Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Hume, James David, 1923-1995


James David Hume (1923-1995) was chair of the Department of Geology. His research on the geology of the Alaskan coast served as the foundation for interpretive investigation of modern Arctic shorelines andt hei analogues in the more widespread Arctic environments of the Pleistocene.

James David Hume was born in Fresno, California, December 17, 1923, near the family logging town of Hume. He grew up in Michigan. After graduating from West Point in 1945, he earned three degrees from the University of Michigan (B.S.E. in civil engineering, 1949; M.S., 1950; Ph. D., 1957). There he met his future wife and active partner, Patricia Wright, and married her in 1954. He taught at Purdue from 1955 to 1957. He then came to Tufts where he shared his love for the earth and the art and science of geology with his students. At the time, geology was a two-man department in the Barnum Museum. When the department moved to Lane Hall, he designed and equipped a first-class facility there.

His teaching style was low-key, but it was evident that he cared for his subject, the world he lived in, and above all, for his students. He was securely grounded in the classical foundations of geology and was aware of important new ideas, to which he consistently introduced his students. Thus he introduced the paradigm of plate tectonics soon after it emerged in the 1960, but not as a dogmatic preamble. In his course it was a capstone to an examination both of the evidence on which it is based and the variety of phenomena to which it provides a unifying theorem.

His methodical analyses of process, products, and form along the Arctic coast near Point Barrow, Alaska, through ten years stand almost alone in the literature of the western world. They serve as a baseline for interpretive investigations in both modern Arctic shorelines and their analogues in the more widespread Arctic environments of the Pleistocene.

In Londonderry, New Hampshire, he joined the Planning Board and ensured that land-use zoning was consistent with ground-water protection. He helped strengthen local efforts to manage development and minimize pollution at Pleasant Lake. He later worked with his wife on the reconstruction of past environments of archaeological sites she was investigating. He died in 1995.

Source: 100H

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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