Judson Mead was born September 16, 1917, in Madison, Wisconsin. His father, Warren Judson Mead, was a geologist and professor at the University of Wisconsin. Jud received his B.S. (1940) and Ph.D. (1949) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with an intervening wartime job at the Airborne Instruments Laboratory. He came to teach at Indiana University in 1948, and he retired in 1983. He was a pioneer in applying geophysics to archeological investigations, and his research interests included the structure of the crust, exploration geophysics, and computer applications at a time when computers filled entire rooms. He is probably best remembered as a wonderful teacher.
In addition to implementing the revamping of the educational programs at the Field Station, Dr. Mead introduced radio communication to the caravan trips, enhancing them as teaching experiences. He supervised many geophysics students whose Montana research provides some of the underpinning to the concepts of regional geology that we teach today. In 1966, he brought trailers for faculty families to the Station, making the place a second home for a generation of children. Jud and Jane Mead married in 1944, and had three children—and a grandson who is carrying on the Mead geoscience tradition. After he retired, Jud remained active in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences’ Advisory Board. Jud passed away in 2010.
Judson Mead was recognized by the National Association of Geology Teachers, which presented him with the Neil Miner Award, America’s highest award for geological teaching excellence. We recognize him as a leader, teacher, mentor, and beloved friend. He is honored by the Mead Field Station Endowment Fund.