SU mourns the passing of Geoffrey O. Seltzer
SU mourns the passing of Geoffrey O. SeltzerJanuary 27, 2005Edward Byrnesedbyrnes@syr.edu
Geoffrey O. Seltzer, 45, of Syracuse, died Jan. 15, at his home after an 18-month battle with cancer. For the past 11 years, Seltzer was a faculty member in Syracuse University’s Department of Earth Sciences, where he taught quaternary and environmental geology and developed an internationally respected program in paleoclimatological research in the Andes Mountains.
Seltzer was beloved as a warm, gentle and insightful colleague and an intrepid adventurer, who engaged in multidisciplinary research that spanned topics from global climate change in the geologic past to how future climate change may affect future water supplies, particularly in South American Andean nations. The results of his research on the occurrence of El Ni?o in the geological past in the Southern Hemisphere led to major advances in understanding its role in climate change. Most recently, he and his group of colleagues and students were the first team to explore the long-term climate record of remote Lake Titacaca on the border between Peru and Bolivia.
“Geoff was a dear friend, an unselfish highly creative scientist, who made major contributions to our understanding of climate change. Moreover, he had a caring heart, and for this, was loved by everyone around him,” says colleague and friend Donald Seigel, a professor in SU’s Earth Sciences Department.
Seltzer authored more than 40 publications in highly respected scientific journals, was a sought-after speaker at scientific conferences around the world, and ran a broadly funded research program. At SU, he was known for generous mentoring and tactful leadership; most recently he directed the Vice Chancellor’s Environmental SPIRE, an effort to promote interdisciplinary collaboration on environmental research.
“Though very young, Geoff achieved tremendous things through his scientific work, through his warm and sustaining mentoring of many students, and through his leadership in the Environmental SPIRE. Geoff cared very deeply about the quality and the future of The College. We’re all deeply saddened by this loss,” says Cathryn R. Newton, dean of The College of Arts and Sciences and a professor in the earth sciences department.
Seltzer is survived by his wife, Katie Reed; father, George Seltzer; brothers Jonathan, Matthew and Ethan Seltzer, and their families.
A memorial service will be held Jan. 29 at 11 a.m. in Setnor Auditorium in Crouse College, on the SU campus.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to: Geoffrey Seltzer Fund, YMCA Camp Widjiwagan, 2125 East Hennepin Ave., Suite 150, Minneapolis, MN 55413.