Luther, Professor in Marine Chemistry
Conducted by Alison
Sipe, Graduate Student,
University of Delaware College of Marine Studies
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Favorite musical groups: Enjoys many different kinds
of music Rock and Roll, Folk, Classical, Country,
Church, and Jazz. The only type of music he does not prefer
Favorite movie: Star Wars Series, Indiana
Jones Series, James Bond Movies
Hobbies: All sports, but prefers team athletics
to individual ones.
General job description: As a professor, George
is involved with education, especially with the graduate
students in the College of Marine Studies and the Department
of Chemistry at the University of Delaware. He has a joint
appointment in the Department of Chemistry and another in
the Department of Civil Engineering. George also has been
appointed an Honorary Distinguished Professor in the Department
of Geology at the University of Cardiff, Wales. In addition
to his many educational activities, he is also involved
with much research related to marine chemistry, biology,
and geology. He has done some research in the physical oceanography
field. One of his favorite things to do as an educator is
to perform Chemical Magic Shows for children of all ages,
from one to ninety-two.
How did you choose your current occupation? George
had always wanted to be a chemist. He earned a Ph.D. degree
in physical-inorganic chemistry. After this, he met some
marine geologists and biologists that began asking George
questions about the chemistry of the marine environment.
It was these questions that sparked his interest in shifting
his focus to chemistry of the oceans.
Best Aspect of Job: Spending time doing research
in the field and lab are among the highlights of his career.
Being a professor involves lots of administrative responsibilities
and paperwork, limiting the amount of time that he can get
his fingers wet in the lab. George smiles as he notes that
working with the students is a meaningful part of his occupation.
He is very pleased with the progress of his former students
and their standings in their fields.
Worst Aspect of Job: Administrative procedures and
policies can be cumbersome. George loves his research, but
comments that writing research grants to fund his science
is a constant challenge he faces.
How many days/year do you spend at sea? It varies
each year; this year George will spend about 20 days on
the water. He has been at sea in a great number of ocean
regions: the Raritan, Chesapeake, and Delaware bays, the
Northwest Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean (the East Pacific
Rise off of Mexico and waters around Hawaii), the Arabian
Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea. Traveling
to various historical and religious sites has been a real
treat for him.
Whats next? George comments that a major life
event soon approaching is that his two children are getting
ready to go off to college. Today is actually he and his
wifes 29th wedding anniversary lets hope
he plans to celebrate it when he returns to Delaware! In
regards to his career, George will continue to do lots of
work with marine chemistry, some related to hydrothermal
vents, but a lot that focuses on other marine topics. Other
research interests include coastal processes and bioinorganic
chemistry. One of his lines of research investigates how
marine organisms uptake trace elements these elements
are essential for their physiological processes, but can
lead to toxicity if the organism gets too much of the element.
He is quite excited about asking new scientific questions
and designing innovative tools and experiments to address