Tributes to Bill Berry
Dr. Berry was a consummate scientist …
By Roseanne Chambers Perman, AMEC Geomatrix Consultants, Inc.
Roseanne Chambers Perman in Peru.
Bill Berry was a mystery to me …
By Mark Wilson, Professor of Geology, The College of Wooster
|Mark Wilson in the Sundance Formation of Wyoming.|
As an example of Bill's thoughtfulness, he helped me start my oral examination with unexpected confidence. I was very nervous as the proceedings began, sitting at the end of a long table lined with distinguished professors about to spend hours of quality time with me. As my advisor, Bill had the first question. He reached under the table and produced a slab of gray limestone and handed it to me, saying, "Identify for us all the fossils you see here." I lit up: the rock was from the Upper Ordovician of Ohio and covered with bryozoans, brachiopods, corals, clams, and crinoids. He knew that I loved this Cincinnatian fauna from my undergraduate days, and that I could name every critter there. It was a gesture from him that calmed me down, and it allowed me to show that I knew something, at least, as the exam began.
Bill Berry a valued mentor, colleague, and friend …
By Doris Sloan, Adjunct Professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences, UC Berkeley
|Doris Sloan outside McCone Hall.|
Ranging even further, Bill asked to serve on the Faculty Advisory Committee of the L&S Environmental Science program that I taught. He was a strong supporter of the program and helped to keep it alive through biennial threats of extinction. He became chair of the Advisory Committee and, when I retired, took over my classes. He greatly expanded their scope, teaching hundreds of students each semester in the largest classes offered by the Department of Earth & Planetary Science. Through these classes and community projects, he introduced a multitude of students to the physical sciences, sharing with them his wide knowledge and love of teaching.
Bill was an inspiring lecturer and actually a young maverick …
By Peter Sheehan, Milwaukee Public Museum
|Peter Sheehan on a 2010 Great Basin field trip.|
Rodney Watkins was an undergraduate and master's student under Bill, and although he died a few years ago I know he would have liked to add to this tribute. Perhaps this will suffice: Rodney made a drawing of Bill, and it hung over his desk in his office at the Milwaukee Public Museum until Rodney's death a few years ago.
Bill was a visionary …
By Mark Goodwin, Assistant Director, UCMP
|Mark Goodwin jackets a disarticulated Triceratops skull in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana.|
In his capacity as Director, Bill supported UCMP fieldwork, in particular the annual UCMP spring field trip for paleo majors from the then Department of Paleontology, as well as for other interested undergraduate and graduate students. These trips served as effective training exercises, while building camaraderie and, most important of all, growing the collections, which resulted in more research opportunities for the UCMP community. Bill's professional activities as a research scientist are reflected in the wealth of resources he leaves in UCMP, including a top notch library focusing on graptolites, Ordovician and Silurian marine paleoenvironments, numerous field conferences, and rare original Russian and Chinese literature.
Bill was the Director in 1978 when I ventured to California from the east coast to interview for the position of museum preparator, and he hired me. As I continued my education at UC Berkeley and my professional development as a vertebrate paleontologist, Bill always took an interest in my contributions to UCMP. I was fortunate to land at a first-rate institution for my first full-time job in the museum world, and Bill's door was always open well, you had to knock first, but he always had time for conversation, counsel, and advice, and was open to suggestions on making UCMP a better place to work, learn, and grow. He was kind, and I was fortunate to have Bill as the first of many UCMP directors with whom I have worked closely over the past 30 years.
Bill Berry (center) presents Howard Hutchison with a plaque at a UCMP awards party, circa 1986. Background, from far left: Laurie Bryant, Zhe-Xi Luo, Sam Welles, and Pat Lufkin. Foreground, from left: Matthew Colbert(?), Elmira Wan, and Joe Gregory.
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Roseanne Chambers Perman photo by Ross Wagner; Mark Wilson photo by Paul Taylor; Doris Sloan photo by Margaret Gennaro; Peter Sheehan photo by Frank Lotter; Mark Goodwin photo courtesy of Mark Goodwin; photo of Berry presenting award by Mark Goodwin, UCMP