campus created in Coralville; houses IGS library, publication, archives, laboratory facilities.18

  • Iowa DNR created


    The DNR was created by the 71st General Assembly in 1986 under Terry E. Branstad, member of the Republican Party of Iowa, by combining four previous state agencies: Water, Air, and Waste Management; parts of the Iowa Energy Policy Council; the Iowa Conservation Commission; and the Iowa Geological Survey Organization.

  • ENVS logo; bioscience (green), chemical science (yellow), geoscience (brown), and hydroscience (blue).

    Environmental Sciences BS degree added


    Environmental Sciences (ENVS) degree (BS, with three tracks) approved by the Iowa Regents.19

  • Students declare for new ENVS degree


    Fall semester 26 students declare ENVS major.20

  • Chemical Sciences track added to ENVS degree


    ENVS chemical sciences track added to program.20

  • Department of Geoscience


    Department of Geoscience becomes the department name.21

  • Environmental Sciences BA degree added


    Environmental Sciences Bachelor of Arts degree added.22

  • Geosciences Library move to Sciences Library building


    The Geosciences Library is closed in Trowbridge Hall and moved to the Sciences Library building.2

  • Number of ENVS majors tops 140 students


    Number of ENVS majors reaches 140+ students and remains consistent.20

  • Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences


    Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) becomes the designation for Department of Geosciences.21

  • TILE Classrooms installed


    TILE classrooms installed at Trowbridge Hall.23

  • First seismometer installed in Trowbridge Hall


    First seismometer is installed in basement of Trowbridge Hall.24

  • EES goes social


    Earth and Environmental Sciences goes on social media (Facebook, Twitter).25

  • Distinguished Alumni Award program established


    Distinguished Alumni Award program established by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Earth and Environmental Science Alumni Board (EESN).26

  • Ashton Prairie Living Laboratory funded by CLAS


    Ashton Prairie Living Laboratory funded by CLAS.27

1. Pickard, J.L. D., April 1899, “Historical Sketch of the State University of Iowa”, The Annals of Iowa, Vol. IV, No.1, p.1-66, ref. p.7, Available at: https://doi.org/10.17077/0003-4827.2347

2. The History of the UI Geosciences Library, https://www.lib.uiowa.edu/history/branches/geology

3. Guide to the Samuel Calvin Papers, in UI Libraries Collections Identifier: RG99.0083, https://aspace.lib.uiowa.edu/repositories/3/resources/1247

4. Bain, H. Foster, Samuel Calvin’s Obituary, “The Journal of Geology, July 1911, Vol.19, no.5, pp.385-391. https://www.jstor.org/stable/30067991

5. Libra, Robert D., https:/www/stategeologists.org/sites/default/files/remembrance/Samuel-Calvin-1840-1922.

6. Hill,James Fall 2006 Saving Calvin Hall: The Back Story (uiowa.edu) , Iowa Heritage Illustrated p.122- 125. (https://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cg1?article=1351&context=ihi)

7. Iowa Geological Survey History: 1892–1947 – Iowa Geological Survey (uiowa.edu); and collguides.lib.uiowa.edu/?RG99.0090&print=true

8Collection: George Frederick Kay Papers | ArchivesSpace at the University of Iowa (uiowa.edu)

9. Shimek, Bohumil, 1909, “Geology of Harrison and Monona Counties”, Iowa Geological Survey Annual Report, 20, 271-486.   https://doi.org/10.17077/2160-5270.1171

10.  A.C. Trowbridge, Professor of Geology, The University of Iowa, late 1890s or early 1900s | The University of Iowa Libraries (uiowa.edu)

11. Wentworth, Chester K., “A Scale of Grade and Class Terms for Clastic Sediments”, The Journal of Geology Vol. 30, No. 5 (Jul. - Aug., 1922), pp. 377-392.

12. MacDonald, Gordon and Cox, Doak, “Memorial to Chester Keeler Wentworth”, The Geological Society of America, p. 97-104, Wentworth-CK.pdf (geosociety.org)

13. A.C. Trowbridge in UI Collection Guides  collguides.lib.uiowa.edu/?RG99.0089

14. A.C. Trowbridge, in Iowa Geode Stars, A.C. Trowbridge | Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | The University of Iowa (uiowa.edu)

15. Philip B. King, in Iowa Geode Stars, P.B. King | Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | The University of Iowa (uiowa.edu)

16. 2013 adaptation of Bright, R.C. “The Wasatch-Uinta Summer Field Course, p.78-80 in G.M. Schwartz(ed.) A Century of Geology (1872-1972) University of Minnesota. The First Year | Wasatch-Uinta Summer Field Camp

17. Iowa Facilities Management, Trowbridge Hall | Facilities Management (uiowa.edu)

18. Iowa Geological Survey, History: 1892–1947 – Iowa Geological Survey (uiowa.edu)

19. Board of Regents State of Iowa minutes May 7, 1997 | Board of Regents State of Iowa (iowaregents.edu)

20. Professor Andrew Forbes, UI Biology Department, Personal communication

21. Department name designation updates determined from publications, Amy Sullivan personal communication

22. Board of Regents State of Iowa minutes Microsoft Word - ICCPHE Minutes 10 21 09.docx (iowaregents.edu)

23. Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology, TILE (Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) Program, TILE | Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology (uiowa.edu)

24. Lewis, Richard, April 2016, “What’s shaking at Trowbridge Hall?” in Iowa Now, What's shaking at Trowbridge Hall? | Iowa Now (uiowa.edu)

25. Links to Facebook and Twitter at home page for EES: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | The University of Iowa (uiowa.edu)

26. Link to the Distinguished Alumni Award, Distinguished Alumni Award | Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | The University of Iowa (uiowa.edu)

27. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences agree to fund Ashton Prairie Proposal, February 2021, Professor Bradley D. Cramer, personal communication

Compiled by Amy Sullivan April 6, 2021, subject to revision.