Alva C. Ellisor

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Alva Christine Ellisor
BornApril 26, 1892
DiedSeptember 22, 1964
NationalityAmerican
Alma materUniversity of Texas at Austin
Known forContributions to the fields of Micropaleontology, and Gulf of Mexico geology.
Scientific career
FieldsPetroleum Geology

Alva Christine Ellisor (1892–1964) was a geologist and one of the first female stratigraphers in North America.[1]

Early life[edit]

Alva C. Ellisor was born on April 26, 1892 in Galveston, Texas. At the age of eight, she survived the 1900 Great Galveston Hurricane. She had two infant brothers who were killed in the event.[2] After her secondary education in Galveston’s public schools, Ellisor received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geology in University of Texas.[3] After graduating, Ellisor held a teaching position in Ball High School.[4] This was short-lived as she decided to go back to university and study in hopes of becoming a professor. At the same time Ellisor was studying, she was also doing research in the field of geology under the supervision of her instructors, Professor Francis L. Whitney and Professor Hal P. Bybee. Two years later, in 1918, Ellisor began working as a professor at the University of Kansas teaching geology and in 1919 was able to apply her experience while working for the Kansas Geological Survey.[5][6]

Career[edit]

In 1920, Ellisor switched professions again and started working for the Humble Oil & Refining Company. She was specifically hired by Wallace Pratt to design a subsurface laboratory which works to show the development of petroleum and natural gas as well as other minerals. This is where she was really able to make a name for herself in the study of petroleum geology as well as making many firsts for women in geology. Ellisor created and opened the laboratory to focus on focusing on Tertiary and Cretaceous time periods. In just a few months after opening the laboratory, she made a major discovery of foraminifera in one of the companies wells at Goose Creek. Her study of foraminifera indicated Oligocene-aged coral reefs on the Damon Mound salt dome in Brazoria County.[7] She was one of the first to see the potential for using foraminifera to correlate rocks from drilling cores.[8] These findings would be the basis of some of her most famous writing for years to come.[9]

Alva C. Ellisor has had a lasting impact in the field of geology as well as paving the way for many women in the field. When she was employed by the Humble Oil & Refining Company to work on a subsurface laboratory, she became the first women to work on one for a company.[9] In her many journals with Joseph A. Cushman, they studied the foraminiferal fauna and discovered fifteen new species and seven new varieties.[10] She was not credited for her discovery in foraminifera in Edgar Owen’s The Trek of the Oil Finders, which instead credited J.A Udden, Edwin T. Dumble, Joseph A. Cushman, and Jesse J. Galloway. Yet, the four were convinced of their findings only by the research of Ellisor herself, as well as her co authors Esther Applin and Hedwig Kniker.[11] Ellisor continued to be influential on her own, having her work published by many well known geology organizations in The United States. Of her many achievements, some of her greatest positions in science were being a fellow of the Geological Society of America and being the Vice President for the Houston Geological Society for two years.[9]

Ellisor spent over twenty years working for the Humble Oil & Refining Company until she retired in 1947. Ellisor engaged in acts of philanthropy throughout her career, donating money and her 3000 volume geologic library to the University of Texas.[12] She passed away at the age of seventy-two on September 22, 1964 in Galveston, Texas.[9]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1924 Vice-President of the Houston Geological Society[13]
  • 1930 Vice-President of the Houston Geological Society
  • 1941 Vice-President of the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists
  • 1948 Honorary member of the Houston Geological Society
  • 1953 Honorable mention by the Desk & Derrick Clubs of North America (Outstanding Oil Woman of the Year)

Works[edit]

