|Donald S. Miller
Professor Emeritus, Petrology & Geochronology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Ph.D., Columbia University
Don Miller began his tenure with RPI in 1960 as an Assistant Professor of Geology after earning a Bachelor's Degree from Occidental College in 1954, then his doctoral degree from Columbia University. He reached Full Professor status in 1969. Hired as the department's first experimental geochemist, he continued his research activity throughout his career in addition to serving two stretches as department chairman, first from 1969 to 1976 and again from 1980 to 1990. This just scratches the surface of Don's contributions to Rensselaer -- to the students and to the institute itself. Over the past 30 years he has served on numerous Institute committees, and on an average of two departmental committees per year from 1960 to 1969. Also throughout this time he has been active in student advising and counseling. He developed his graduate research laboratory into one of the world's leading fission-track facilities producing numerous publications in referred journals with his Doctoral and Masters students.
In addition to RPI students, several graduate students from other universities visited Don's laboratory to learn the fission-track techniques. A number of post-doctoral associates also have been welcomed. Over the years, the lab has been supported by the National Science Foundation, D epartment of Energy, Texaco, Shell Oil Company and ARCO.
Don's professional affiliations are extensive. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, Geochemical Society, National Association of Geological Teachers, Sigma Pi Sigma, Sigma Xi, International Association of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry, and the International Union of Geological Sciences. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America.
Throughout his career, Don's service has extended beyond RPI to the community-at-large, including stints with the Troy Zoning Board, Troy Public Library, Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program and the Troy School Board. His community involvement took a new slant several years ago when he became co-owner of The Gregory House, a local gourmet restaurant and country inn, along with his wife Carolyn, son Chris (who served as head chef) and daughter-in-law Melissa. Don may be the first geologist/restauranteur/sailor on record, the latter being another serious hobby of Don's. He has spent several recent vacations navigating the waters of the Caribbean, the Hudson and the Mohawk.