BARRY CAMERON RETIRES FROM A CAREER IN PALEONTOLOGY
June 2005 brought the date when Barry Cameron started to hang up his paintbrushes and calipers. Those of you who know him will realize that Barry always executes his activities with great care, and he has been working on retirement preparation for quite some time, downsizing his library, sorting slabs, and wrapping up courses. This is no mean feat - Barry probably has the largest collection of papers of any of us (and the largest photocopying bill!), a testimony to many years of careful attendance to matters paleontological.
Barry started teaching at Acadia in 1981, when he moved here from Boston University to assume the role of department head. George Stevens had been the department head for over a decade, and stepped down as student enrolment was rapidly rising, enabling a new position to be opened. Initially Barry taught courses in petroleum geology and basin analysis, but upon the retirement of Reg Moore in 1992 assumed responsibility for the paleontology course. Many graduates will remember their labs in petroleum geology, paleontology or micropaleontology with the wealth of teaching aids that surrounded them in the basement lab. Some more claustrophobic types may recall their experiences in that room with a shudder, as Barry had it tightly packed with specimens, including that notorious 20 feet long L‑shaped amphibian track-way collected from Blue Beach as the tide gradually carved it up. Some of you were probably implicated in the collection of it!
In 1984 Barry developed a new general elective course in oceanography, with 15 students the first year. The course was a "hit"! Two years later enrolment topped 100, and by 1990 over 300 students. In 1987 he introduced a companion course in coastal oceanography, which regularly had nearly 200 students in it. We calculate that at times over one third of all students at Acadia took an oceanography course somewhere in their career!
We were very pleased to arrange a small function to celebrate his career at Acadia, and thank those of you who responded with memories and advice for him:
Ghislaine Legaré: Knowledge being power, how far would the human race have progressed, without devoted and passionate men and women who share their passion with young (and old) people? What I admired in Dr Cameron, was specifically this passion for these "paleocritters" not easy to bring back to life, so many beings, that are so remote.
Alan Deal: The one thing I will never forget about Barry is the size of his coffee mug. I believe it was actually a ceramic beer stein, the kind you see hoisted at Octoberfest. It must have held at least one litre! He would brew it up every morning. The other thing was his addiction to date squares. Is I recall he had a tray of them in his office every morning. If I absolutely had to see him first thing in the morning I knew I could stake out the bakery department in the IGA around opening time.
Peter Dalton: A professor that truly has a passion for the earth's history and the life that has called it home from one eon to the next. Over the years that I had the privilege of being educated by Dr. Cameron I built a great respect for him as a unique teacher and above all a good person with an excellent sense of humour. I consider myself lucky to have been educated by Barry Cameron and wish him all the best in his retirement. So only one question remains.... His office! Maybe it would be easier to just make it a museum.