  • Species of Turritella from the Buda and Georgetown limestones of Texas[14] (series: University of Texas bulletin. no. 1840: July 15, 1918)
  • Subsurface Stratigraphy of the Coastal Plain of Texas and Louisiana[15] (A.A.P.G. Bulletin, Vol. 9, No. 1, p. 79-122)
  • Coral Reefs in the Oligocene of Texas[16] (A.A.P.G. Bulletin (Vol. 10, No. 10)
  • The Foraminiferal Fauna of the Anahuac Formation[17] (Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 19, No. 6)
  • The Age and Correlation of Chalk at White Cliffs, Arkansas, with Notes on Subsurface Correlations of Northeast Texas (A.A.P.G. Bulletin, Vol.9, No. 8)
  • Correlation of Claiborne of East Texas with the Claiborne of Louisiana[18] (A.A.P.G. Bulletin, Vol. 13, No. 10)
  • Jackson Group of Formations in Texas with Notes on the Frio and Vicksburg[19] (A.A.P.G. Bulletin, Vol. 17, No. 11)
  • Subsurface Miocene of Southern Louisiana[20] (A.A.P.G. Bulletin, Vol. 24, No. 3)
  • Rock Hounds of Houston

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Memorial: Alva Christine Ellisor (1892-1964)". 49 (4). 1965-01-01. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Obituary of Alva C. Ellisor" (PDF). American Association of Petroleum Geologists. 1965. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "The University of Texas at Austin". The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  4. ^ "Ball High School - Ball High School Homepage". www.gisd.org. Archived from the original on 2017-03-04. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  5. ^ "The University of Kansas". www.ku.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  6. ^ "Alva C. Ellisor (1892-1964) | Non-vertebrate Paleontology Lab". www.jsg.utexas.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  7. ^ "Alva C. Ellisor (1892-1964) | Non-vertebrate Paleontology Lab". www.jsg.utexas.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  8. ^ Cushman, Joseph A.; Ellisor, Alva C. (1 January 1945). "The Foraminiferal Fauna of the Anahuac Formation". Journal of Paleontology. 19 (6): 545–572. JSTOR 1299203.
  9. ^ a b c d Jr., Samuel P. Ellison; Clabaugh, Stephen F.; Morgan, Irma Jo (July 1962). "Department of Geology Newsletter" (PDF). Department of Geology Newsletter The University of Texas, 11, 2-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  10. ^ Cushman, Joseph A.; Ellisor, Alva C. (November 1945). "The Foraminiferal Fauna of the Anahuac Formation". Journal of Paleontology. 19: 545–55. JSTOR 1299203.
  11. ^ Johnson, Beth A. (2018). Women of Geology: Who Are We, Where Have We Come From, and Where Are We Going?. Boulder, Colorado: Geological Society of America. p. 20. ISBN 9780813782140.
  12. ^ Johnson, Beth A. (2018). Women and Geology: Who Are We, Where Have We Come From, and Where Are We Going?. Boulder, Colorado: The Geological Society of America. p. 20. ISBN 9780813782140.
  13. ^ "HGS - Houston Geological Society | Houston Geological Society". www.hgs.org. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  14. ^ "Details - Species of Turritella from the Buda and Georgetown limestones of Texas, by Alva Christine Ellisor. - Biodiversity Heritage Library". www.biodiversitylibrary.org. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  15. ^ Applin, Esther Richards; Ellisor, Alva E.; Kniker, Hedwig T. (1925-01-01). "Subsurface stratigraphy of the Coastal Plain of Texas and Louisiana". AAPG Bulletin. 9 (1): 79–122. ISSN 0149-1423.
  16. ^ Ellisor, Alva Christine (1926-01-01). "Coral Reefs in the Oligocene of Texas". AAPG Bulletin. 10 (10). ISSN 0149-1423.
  17. ^ Cushman, Joseph A.; Ellisor, Alva C. (1945-01-01). "The Foraminiferal Fauna of the Anahuac Formation". Journal of Paleontology. 19 (6): 545–572. JSTOR 1299203.
  18. ^ Ellisor, Alva Christine (1929-10-01). "Correlation of the Claiborne of east Texas with the Claiborne of Louisiana". AAPG Bulletin. 13 (10): 1335–1346. ISSN 0149-1423.
  19. ^ Alva Christine Ellisor (2); (2), Alva Christine Ellisor (1933-01-01). "Jackson Group of Formations in Texas with Notes on Frio and Vicksburg". AAPG Bulletin. 17 (11). doi:10.1306/3d932bc6-16b1-11d7-8645000102c1865d. ISSN 0149-1423.
  20. ^ Ellisor, Alva C. (1940-01-01). "Subsurface Miocene of Southern Louisiana". AAPG Bulletin. 24 (3). ISSN 0149-1423.