Geosciences Department

Bernard D. McGrath '47 Geoscience Speaker Series

Bernard D. McGrath '47

Bernard D. McGrath '47

Marna McGrath and her four children are proud to establish the Bernard D. McGrath ’47 Geoscience Speaker Series in memory of husband and father, Bernard (Bern) Dennin McGrath ‘47.

Bern completed a degree in geology at Union College that launched his very successful career in the oil and gas industry. After earning his master's degree from Texas A&M, he taught geology briefly at Tarleton State, an A&M college. He was hired by Texaco as a geologist, rising through the ranks during his 30-year tenure to positions in upper management. He later joined Triton Oil & Gas in Dallas, TX and served as the company’s president before fully retiring.

Bern and his older brother Ed McGrath '46 both attended Union, taking leave from their studies to serve in WWII. While Bern was able to return to complete his degree, Ed was tragically killed in the line of duty.

Geology was more than Bern’s career – it included a life-long love of rocks, strata, searching for oil and the land itself. He made great contributions through his work in the industry, and this speaker series will carry on his proud legacy.

Inaugural Speaker

Linda Ivany

Linda Ivany


Professor Linda Ivany (Syracuse University)

Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Reception: 5:00 - 5:30 PM - OLIN Rotunda

Talk: 5:30 - 6:30PM - OLIN 115

Paleontologists are very good at describing the size and shape of living things on the ancient Earth. Often overlooked, however, are data on lifespan and growth rate. How fast animals grow and how long they live can give important insights about their ecology and evolution that are otherwise unattainable. Animals with skeletal parts that grow by accretion, adding layers like trees add growth rings, preserve a record of their size with age and of the number of years over which they lived and grew. These so-called sclerochronological records of growth bands can be combined with chemistry to additionally reveal the environmental conditions in which the animal grew. This talk will introduce these kinds of data and what can be learned from them, drawing upon examples from the speaker’s research program, including discussions of the evolution of extreme longevity, morphological novelty, ecosystem energetics, and predator-prey relationships.

Linda Ivany flyer