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Cooper, Byron N., 1912-1971


Biographical Note

Byron Nelson Cooper was born the son of Frank L. and Stella P. Lynch Cooper in Plainfield, Indiana, on August 19, 1912. After graduating from DePauw University in 1934, Cooper earned his master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Iowa. Both his master's thesis (1935) and doctoral dissertation (1937) focused on topics relating to the geology of southwestern Virginia. While gathering research data in Southwest Virginia, Cooper met and married Elizabeth Doyne, of Pulaski County. (The couple would have two children.) Upon completion of his Ph.D., Cooper served as assistant professor of geology at Wichita University from 1937 to 1942, then as associate geologist of the Virginia Geological Survey for four years, before being named head of the Department of Geological Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1946.

Cooper became an active advocate for his charge, building a nationally recognized department from what had been a fledgling operation. He also promoted geology--particularly Appalachian geology--among the larger lay and professional community through speaking engagements and field trips. Cooper's consulting services were frequently sought by business and industrial concerns throughout Virginia, and he often assisted local governments, particularly with issues relating to water supply. He served on the Advisory Council on Virginia's Economy and the Governor's Advisory Council on Geology and was an active member of several professional organizations.

Byron Nelson Cooper died in his campus office on March 26, 1971.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Virginia Mineral Resources

 Collection — Object 1
Identifier: Map-0080

Map shows locations for mineral resources throughout the state of Virginia. It contains an additional map that shows the physiographic layout of the state. Additional information includes the following: descriptions of various soil properties, mineral industries and their locations, ground water qualities, and mineral production, in percentage distribution and in chronological increase.

Dates: 1953