Robert Rakes Shrock


Honorary Degree (1971)
Doctor of Science
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: John W. Ryan


Robert Shrock was born in Wawpecong, Miami County, Indiana. He majored in geology at Indiana University, which awarded him A.B., A.M. and Ph.D. degrees. His professional career, begun at the University of Wisconsin, was devoted principally to the Department of Geology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of which he was a member from 1937 until his retirement last June. He chaired the Department from 1949 to 1965, following three years as its Executive Officer.

Dr. Shrock also held appointments at Harvard College, as a Visiting Lecturer in Geology and, from 1950 on, as an Associate in Invertebrate Paleontology. A consultant for various mining and petroleum companies and engineering groups during his career, he was, additionally, a senior industrial specialist on the War Production Board in 1943 and a consultant to the Research and Development Board for six years.

His professional honors include: membership on the Corporation of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; past president of the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists and of the National Association of Geology Teachers; Fellow of the Geology Society of America, of the Paleontologic Society, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science whose science section he served both as Vice President and longtime Chairman.

Dr. Shrock is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Gamma Epsilon, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He is co-author of Invertebrate Paleontology, Index Fossils of North America, and Principles of Invertebrate Paleontology, and author of Sequence in Layered Rocks, as well as of numerous articles in scientific journals. In 1970, a fully endowed chair, The Robert R. Shrock Professorship of Earth and Planetary Sciences, was established at M.I.T. in his honor.