Dr. Gerald M. Friedman, a world-renowned geologist and educator, has recently retired and has donated the Northeastern Science Foundation’s extensive geological and environmental science library and rock and mineral collection to the Center for Geological and Environmental Sciences at Touro College in New York City. Dr. Howard Feldman, a long time colleague of Dr. Friedman, is the Director of the Center, Samuel Epstein, a graduate student of Dr. Friedman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is the Executive Director of the Center and Dr. Donald Clark, a graduate student of Dr. Friedman at the CUNY Graduate Center, is the Associate Director of the Center. In respect and in recognition of Dr. Friedman’s lifelong dedication to geology and education, Touro College is planning to name the geological and environmental library in Dr. Friedman’s honor.
The name Gerald M. Friedman is a familiar one to both petroleum geologists and sedimentologists. For over 50 years Dr. Friedman was at the forefront of research in these two fields of geology and was very active in many geology organizations, such as the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the National Association of Geoscience teachers (NAGT), the Society for Sedimentary Geology (originally the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists - SEPM), the International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS) and the Northeastern Science Foundation, where Dr. Friedman published two journals, Carbonates and Evaporites and Northeastern Geology and Environmental Sciences.
As passionate as Dr. Friedman was about geologic research, he was even more passionate about teaching geology. Dr. Friedman began his teaching career at the University of Cincinnati in 1950 and went on to teach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and at the City University of New York (Graduate Center and Brooklyn College). Dr. Friedman was also actively involved in teaching industry short courses in Carbonate Geology for the Oil and Gas Consultants International (OGCI). Well over 100 students were awarded graduate degrees under the mentorship of Dr. Friedman and over ten thousand professional geologists were taught advanced geologic principals in his short courses.
In addition, many thousands of geology students around the world learned geology from professors using text books written by Dr. Friedman and his co-authors. Principles of Sedimentology, co-authored with John Sanders, was first published in 1978 and Principles of Sedimentary Deposits - Stratigraphy and Sedimentology, coauthored with John Sanders and David Kopaska-Merkel, was published in 1992. Many of Dr. Friedman’s students went on to serve the petroleum industry by working for such companies as Amoco Production, ExxonMobil Exploration and Shell Oil, to name just a few, while other students went on to academia and have had impressive research careers of their own.
Touro College is committed to carrying on the legacy of Dr. Friedman and to teach the next generation of geological and environmental scientists the information they need to address the environmental problems that confront us today.