Herb Hendricks ’40

Professor Emeritus of geology Herb Hendricks ’40 died March 11 in Cedar Rapids. He was 96.

Herb Hendricks ’40
Herb Hendricks ’40

Hendriks discovered his love of geology as a Cornell College student, and, after graduate study at the University of Iowa, returned to teach at Cornell as a member of the geology faculty from 1947 to 1983. He was an innovator and pioneer in his field. As a graduate student he questioned the conventional thinking that continents were fixed, embracing the theory of continental drift. In the 1940s he became concerned about the sustainability of natural resources and began to petition for an environmental studies course. He was finally able to offer that course in the 1960s, and in 1975 founded and directed Cornell’s environmental studies program, one of the first in the nation.

He believed strongly in the importance of fieldwork and, with his wife Luretta Tipton Hendriks ’43, established the Hendriks Student Research Fund. He set an example to students as a successful field investigator, both as an exploration consultant to major petroleum companies and as a professor for more than 20 summers at Camp Norton field station in Wyoming.

Hendriks was a leader in the national, regional, and state geological societies, and in 1975 the Iowa Academy of Science honored him with its Centennial Award. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science from Cornell College in 2008 in recognition of his work with the environmental studies program, and he was also a past member of the Alumni Board and a Class Agent. Hendricks is survived by a son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.