Northeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 13-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


ANDERSON, Walter A., Maine State Geologist, Emeritus, 7 Fayview Lane, North Yarmouth, ME 04097

I have often likened Woody Thompson, well recognized in northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada as a highly distinguished and accomplished professional scientist, to a typical New England Yankee. I could not resist using Mark Twain’s “Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” metaphor – a satiric novel that pokes fun at the old traditions of Europe, and considered by many to be one of the earliest science time-travel books. Woody and family have well established Yankee credentials which began with the arrival from England of General Sam Thompson with other early New England settlers in Topsham, Maine, along with certain traits that exemplify the Yankee character: common sense, dry wit, a deep connection to the natural environment, thrift, taciturn, unpretentiousness, and an acceptance of hard work.

“In the Realm of the Ice Age” science, Woody excels and is acknowledged by his peers for over 50 years of outstanding contributions to geology in general and particularly glacial geology. Throughout his tenure with the Maine Geological Survey (MGS), Woody distinguished himself: as a consummate field geologist; by developing and supervising the design, standards, and style for the MGS Surficial Mapping Program; by serving as principal editor of the first Surficial Geological Map of Maine; by writing and publishing the official Maine Handbook of Surficial Geology; by leading the way to a better understanding of the processes and features related to the waning stages of the Late Wisconsin Glacial Stage in northeastern North America; by producing copious quantities of superior surficial maps; and as a Certified Professional Maine Geologist. In addition to Woody’s legacy contributions to understanding the Last Ice Age, he has made notable contributions in the disciplines of mineralogy and education highlighted by his publication, “A Collector’s Guide to Maine Mineral Localities,” and a National Science Foundation program entitled, “Curriculum Resources for Earth Science Teachers,” which he directed.