Jan. 7, 2003John R. Mather, 79, professor emeritus of geography at UD and a world-renowned climatologist, died Friday, Jan. 3, 2003.
Born in Boston, he earned his bachelors degree in history at Williams College. He received a second bachelors degree and a masters degree, both in meteorology, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began his professional career as a research associate and climatologist at Johns Hopkins University, where he earned his doctorate in 1951.
Dr. Mather worked as an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins and an adjunct associate professor at the Drexel Institute of Technology from 1957-61. He came to UD in 1961 and was promoted to full professor in 1963. From 1966-89, he chaired the Department of Geography. During his years at UD, Dr. Mather taught more than 12,000 students and supervised 18 doctoral and 30 masters degree candidates.
Dr. Mather authored several books on applied climatology and water resources and was U.S. editor on a joint U.S.-U.S.S.R. book on global change. He served on committees for the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, National Academy of Science, National Research Foundation and the American Association of State Climatologists, among others.
Dr. Mather was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1989 and has received the Commander Award for public service given by the U.S. Department of the Army. The Association of American Geographers formally recognized his career with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1999 he received the American Geographical Society's Charles P. Daly Medal. At UD, he received an excellence in teaching award in 1989 and the Francis Alison Award, as an outstanding member of the faculty, in 1990. He served as Delaware's state climatologist for many years.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Pittsgrove Presbyterian Church in Daretown, N.J.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the John R. Mather Scholarship, Department of Geography, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 or the Russ and Amy Mather Sunday School Award at the Pittsgrove Presbyterian Church, 312 Daretown Rd., Elmer, NJ 08318.