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Geological Sciences Theses and Dissertations : Background

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Introduction by Dennis Trombatore, December, 1994

The on-line version of the publication Graduate Degrees Conferred in Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin consists of a subject index to the Master's theses and PhD dissertations completed in geology at the University of Texas at Austin between 1897 and the present; a list of theses in order by author, an index of theses in order by year, and another index of theses in order by supervising professor. The subject index is organized by subject headings followed by full references; i.e., each subject heading is followed by full citations to theses dealing with that topic. The index is divided alphabetically.


The Joseph C. Walter, Jr. and Elizabeth C. Walter Geology Library offered the original edition of the bibliography and index of graduate degrees conferred in Geological Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin as a contribution to the Fortieth Anniversary of the Geology Foundation.

Among his many other labors, Professor R. K. DeFord compiled in 1957 the first list of graduate degrees in Geology conferred by The University of Texas at Austin. It was amended and corrected in 1963, but until 1989 no complete update and index had been attempted.

When the Walter Library, with the support of the Geology Foundation and the University of Texas Libraries , obtained a Macintosh SE and ProCite software in 1987 the planning for the first edition of this document began. Entry selection was based on DeFord's 1964 revised list, the Walter Library thesis collection, and graduation records of the Department of Geological Sciences. There have since been several full revisions, and beside the addition of many theses, there have been numerous improvements to the indexing, as well as changes and corrections. Note that the on-line edition has completely renumbered the bibliography list in order to accommodate new authors. Comments from users are welcomed.

What's here

The files contain the same information as the previous paper publication, and include a listing for each master's and doctoral degree in Geology conferred at The University of Texas at Austin from 1897 - 1998. The list also includes some additional theses and dissertations done by UT students regardless of academic department that are part of the Walter Library thesis collection because they are of interest to geologists. Not every thesis or dissertation completed in the Department of Geological Sciences is in the Walter Library's collection, but the University of Texas Libraries maintains a central archive collection of every thesis and dissertation.

The records include the full title, date, names of supervisor and co-supervisor (if any), degree type, and library call number.

The subject index is based on keywords selected from the titles and enhancement terms provided by faculty. County names, and oil and gas field names are in Texas, unless otherwise noted. Specific place names are used where appropriate in favor of more general names for regions or political entities. Entries under Texas should refer to studies of the entire state, and entries under Central Texas should include studies designated as such. Narrower terms have been favored over broader ones, and sub-headings have been used sparingly. The distinction between city names and areas centered on a city should also be noted.

The supervisor index lists the entry number of works completed by students under the supervision or co-supervision of UT-Austin faculty. Co-supervisors are cross-indexed.

Graph of total MA and PhD graduates by year, last 50 years.


Jim McCulloch, Library Assistant III in the Walter Geology Library, is primarily responsible for the successful completion of this project. Without his tenacious efforts to solve a number of problems concerning the indexing of such a complicated database, his careful piloting of the project through the data entry phases, and his diligent maintenance of the database since it was first constructed, the finished document might never have seen the light of day.

Virginia Phillips, Assistant Director for Branch Services, the University of Texas Libraries , planted the seed of this idea when I started as Geology Librarian in 1985. It was her comment that there was a demand for subject access to the thesis collection that prompted the project.

The continued financial support of the Geology Foundation made it possible to obtain the Macintosh SE on which the original work was done, and to complete the data entry in short order. Jennifer Winkler did most of the original data entry. Also appreciated are Geology Foundation staff members Joyce Best and Scott Schroeder for their suggestions and assistance.

Thanks are due to the faculty for their aid in reviewing the indexing on the first edition, and to the many purchasers and users of the index who have made suggestions and comments.



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