The Taylor Science Center at Hamilton College

Three longtime members of Hamilton’s science faculty retired during the last academic year. Eugene Domack, Timothy Elgren and Ernest Williams had a combined 79 years of service at Hamilton.

Eugene W. Domack, who served as the College’s inaugural J.W. Johnson Family Professor of Environmental Studies, retired in December 2013. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Rice University.

Domack joined the Hamilton faculty in 1985 and studies the paleohistory of Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf. His research has received continuous funding from the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs since 1987, and he has provided opportunities for more than 100 undergraduates to conduct research in Antarctica. His work has also taken him to Africa and Greenland to study the ancient period when the planet was believed to have been covered in ice.

Domack has served on several NSF panel advisory boards and was a Guggenheim Fellow and Joint Oceanographic Institutions Distinguished Lecturer. He has been an invited speaker at more than 20 international conferences and currently serves as professor of geological oceanography at the University of South Florida.

Professor of Chemistry Timothy E. Elgren retired in June. A member of the Hamilton faculty since 1993, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Hamline University and his Ph.D. from Dartmouth College. A biophysical chemist, Elgren’s research focuses on environmental toxins, and his work has received support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Henry and Camille Dreyfus Foundation and the American Chemical Society, among others.

He has published numerous articles, many with student co-authors, in such publications as the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Biochemistry, the Journal of Chemical Education and The Chemical Educator. A past president of the Council on Undergraduate Research, Elgren received the College’s inaugural Hatch Excellence in Teaching Award in 1998. Having previously served a two-year term as associate dean of faculty, he became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College on July 1.

Ernest H. Williams, Jr., the William R. Kenan Professor of Biology, retired in June after three decades as a member of the Hamilton faculty. He earned his undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Connecticut and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Princeton University. Through fieldwork in New York, Wyoming and Mexico, and in collaboration with Hamilton students, Williams studies the population biology, chemical ecology and conservation of butterflies.

Often quoted in national media outlets, most recently on the topic of monarch population decline, he is author of The Nature Handbook: A Guide to Observing the Great Outdoors (2005) and co-author of The Stokes Butterfly Book (1991). His articles have appeared in the Journal of Insect Conservation, the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society, the Journal of Animal Ecology, Restoration Ecology, The Journal of Biogeography and American Butterflies. Williams, who serves on the board of the Monarch Butterfly Fund, is involved with habitat restoration and management in the Rome Sand Plains of Central New York.

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