in memoriam - Richard Drees (1941-2005)
Dr. L. Richard Drees of Bryan/College Station, TX, died on October 31, 2005 after a lengthy illness. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, March 8, 1941 to Lawrence and Marianna Drees. He attended The Ohio State University where he received Bachelor and Masters Degrees. He, along with his family, moved to Bryan in 1977 for employment in the Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University, and pursued a PhD in soil science which he received in 1986. Following graduation, Richard remained at Texas A&M University in a Research Scientist position where he worked closely with students and colleagues in the Pedology area. He served as a Visiting Scientist, Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science, University of Sydney, during 1996.
Dr. Drees was recognized as one of the foremost leaders and authorities in soil micromorphology and soil mineralogy. His work with students and co-workers contributed to the understanding of soils in over 18 countries. He pioneered studies on soil spatial variability with major emphasis on mineralogy and elemental variability, conducted seminal studies using microradiograpy to establish mineral inclusions in organic and inorganic structures, used silica minerals as unique markers for paleo-environmental reconstructions, documented dust contributions and consequent pedogenic impacts on soils of Texas and West Africa, modeled the flux and mechanisms of soil inorganic and organic carbon mass balances with relative sequestration roles, verified micromorphic impacts of tillage and soil management on soil architecture and porosity dynamics, and determined the parameters responsible for landscape stability in Steeplands of Central America.
Richard was a prolific writer and his services in strong demand. He authored or co-authored 22 scientific book chapters, along with 30 journal articles, and worked tirelessly to improve the visual representation of micrographs and soil profiles used in classroom settings. He was a leader and strong contributor to numerous professional societies including: Soil Science Society of America where he served as an Associate Editor of SSSAJ and Chair of SSSA Division S-9, American Society of Agronomy, International Association for Study of Clays, Sigma Xi, Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists (Licensed PG as a Soil Scientist), International Soil Science Society, International Union of Soil Sciences, and Professional Soil Scientists Association of Texas (charter member) He contributed inordinately to the International Working Group on Soil Micromorphology.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Janice Drees of Bryan; a son and daughter-in-law David and Diane Drees; two daughters and sons-in-law Karen and Walt Medlock and Cheryl and John Hopson, a sister Carol McConnell and 5 grandchildren.
Mrs. Janice Drees can be contacted at 3800 Woodmere Drive, Bryan, TX 77802, USA.