CSULB professor rocks students' worlds
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 01:09
Oil sources may be depleting, but Richard J. Behl is looking to the smallest sediments at the bottom of the ocean for a solution.
Behl, a Cal State Long Beach professor, was named a Fellow of the Geological Science Society of America (GSA) for his research, becoming the second CSULB faculty member to be selected for the society.
He will be recognized at GSA’s annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C. in November. Fellows are nominated by existing GSA members based on a candidate’s distinguished contributions, research, teaching, leadership and elevation of public awareness for geological programs or organizations.
“[My students and I] have done a lot of museum exhibits, teaching people different features of the earth and have gone on television as well,” he said.
Behl said he was shocked when he heard the news.
“ I am surprised I am an elective fellow,” he said. “[Usually,] older and famous people get this, and it feels very nice and good to be appreciated.”
GSA is the world’s largest society for earth science, specializing in technique and communication.
Behl conducts two types of research. The first examines how the ocean and climate have changed rapidly over the past few years and their causing factors, as well as their environmental effects.
His other research determines whether living parts of sediment in the ocean possess tiny carbon rings that could possibly become a source for oil in California.
“I am happy; this brings a lot of attention to CSULB,” he said. “There are now two professors in this area from CSULB receiving this reward, and it is pretty rare and good for the university.”
Numerous universities wrote letters nominating Behl for membership.
“To get this, I didn’t do anything except doing what I love,” he said.
The other CSULB professor to be recognized for the award was Stanley C. Finney, a 2011 Fellow.
Behl said he hopes that his award will bring light to environmental science issues.
“People should understand that things can be reused instead of going in the trash,” he said. “It’s a way to stop the destruction of earth and save it.”