Dr. Alice Mary Weeks, Our Founder and a Pioneering Woman Geologist

Dr. Weeks was a mineralogist homeschooled in her early years. She began her doctorate in 1934 where restrictions against women forced her to listen to lecture from hallways. These pressures, financial instability, and eventually World War II (where she taught map making to officers), delayed completion of her doctorate until 1949, after which she initially worked for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Among many discoveries, she identified the mineral Urophane in 1953 with Dr. Mary E. Thompson; the mineral weeksite is named in her honor.

As one of the first woman geologists, she was listed in the "American Men of Science" in 1955, well before it was changed to "American Men and Women of Science".

Dr. Weeks and her husband, Albert, left a generous donation to establish an endowed chair in the department.

EES Through the Years


Department of Geology was founded in the College of Arts and Sciences by Alice Mary Weeks, PhD, with a box of rocks and three courses.


Alice Weeks recruited four other faculty (the first in 1963) in these years to expand the department, offering twelve courses, and undergraduate and master's programs established.


Beury Hall was constructed and became the home of the Department of Geology.


Graduated the first undergraduate student


Graduated the first master's student .


Environmental Science BS programs were established.


The Geological Society of Temple University (a.k.a. Geo Club), an organization for all students interested in earth and environmental science, was formed.


The department changed its name from Geology to Earth and Environmental Science.


EES celebrated 50 years.


Environmental Professional Training Certificate was established to support development of industry skills.


Graduated the first PhD student.


Concentrations in Environmental Science were established: Applied Ecology, Climate, Environmental Geochemistry, and Hydrology.


“The Accessible Field Camp” was established to offer a modular approach to developing and practicing applied skills.